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Brits all over XTERRA Philippines
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 5th March 2013


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The annual XTERRA 'Triple Crown' is always popular with British off-road athletes, and this past weekened ITU and XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson took the win at an epic XTERRA Philippines ("THE most epic XTERRA race ever"), with Sam Gardner, Daz Parker and Jacqui Slack towards the front of the field too.


XTERRA Warrior award winner Ben Allen from Australia and two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the third edition of the XTERRA Philippines Championship at the seafront of Barangay Jubay in Liloan (Cebu Province) on Saturday. For Allen the victory marks a successful title defense and fourth straight win in the Western Pacific having swept last year's Triple Crown of championship events in the Philippines, Saipan, and Guam. "Very proud and honored to defend my title here in the Philippines, loved every minute of it," said Allen.

He needed every minute of it, too, as South Africa's Dan Hugo finished just 51 seconds back thanks to the fastest run split of the day. "Thrilling event, in many ways,” posted Hugo to his Twitter account Saturday. "Two flat tyres, a crash and a meltdown. Ran into lead, but lost to a class effort by Benny Allen."

It's Hugo's second straight second-place, having finished in same position at the XTERRA World Tour opener in South Africa last week.

2010 XTERRA Philippines Champion Sam Gardner posted the fastest bike split of the day to take third-place, with young-gun Bradley Weiss in fourth, and triathlon legend Olivier Marceau in fifth. Marceau, a three-time Olympian who finished second here in the Philippines last year, didn't arrive into Cebu until late Friday night due to travel delays.

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Sam Gardner sent in his own report after the race - and we thought he said he was retiring...

A scorchingly hot day with a great pro field led to a super eventful race. After a reasonable swim, exiting the water in about sixth place, I had a great bike split (the fastest of the day), thank to my Enve wheels and Cannondale bike. It was not without incident at the front though, with last year's winner Ben Allen going the wrong way and losing the lead, Dan Hugo suffering a puncture while leading and myself colliding with a spectator trying to cross the course in front of me. The lead changed several times and the three of us entered T2 with only a minute between us, and with me in second place.

Onto the run and I struggled with not eating enough Maxifuel gels on the bike and also my recent lack of running due to an injury, and I was caught by a flying Dan Hugo, who went on to catch Ben, and then subsequently paid for his efforts and was re-caught by Ben. I suffered badly with the heat towards the end of the run and was very happy to see the finish line and to stay on the podium.

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In the women's race it was all Lesley Paterson, the recently crowned 2013 Off-Road Athlete of the Year, who posted the fastest bike and run times by far and finished 15 minutes ahead of 2012 Philippines Champion Renata Bucher, and third overall behind only Allen and Hugo.

"Just finished THE most epic XTERRA race ever," posted Paterson to her Twitter account right after the race. "My new On running shoes, SCOTT Sports bike, Enve Composites wheels, 2XU North America race suit, PowerBar gels took me to the win. XTERRA Philippines is seriously hard core, like nothing I've ever experienced. I almost ran over a chicken, a goat, a cow and plenty more."

Bucher, who said she was happy with second, added that it was "one of the hardest races ever, the heat was brutal!" Jacqui Slack, who posted the fastest swim split but dealt with a series of mechanicals on the bike, toughed-out to take fourth with fellow Brit Darelle 'Daz' Parker placing third here for the second straight year.

"What a race, what a place. Lovely crowd support, amazing heat and a super tough race. Award ceremony was amazing too," said Parker, one of three female pros – along with Bucher and Carina Wasle – to have competed in all three Philippines races. Wasle suffered bike mechanicals for the second straight year here in the Philippines, and while last year she was ultimately able to finish, this year she was not.

Next weekend the core of this elite group – minus only Paterson – will head to the Northern Marianas for next Saturday's XTERRA Saipan Championship race.

Pos Male Female
1 Ben Allen (AUS) 2:37:40 Lesley Paterson (GBR) 2:45:41
2 Dan Hugo (RSA) 2:38:31 Renata Bucher (SUI) 3:00:03
3 Sam Gardner (GBR) 2:48:19 Darelle Parker (GBR) 3:17:03
4 Bradley Weiss (RSA) 2:48:46 Jacqui Slack (GBR) 3:55:21
5 Olivier Marceau (SUI) 2:56:54

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