THE crack pro XTERRA cast, including 11 in the men’s side, braces for a rough, tough challenge when the country’s premier Off-Road Triathlon unreels Sunday at its new home in Danao, Cebu.
The field, led by defending champion Bradley Weiss of South Africa and Aussie ace Ben Allen, will not only be tackling the course’s demanding layout but also the extreme summer heat in what could be a survival of the fittest for the top $15,000 purse and ranking points.
The finishing 10km run stage, for one, will feature a series of climbs and single track and narrow trails and a course with lots of loose rocks tipped to make or break one’s title bid in the event organized by Sunrise Events, Inc.
Meanwhile, the 1.5km swim stage will start and end at the Coco Palms beach resort while the two-loop 40km bike course will pass through the village and barangay roads before the field goes through punishing climbs as they go deeper in the course before tackling the fire roads and rocky terrains.
That ensures a spirited battle for top honors in the event, sponsored by Alcoplus, Sanicare, The Philippine Star, 2GO Express, Cetaphil, Prudential Guarantee, Columbia, Garmin, Tri Life, Cignal Hyper TV, Rocktape, Gatorade, MNTC, Coca Cola Femsa, Powerade, Wilkins and Storck with Japanese Takahiro Ogasawara, Taylor Charlton, Kieran McPherson, Jacky Boisset, Brodie Gardner, Olly Shaw, Alex Roberts, Dan Brown, Will Kelsay and local bet Joseph Miller joining the title hunt in the premier men’s pro division.
Jacqui Slack of Great Britain, on the other hand, heads the chase for the top $15,000 purse in the women’s side which also includes Aussie Carina Wasle, Myriam Guillot-Boisset, Penny Slater of Australia and American Jessica Koltz.
Meanwhile, host Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI has vowed a successful staging of the event, the first of three after the city and SEI signed a memorandum of agreement making Danao the event’s host till 2019.
Also up for grabs is P120,000 in the Asian Elite and the duathlon individual title with the 3km run-20km bike-5km run event drawing a huge field.
For details, visit www.xterraphil.com or through social media accounts (fb) xterraNorthPH; (IG) xterranorthph xterrasouthph and hashtag: #xterralaunion and #xterradanao and #xterrasouthph.