Published in Sun Star Newspaper on March 19, 2012 Monday issue
by Iste Leopoldo, Staff Writer
Mike Limpag, Sports Editor
XTERRA Guam champion Ben Allen and 2011 world championships fourth-placer Renata Bucher bagged the men’s and women’s pro division titles in the Vaseline Xterra Off-road Triathlon Series yesterday in Liloan, Cebu.
Defending champion Neil Catiil also topped the men’s Filipino elite division, while rising star Rochelle Tan topped the women’s division.
“I consider the terrain as one of the toughest parts of the whole course because you need to be 110 percent focused or else you will end up crashing. I had a great ride and the rocky graveyard portion, which was downhill, was my favorite. It suits my style of riding, I was just riding with the wind today,” Allen said.
It wasn’t an easy ride for Allen as he encountered a flat tire, allowing Olivier Marceau to catch up with him, but Allen didn’t give up and took the lead again.
“I am definitely coming back next year to defend my title,” he said. “Next week I will be competing in Xterra Saipan and I hope that I can still have a good performance there.”
Allen clocked 2:30.05 to secure the title over Marceau (2:32.22), while Cedric Lassonde got third in 2:32.38.
Others top finishers in the pro division were Graham Wadsworth (2:42:08), Branden Rakita (2:43:43), Thomas J. Vonach (2:44:45), Will Kelsay (2:45:10), Takakiro Ogasawara (2:51:46) and Matthew O’Holloran (2:53:05).
On the other hand, Bucher crossed the finish line in 2:53:33, almost three minutes ahead of Jacqui Slack (2:56:39), while Darelle Parker was a distant third in 3:29.44.
In the Filipino Elite, Catiil kept his title in 2:54:47, beating Elmo Clarabal (3:02:08) and Arland Macasieb (3:07:11).
“Last year, I had a flat tire and had a problem with my bike, which was one of the big factors why I settled for fifth. I am happy that I was able to improve my finish this year,” said Clarabal.
Tan secured the female elite division title this year in 4:19:10, more than an hour ahead of Loveneil Casidsid (5:24:02).
“It was so amazing. I feel so happy. I encountered several bike crashes, four times I believe, at the graveyard,” said the 19-year-old Tan, who started triathlon just two years ago.
Other winners yesterday were John Ronnel Uy (15-19), Benjamin Ramirez (20-24), Daniel Neilson (25-29), Felipe III Sajulga (30-34), Charles Fortier (35-39), Richard Santiago (40-44), Jerome George (45-49),Jose Ricardo Dizon (55-59),Oscar Escuder (60-64).
In the female division, the age group winners were Jemely Dinopol (20-24), Pen Nepomuceno (25-19), Camilla Brooks (30-34), Silvia Tiezzi (35-39), Lynda Scott (45-49) and Yoshimi Yasue (40-44).
Sen. Pia Cayetano also finished second in her division, In the Lite triathlon, which had a shorter distance, the winners were West Christian Yap (20-24), Luis Miguel Maximo (15-19), James Rey Calayca (30-34), Rayman Delos Angeles (35-39), Joseph Cuison (45-49).
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 19, 2012.