A new venue will host the 2012 edition of the Cobra Energy Drink Philippines 70.3 and what a venue it is! Trizone will be providing the odd report from beachside at the Shangri la Mactan Resort in Cebu, host hotel of this year’s event. In typical Asian race conditions athletes will be greeted with hot and humid conditions though with the move to a coastal location, the cooling onshore breezes will be welcomed. With temps in the mid 30’s and blue skies the heat is going to be a factor but in the two days so far here in Cebu we have seen strong winds of around 20 knots, that will most definitely impact the race should they continue.
For the pro’s the men’s field has seen some late stage pull outs due to injury with Lieto, Bozzone and Dellow pulling the pin. The remaining key contenders though are two big names of the sport with an Aussie Kiwi battle via Pete Jacobs and Cam Brown. Both are using the race as “a perfect preparation” as they build to their assault on Kona in October. Jacobs is the two time defending champion and will look to make it 3 in a row though the evergreen Brown is showing plenty of speed this season and will no doubt push the pace on the bike to test out the race favourite. Gaining plenty of attention will be Formula 1 star, Jenson Button. The former F1 World Champ is in Cebu to take on the race and we can tell you that he is looking very lean and focused.
For the women we have a full contingent of top athletes with defending Champion Belinda Granger recognising she will be up against it this year as she faces a recently crowned ITU long course world champion in Caroline Steffen. The Suisse star has been flying this year and all eyes are on her to take the title off Granger. In the mix no doubt will be Amanda Stevens and Australian Michelle Wu. Wu is coming off a training block in Darwin so the heat and wind will not have any impact on her. Trizone spoke to Wu as she arrived in Cebu via Singapore where she told she was feeling in good shape and will be targeting a podium position this weekend.