Dan Hugo takes his third consecutive win of the year at XTERRA Philippines

Xterra Philippines 2014 winnersDan Hugo (RSA) and Renata Bucher (SUI) captured the fourth annual XTERRA Philippines Championship on a steaming hot day at the seafront of Barangay Jubay in Liloan (Cebu Province) on Saturday.

Ben Allen, who won the last two XTERRA Philippines titles and nine-out-of-ten races in the Asia-Pacific region since 2002, took the early lead with the day’s fastest swim split (18:57). Bradley Weiss and Dan Hugo were second and third out of the water about one minute back.

By the end of the first of two laps on the bike course, Allen had crashed and flatted twice allowing Hugo and Weiss to move up front. At the swim-to-bike transition Hugo had a commanding seven minute lead on Weiss and the only question was if his ankle – that he rolled so badly in his XTERRA South Africa Championship win three weeks ago it tore his anterior talofibular ligament – would hold up.

Not only did Hugo’s ankle hold, he posted the fastest run split of the day. It’s Hugo’s third straight XTERRA win of the season (to go with titles at Buffelspoort and the SA Champs) and the ninth XTERRA Championship title of his career. Fellow South African, Weiss finished second, a career-best performance. Cebu’s Joe Miller finished third overall to win the Filipino Elite Division. Allen, who carried on despite his misfortune on the bike, placed fourth overall – third pro. Charlie Epperson, who was born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of east Tennessee but now lives in Guam and serves as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard, finished fifth overall/fourth pro in his first race as an XTERRA Pro. The pride of Malaysia Sharom Abdullah rounded out the pro podium.

In the women’s race Renata Bucher captured the XTERRA Phil crown for the second time in three years but it wasn’t easy. Jacqui Slack led out of the water and through the first lap of the bike before Bucher took over.

The “Swiss Miss” had the fastest women’s bike split by far (it was fourth best overall behind only Hugo, Weiss & Miller) to take a big lead onto the run. It nearly wasn’t big enough, however, as Austrian Carina Wasle – who had the fastest run of the day – caught and passed Bucher toward the end of the run but, “then almost fainted 300 metres from the finish and Renata re-passed,” explained XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas.

Bucher took the tape in 3:24:59, 19 seconds ahead of Wasle for her 32nd career XTERRA Championship victory. Reigning and four-times XTERRA Japan Champion Mieko Carey finished third, Slack was fourth, Aussie Dimity-Lee Duke was fifth in her XTERRA debut, and Brit Daz Parker placed sixth. Some of the pros took to twitter and Facebook after the race, see what they had to say, as well as the complete pro results, on the next page.

Renata Bucher: What a race! What a super warm day here in beautiful Cebu. Raced with all I had. Just made it to the finish line a couple of meters in front of Carina and got the happy win. Congrats to all the finishers. Thanks for an awesome event.

Dan Hugo: Big shout out to all twitter mentions, and all who make an effort to see results first thing. Thanks for the support and interest. Just back to hotel, reception and aircon. Scorched day, happy day. Got it done alongside @BSWeiss_Tri. Ankle held up. So relieved. Bang.

Carina Wasle: Second place at XTERRA Philippines! It was an amazing course with lots of cheering kids! What a finish! After 3h 25 Renata had more power in the end and just finshed some seconds ahead of me. Congrats to all XTERRA warriors!

Mieko Carey: Finished XTERRA Cebu happy to finish 3rd, but more happy is I survived with this heat. Congratulations to Renata and Dan for 1st and all of the XTERRA Warriors in Cebu. And. thank you to organization and volunteers. The local people on the course made me feel like a rock star!

Ben Allen: Happy days.. A gnarly crash & a couple of flats, but fought on for my family, friends and awesome sponsors and still managed to finish 3rd! Thanks @XTERRAPhils You guys ROCK! Sometimes you have good days and sometimes you don’t, that’s racing!

More details on how the day unfolded along with images will posted shortly to XTERRA’s Facebook Page;

COMPLETE RESULTS

Race Results – Pro Men

1 Dan Hugo (RSA) 2:48:48 19:56 / 1:43:26 / 45:26

2 Brad Weiss (RSA) 2:56:39 19:51 / 1:50:37 / 46:11

3 Joe Miller (PHI) 3:11:58 26:21 / 1:51:30 / 52:02

4 Ben Allen (AUS) 3:21:52 18:57 / 2:11:17 / 51:38

5 Charlie Epperson (USA) 3:30:07 24:03 / 2:09:19 / 56:45

Race Results – Pro Women

1 Renata Bucher (SUI) 3:24:59 / 23:48 / 2:03:31 / 57:40

2 Carina Wasle (AUT) 3:25:18 24:08 / 2:08:48 / 52:22

3 Mieko Carey (JPN) 3:27:34 23:24 / 2:10:29 / 53:41

4 Jacqui Slack (GBR) 3:29:19 22:08 / 2:08:03 / 59:08

5 Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) 3:42:16 24:59 / 2:24:02 / 53:15

6 Daz Parker (GBR) 3:46:45 25:27 / 2:21:18 / 1:00:00

XTERRA Philippines All-Time Pro Winners

2011 Sam Gardner / Shonny Vanlandingham

2012 Ben Allen / Renata Bucher

2013 Ben Allen / Lesley Paterson

2014 Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher