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Hugo braves weather for victory

Despite extremely wet conditions a record field of close to 1 000 competitors swarmed to the magnificent Buffelspoort Dam in North West Province to test their skills at the second leg of the 2009/2010 Duesouth Xterra presented by Rehidrat.

Dan Hugo was once again in top form to secure the individual men’s title, while Susan Sloan was victorious in the individual women’s category.

According to Hugo, the course was extremely muddy due to the rain, but lots of fun. ÔÇ£Today’s race was awesome and it was amazing to see how the Xterra has grown. Kent Horner and Charl Keet swam really well and exited the water about 25sec ahead of me.┬á Although the mountain bike route was very slippery, I managed to catch them quite quickly. The course was a little shorter as it had to be adapted at the last minute due to the weather. It was, however, still very challenging with lots of rocky, loose sections. I really enjoyed the run especially the section where we had to cross a stream.

“Today was a great indicator of where I am in terms of racing condition and fitness.┬á There are still one or two points that I need to work on before the Duesouth South African finals in Grabouw. I am really excited about the South African finals, ultimately this is the one event where I’d like to produce the goods,ÔÇØ says Hugo, who completed the race in an impressive time of 2hr 16min 55sec.

Kent Horner came in second, while Rob Woestenborghs of Belgium finished third.

Susan Sloan took top honours in the individual women’s category of the Xterra when she crossed the finish line in 3hr 02min 44sec. Sylvia van Tromp came in second, while Riana de Lange finished third.

Competitors had to complete a 1.5km swim, 26.5km mountain bike and 12.5km trail run, while Xterra Lite entrants needed to complete a 400m swim, 15.8km mountain bike and 6.3km trail run.  Participants could enter individually or in teams of three.

The third and final leg of the series takes place on Saturday, 20 February at Grabouw Country Club in the Western Cape.

The local series forms part of the Xterra global tour and athletes will have the opportunity to qualify for the world championship final that will take place in Hawaii later this year. The global series spans more than 90 qualifying events in 13 countries and takes competitors to some of the most spectacular and challenging courses around the globe.