MAY 7, 2016
Langkawi, Malaysia – Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack captured the Asia-Pacific Tour finale at XTERRA Malaysia on a day that lived up to the event’s pre-race billing as The Hottest Weekend on the XTERRA World Tour.
Temperatures quickly peaked to around 90F (32C) as the morning sun rose over the Gunung Macincang mountains. With humidity near 83% Mother Nature was, without a doubt, the toughest competitor facing every racer today.
Allen looking to reclaim the XTERRA Malaysia title he first won in 2014 faced a deep pro field which included reigning XTERRA Asian Tour Champ Bradley Weiss of South Africa as well as top tour contenders Takahiro Ogasawara of Japan, Brodie Gardner from Australia, Kaon Cho from Korea and Olly Shaw from New Zealand.
After putting a two-minute gap between him and the rest of the field during the swim Allen left little doubt, barring a mechanical or a crash, who’s day it was meant to be. Setting a blistering pace on the bike and run Allen raced alone to finish with a time of 2:55:42 nearly 10 minutes ahead of Weiss and 15 minutes ahead of third place finisher Fabrizio Bartoli of Italy.
“As always, I was just trying to play to my strengths. Coming from a swimming background I was just trying to nail the swim. I knew if I was able to do that and get a good lead I could then find that flow out on the trail.” said Allen. “I just felt like I was in the zone the whole time. I had a couple of crashes but I just tried to dust myself off and keep riding hard, pushing the pace.”
“The course out there is so gnarly. I’m just really happy to be on the top step and to win here today is a really awesome effort.” he added.
JACQUI THE JET
Not to be out-done by his fiancé Jacqui Slack exited the swim up two minutes on 2016 APAC Tour starlet Lizzie Orchard with Austrian Carina Wasle and last year’s winner Myriam Guillot-Boisset of France close behind.
Slack’s skills on a mountain bike held true today as she bombed the steep, technical downhill sections while putting the hammer down in the flats to build enough of a gap off the bike that she could hold on and keep pace on the run.
“I had no idea how much of a lead I actually had. When you’re in the lead you have to keep pushing as hard as you can.” she said. “The last few races the girls have passed me on the run so it was just a matter of fighting to the finish.”
ALLEN ALSO TAKES HOME THE ASIA PACIFIC TOUR TITLE
XTERRA Malaysia was the final stop on the 2015-16 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour.
The top 15 professional racers at each event earn series points, with double points being offered at the finale in Malaysia.
Racers count their best three scores to determine champions in each division. Allen secured the Tour title by a strong showing at Xterra Malaysia and walks away with an extra $2000.