ASIA-Pacific champions Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack-Allen head the cast in the as they look to pull off a husband-and-wife sweep when the Xterra Philippines fires off on Sunday in Danao, Cebu.
Winners two years ago in the Asia Pacific championship in Malaysia, all eyes will be on the Allens as they try to stop Bradley Weiss and Carina Wasle’s bid for back-to-back titles in the off-road triathlon in the Philippines.
Ben and Jacqui missed the Danao event last year after placing third and second, respectively, in Albay in 2016 but are back among the favorites.
Weiss and Wasle won over an international field last year but both expect a tougher challenge this time with Allen aiming to add the title to his past Xterra victories in Malaysia, Asia Pacific Tour, Saipan and Guam.
Two other couples are also in the fold – Jackie Boisset and Myriam Guillot-Boisset of France and Brodie Gardner and partner Kate Schultz of Australia — looking to grab the spotlight in the grueling 1.5K swim-28K mountain bike-8K trail run event serving as the second of three Xterra races slated at the Coco Palms Beach Resort and Cebu Technological U in Danao.
Also tipped to contend for the crown are New Zealand’s Sam Osborne and Japanese Takahiro Ogasawara, winners in Saipan in 2017 and 2016, respectively. New Zeaand’s Kiera McPherson, Brodie Gardner of Australia, Frenchman Fabien Combaluzier, Alex Roberts of New Zeland, American Will Ross and local ace Joseph Miller are also seeing action.
Jackie Allen and Wasle also face a tough field in the women’s race, with Leela Hancox of Australia, Myriam Guillot-Boisset of France, Laura Dias of Brazil, Kristy Jennings of New Zealand, and Australians Kate Schultz and Penny Slater entered.
Also on tap are the Lite (individual and relay), a 750m swim-14km mountain bike-4km trail run, and the duathlon (individual), a 2km trail run-14km mountain bike-4km trail run in the event presented by the Province of Cebu and the City of Danao, Xterra Phl is backed by venue hosts Coco Palms Beach Resort and Cebu Technological U, and 2Go Express, David’s Salon, Intercare, Motor Ace, Hyper on Cignal, The Philippine Star, AlcoPlus, DeVant, Sanicare and Storck.