Three pros will be aiming for a better finish in the second stop of XTERRA Asia's Triple Crown when they debut in the 2013 XTERRA Saipan Championship this Saturday.
“I hope to do it right this time,” said South Africa's Dan Hugo, who grabbed the lead from Ben Allen in XTERRA Philippines in the run leg only to fade away in the last few meters due to fatigue and settled for another runner-up finish losing by just less than a minute against the latter.
XTERRA Philippines was Hugo's second straight runner-up honor this season after losing to compatriot Richard Murray in XTERRA South Africa about two weeks ago. With his back-to-back bridesmaid finish, Hugo admitted the pressure to win this time is growing and he is motivated to deliver in his XTERRA Saipan debut.
“The kick is there to win my first XTERRA Saipan. It will be hard as this is a tough course. I have to be very careful, pace myself well and hydrate to get things done,” said Hugo, whose chances of winning XTERRA Philippines was also affected by two flat tires and one crash.
Scotland's Rory Downie also had misfortunes in XTERRA Philippines and is hoping that breaks will go his way this weekend.
“Hopefully, there is no mishap this Saturday so I could make it to the Top 5,” Downie said, who finished seventh in XTERRA Philippines.
He was in fourth place heading to the bike-run transition, but the race marshal waved him to do another lap and he was almost biking for 5K when he realized he had been to the same place and was already done with the required two laps.
“Mistakes like that happens, especially if you're not familiar with the course. I already tried the bike and run legs of XTERRA Saipan, so I hope not to head to a wrong direction, again. There are lots of long climbs in the bike leg, so it is a challenge because I am used to short distance bike race,” Downie said.
Like Downie, Bradley Weiss also acknowledge the challenging XTERRA Saipan course and he hopes to past the tough test and improved from his fourth place finish in XTERRA Philippines.
“It's an extreme course, very technical. The run leg requires going through ravines. It is rocky, so you have to use the correct shoes. I am hoping to complete the race and get to a better position,” said Weiss, who joined Downie, Hugo, and Saipan triathletes in a short swim at the Tanks yesterday.
Female pros Carina Wasle and Daz Parker were also on the group and will be competing in XTERRA Saipan for the third time. Wasle did not finish in XTERRA Philippines when the rim of her bike broke and last year, she almost did not make it to the American Memorial Park due to a bad crash and she hopes her bad luck is over.
“I've waited for one year to come back to this beautiful island and do one of my favorite races, so I hope everything will work out well this time,” said Wasle.
Parker missed last year's Crown Jewel due to injury, but came back strong this season, placing third in XTERRA Philippines.
“It is nice to have a better finish every time I come here. I would love to place in the Top 3 again, but if not it is still okay. The important thing is to finish and enjoy this lovely race,” Parker said.