Ben Allen and company are positive about their chances in XTERRA Guam after surviving the tough race on Saipan and getting lots of rest on the island before this Saturday’s competition.
“It (rest) will definitely help. Recovery time is crucial although I trained by body to get used to doing one race after another,” said the Australian pro, who stayed on Saipan for more than a week before flying to Guam early yesterday morning.
“I like my chances (of winning) in Guam because I am in good form right now after doing XTERRA Saipan. It’s just a matter of executing the race plan in Guam, staying focus, and committing lesser mistakes while I go along the hilly course,” said Allen in an interview with Saipan Tribune at the awards banquet for XTERRA Saipan.
The up-and-downhill course in Guam favors United Kingdom’s Jacqui Slack, who will be gunning for back-to-back wins in the XTERRA Asian Tour after ruling XTERRA Saipan with Allen.
“The hilly course suits me well, it plays to my strength so I really like my chances in Guam. Plus, after racing on Saipan, I pretty much managed to gauge my opponents and have an idea how to push myself for XTERRA Guam,” said Slack.
Slack and Allen will be joined in Guam by Austria’s Carina Wasle and Markus Benesch, Switzerland’s Renata Bucher, United Kingdom’s Daz Parker, Australia’s Belinda Hadden, France’s Olivier Marceau, the Philippines’ Joe Miller, South Africa’s Bradley Weiss, and Japan’s Takahiro Ogasawara. Mieko Carey and Charlie Epperson are also on the pro list and are the host’s favorites.
“We still have the energy for the Guam race. It will be quite hard, but we will be fine,” said Parker, who is competing in her fourth race in about a month after doing Tagaman Triathlon, XTERRA Saipan, and XTERRA Philippines.
“We’re just warming up. We’re pacing ourselves nicely,” Hadden said.
Wasle and Bucher, who came in second and third place behind Slack in XTERRA Saipan, said they are happy to head to Guam without getting injured in the rain-soaked race last month.
“I am very lucky to finish XTERRA Saipan in one piece and still have the energy and strength to race in Guam,” Bucher said.
“I am feeling good heading to Guam because I survived XTERRA Saipan without any crash and I have enough time to rest,” Wasle said.
Wasle and the rest of the pros need the win and the points at stake in XTERRA Guam to boost their respective bids in the XTERRA Asian Tour. The pros with the most points after the five races featured in the XTERRA Asian Tour will be crowned champions and get bonus cash prizes. The champions (men’s and women’s division) will get $2,000 each, while the No. 2 to 5 finishers will receive $1,500, $800, $400, and $300. After XTERRA Guam, the pros still have two more events—XTERRA Asia Pacific in Australia and XTERRA Malaysia.
Weiss is slightly ahead of Allen in the XTERRA Asian Tour race with the former getting 100 and 90 points in XTERRA Philippines and XTERRA Saipan. Allen has earned 182 points for placing third in XTERRA Philippines and winning XTERRA Saipan, while Slack (190), Carey (157), Bucher (144), and Parker (132) are in the Top 4 in the women’s division.