Bradley Weiss of South Africa and Carina Wasle from Austria captured the 5th annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship elite titles on a beautiful day in Danao, Philippines on April 22, 2018.
The win is the second of the year for boh Weiss and Wasle, who captured the XTERRA South Africa crowns to open the season, and it’s the third victory in a row for Weiss since Maui last October. Moreover, it’s Weiss’ fourth straight win in the Philippines and he now holds the XTERRA European, Asia-Pacific, and World Championship titles.
“I’m not gonna complain about it,” laughed Weiss. “It was a very good day, and I love racing against Sam Osborne. This was our first race against each other in 2018, and it was a good battle. I wasn’t sure where his form was at. I knew he had done some solid work, though, and I was a bit worried I had not done enough.”
As the race unfolded it became clear both Weiss and Osborne were in world-class form.
The morning started with Ben Allen posting the best swim split (18:39), with Osborne right on his heels, Weiss about 20-seconds back, then Kieran McPherson one-minute later followed by Brodie Gardner.
“I swam well, but I lost all the time I gained in the water with a bad transition,” said Weiss. “I put my shoes on before I took my speedsuit off, so I had to take my shoes back off again, take the suit off, and do it all over again. It felt like I was in there forever.”
Onto the bike, which starts with a really steep climb straight out of transition, Weiss was able to reel in Allen about 5K into the first lap, but Osborne was holding the gap at roughly 40-seconds longer than the World Champ had wanted.
“I was concerned if I could ever bridge the gap, Sam was certainly calling the shots through that first lap,” he said. “I didn’t close until he punctured on the jagged volcanic rock. He fixed it fast though, and we were on to the second lap together.”
“Luck wasn’t entirely on my side today but it sure was another good dog fight out there,” replied Osborne. “I had a solid swim, but Ben and I were playing a bit too much tactically in the swim to make it really fast. I got away straight away on the bike and had some good legs but coming into the last descent of the lap I hit a rock or something in a grassy section and punctured. I got it fixed reasonably quickly but obviously lost all of my advantage over Brad and had to ride back on. We went at each other for the 2nd lap of the bike, had a small lie down towards the end of it but with a good transition got back across.”
The two hit the run course, and another steep hill, stride for stride.
“We ran together until about the halfway point, but I went through a really bad patch with the heat and that’s when Brad got away,” said Osborne. “That was essentially the gap we stayed at for the rest of the run.”
Weiss said the climbing on the run is so steep “you’re basically walking with hands on your knees. I could hear Sam was working behind me, and midway through he slowly faded. From there I pushed to get ‘out of sight, out of mind.”
Weiss crossed the line in 2:16:28, less than a minute ahead of Osborne.
“Thrilled to be back racing XTERRA after three half-ironman road races,” said Weiss. “I think the changes in training for those helped me in a lot of ways, making me a better all-around athlete, but I was not ready for the intensity of the punchy climbs on the bike today, and that’s always been my strength.”
Kieran McPherson posted the fastest run split of the day to finish in third, followed by Allen in fourth and Fabien Combaluzier from France in fifth.