Xterra results: Dan Hugo claims third consecutive victory in a packed weekend of off-road races

Xterra World Tour Championship SeriesSouth Africa’s Dan Hugo led from wire-to-wire, posting the fastest swim (19:39), bike (1:24:41) and run (44:20) times of the day to capture the 10th annual XTERRA Guam Championship in 2:28:40 on Saturday. In the women’s race, “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher edged island favourite Mieko Carey with a winning time of 3:03:52.

The victory is Hugo’s third straight on the XTERRA World Tour. Hugo and his travel/training buddy Bradley Weiss, also of South Africa, pulled away from the entire field during the scenic, warm-water swim then tackled the hill climb right out of transition to bridge a gap that would never be contested.

“Did the first climb with Brad, setting up a good day for us both, and got time immediately onto the dirt which starts with a fun style of pump track riding,” said Hugo, who added that conditions were ideal with “Sublime weather. Not much cloud, not much oppressive heat. I ran conservatively, especially down the waterfall sections. Unfortunately no camera gets down to the true magic of the run, where the creek meanders through thickets of old bamboo forest,” said Hugo. “The water pools were cool and joyous relief when going in neck deep. It’s a bucket list race destination for certain.” You can read his full race recap here.

Bucher is the women’s Guam champ for the third time in five years, but Austria’s Carina Wasle posted the fastest bike split of the day and had the lead into the run before she missed an arrow and went off course, as did local favourite Carey, who was second out of transition.

“Carina was very strong today and when she passed me on the bike I could not keep up,” explained Bucher. “Mieko rode well too, she was so motivated for her home race. So I came into transition in third. I didn’t run that fast and when I came to the finish line, I really thought I was second because the only person I passed on the run was Mieko, who got off-course but Chuck Fortier and I saw it and cried loud to let her know to come back. After I passed the finish line, they put the XTERRA Guam band in my hand and told me I won. I was so surprised and asked where Carina is, but nobody had seen her yet. Winning a race like that, it feels different, not like winning, more like a present from the island of Guam and the people here. I love this place.”

There is no telling what would have happened had Wasle and Carey not gone off-course, as Bucher has a long-history of pulling off stunning runs to win races, especially on the Asia-Pacific Tour, and was certainly within striking distance just two minutes back of Wasle out of transition.

“A bit disappointed as I had a good lead in the run and then missed an arrow,” posted Wasle to her Facebook page. “Went much too far and got lost in the river. Not a big win for me today, but I’ll be back next week at XTERRA Saipan.”

Pro Women

1 Renata Bucher (SUI) 3:03:52
2 Mieko Carey (JPN) 3:04:33
3 Carina Wasle (AUT) 3:15:11

Pro Men

1 Dan Hugo (RSA) 2:28:40
2 Brad Weiss (RSA) 2:35:43
3 Olly Shaw (NZL) 2:39:12

Next page: Xterra Costa Rica and Xterra Great Ocean Road 

Jacqui Slack Xterra England 2013

Jacqui Slack took the win at the first Xterra England event

Leonardo Chacon and former XTERRA World Champion Shonny Vanlandinghan won XTERRA Costa Rica on an incredibly hot day in Playa Conchal. XTERRA managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas brings us this report:

“The first lap out of the water, local and international pro Chacon led followed closely by American Craig Evans and Mexican 20-year-old neo-pro Mauricio MendezCruz. Evans went into the lead on the second lap and headed the field onto the bike with Chacon second. From back in eighth place, Josiah quickly dispatched everyone ahead of him but Chacon, who had caught Evans and had the lead. “I knew Josiah was there and he was pushing me,” said Chacon, “I had to push so hard.” Hard? When I talked to Chacon he was in the med tent on his second IV. He left nothing out on the field.

Chacon was on a mission and put time on Josiah in the first 2km of the run winning by just under three minutes. Mendez was a fantastic third overall with the fastest run of the day.

For the women, Canadian Chris Jeffrey had a massive lead out of the water. The beach is pure white, the water azure blue but there was a massive influx of jellyfish. “It was like swimming into a wall at times” said Brandon Rakita. “There were times you could not see if front of you because they were so thick”.

Vanlandingham did not catch Jeffrey until well into the bike. “She is a strong biker on those flats and I had to wait until the technical parts to make any kind of gain on her,” she said. Indeed Jeffrey had a great bike to finish an uncontested second.

Pro Men 

1 Leonardo Chacon (CRC) 2:17:43
2 Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2:20:40
3 Mauricio Mendez (MEX) 2:21:46 

Pro Women

1 Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2:51:08
2 Christine Jeffrey (USA) 2:58:23
3 Flo Dannah (GBR) 3:14:35

Ben Allen (AUS) and Jacqui Slack (GBR) won the second XTERRA Great Ocean Road on a bright blue-sky Sunday. Allen didn’t post the fastest swim, bike, or run time but still crossed the tape nearly three minutes ahead of Spain’s Roger Serrano. Drew Box was first out the water and also posted the fastest run split while Serrano had the best bike split.

“My new Liv Giant Obsess bike handled smooth on all the tight & twisty sections, but I must’ve been having too much fun and took a spill,” said Allen. “Nothing I couldn’t handle though, it’s part of racing and I just dusted myself off and fought on.”

Allen and Serrano came into T2 together, then Allen pulled away and put the hammer down on the 10K trail run that featured a mixture of soft sand, cliff face and headland. “I had fun out there today,” said Allen. “I raced smart and in control. I had a plan and I executed it to perfection. I’m honored to win on home soil in front of my family and friends.” It’s Allen’s first major win of the season, coming off 2013 when he posted seven XTERRA World Tour race victories.

In the women’s race Annabel Luxford started strong in her XTERRA debut leading Slack out of the water. Age grouper Natalie Marshall – a champion Surf Swimmer – exited first ahead of both of them.

Slack showcased her mountain bike skills right away by riding through the soft sand and into the trails, a spot where Luxford had to walk her bike, and there was no looking back after that. Slack posted the quickest bike and run splits on the day to cross the line in 2:16:19, more than 11 minutes ahead of runner-up Deanna Blegg.

“I had a solid ride but had no idea how far ahead I was,” said Slack. “I took off on the run hard for the first 5km and once I knew I had a big lead I was able to enjoy the second half and embrace the support from the crowds, family & friends. It’s always a huge highlight sharing the top spot of the podium with Ben. We are both very grateful for the opportunity to race and all those who support us on this journey.” 

Pro Men

1 Ben Allen (AUS) 1:57:14
2 Roger Serrano (ESP) 2:00:07
3 Drew Box (AUS) 2:02:40

Pro Women

1 Jacqui Slack (GBR) 2:16:19
2 Deanna Blegg (AUS) 2:27:49
3 Penny Hosken (AUS) 2:28:41