South African Dan Hugo, 25, and American Shonny Vanlandingham, 41, won the 2010 XTERRA Brazil Championship in Angra dos Reis (about 90 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro) this past weekend, with winning times of 2:21:12 and 2:43:40, respectively.
Hugo got out in front early, putting in the fastest swim and bike, and held off a hard charging Alexandre Manzan (the 2008 XTERRA Brazil Champ) on the run to win his second XTERRA Championship of the year – he won the South African title in February.
The bike is where Hugo put a gap on the field, posting a 1:15:02, more than seven minutes better than the next quickest split turned in by Manzan.
“The bike course in Angra is a power one, two parts very fast hard pack, two parts bumpy and muddy, and one part true jungle,” said Hugo (read his full report at dghugo.com).
The most interaction Hugo had on the bike course came not from another competitor, but race officials themselves…
“There was a lead motorbike, more apt to say a rusty scrambler, that took to honking most of the way, perhaps for the outside chance of a stray heifer crossing my path or perhaps just to announce my arrival to all living creation, I cannot be sure,” explained Hugo. “But the two of us were making good time and I got the better of him on more than one muddy section.”
Manzan, for his part, had the fastest run of the day -three minutes quicker than Hugo, and edged Felipe Moletta for the Brazilian National crown by more than 10 minutes.
In the women’s race Vanlandingham had the second-best swim split, just 51 seconds behind 2008 XTERRA Brazil Champ Carla Prada, then just crushed the bike with a 1:26:32 split that was 16-minutes faster than the next female (it was the third best split of the day behind only Hugo and Manzan). She followed that with the quickest run by far and finished nearly half-hour ahead of runner-up Sabrina Gobbo, the newly crowned Brazilian Champ.
It’s the fourth win for Vanlandingham this year, and her second international crown (she won XTERRA Mexico last season).
Nearly 3,000 athletes participated in the weekend’s events at XTERRA Brazil, which also included swim challenges, a 9km night run, kids races, and a big post-race celebration.
“I had an incredible time,” said Hugo. “Brazilian culture makes the event so much more than swim-bike-run. We were treated like royalty, and I felt they had produced the best event possible, and wanted to do my best performance for them in return.”
Top 5 Pro Men
1. Dan Hugo (RSA) 2:21:12
2. Alexandre Manzan (BRA) 2:26:39
3. Felipe Moletta (BRA) 2:37:10
4. Kenny Sousa (BRA) 2:37:37
5. Raul Furtado (BRA) 2:40:58
Top 5 Pro Women
1. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2:43:40
2. Sarbina Gobbo (BRA) 3:11:31
3. Luzia Bello (BRA) 3:13:45
4. Carla Prada (BRA) 3:16:04
5. Daniela Machado (BRA) 3:28:06