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Passuello, Pooley Claim Tough Wins at Challenge Philippines

Challenge Philippines-PassuelloItalian Domenico Passuello and Great Britains Emma Pooley took on the challenging hills of Bataan and endured the scorching heat to win the second edition of the Yellow Cab Challenge Philippines Subic-Bataan on Sunday, February 21st.

Passuallo, a former professional cyclist turned world class triathlete bagged his first Yellow Cab Challenge Philippines title in the professional field after clocking 4:04:22, while his female counterpart, Pooley, also a former professional cyclist and Olympic Silver Medalist dominated the women's field with a recorded time of 4:41:51.

"The race was really tough and the course was really, really challenging and hot, windy too, but there are a lot of trees and a lot of aid station where you can always refresh," said Passuello, a first-time racer in the Philippines.

Finishing just a few minutes behind the new titleholder was Danish National, Rasmus Petraeus who clocked 4:09:04. The fomer Challenge Phuket Champion was first out of the water in 23:42 leading the race early in the competition but was caught by Passuello halfway through the Felt Bike course.

"Rasmus was too strong on the swim and first part of the bike today, so I was pretty scared about thought I beat him on the run. I didn't know about my time gap when I change in transition (from biking to running) so I pushed hard and a lot in the first 10km run," said Passuello who has plans to compete again in the next Challenge race in the country, Challenge Camsur n June 14, 2015.

Despite being completely satisfied with her swim performance, Pooley said she really enjoyed the beautiful swim, which included coral reefs and the two historic shipwrecks that Camayan Beach Resort Swim in Subic Bay offers. She made up the lost time on the bike secton of the race and regained control to take first. The bike section is considered as her strongest suit in this race. Pooley's bike split was 2:40:38.

"It was tough and but honest course and beautiful. I came back to try and win and I really had a good day!" said Pooley who made a comeback after a third place finish last year 2014 Challenge Philippines. The new titleholder even owed her win to the volunteers who cheered for her during the race, making a tough race more bearable.

At third place in men's pro category was Australian Mitch Robbins who clocked a time of 4:13:11, while Sweden's Fredrik Croenberg finished with a record of 4:14:11 and last year's second place Australian Michael Murphy finished fifth with a recorded time of 4:33:13.

Rounding up the Top 10 are American Brian Fleischmann (4:38:58), German Till Schramm (4:41:42), Spanish Eneko Elosegui (4:43:28), Australian Eric Watson (4:51:56), and Hong Kong national Ivan Lo (4:55:46).

2015 Challenge Philippines Results:
February 21, 2015 - Bataan, Philippines

Pro Men Results Time
Pro Women Results Time
Domenico Passuello (ITA) 4:04:22
Emma Pooley (GBR) 4:41:51
Rasmus Petraeus (DEN) 4:09:04
Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:52:14
Mitch Robbins (AUS) 4:13:11
Parys Edwards (GBR) 4:53:19
Fredrik Croneberg (SWE) 4:14:11
Monica Torres (PHI) 5:15:18
Michael Murphy (AUS) 4:33:13
Carole Fuchs (THA) 5:20:49

Challenge Philippines--PooleyAmerican and World Champion, Kelly Williamson, first out of the water in 26:57 took the second place to Pooley field with a time of 4:52:14. Rounding out the podium was Great Britain's Parys Edwards (4:53:19), Thai Carole Fuchs (5:20:49), German Katja Rabe (5:24:40), and Swedish Louise Rundqvist (5:26:18).

The athletes braved a 1.9km swim, 90km bike, and 21km run race course that is reconized around the world as perhaps the Toughest Race in the world over the Half Iron distance. Competitor swam in the pristine waters of the Subic Bay, traversed the epic hills of Bataan on the bike course and ran through the scenic, and peaceful canopy forest.

A Pro Prize Purse of over 25,000 Euros brought the biggest and fastest pro field to the Yellow Cab Challenge Philippines. Male and Female Champions receive EUR 5,000 each or around Php 250,000.

This year's race showcased around 700 athletes from over 30 different countries, who include notable triathlon personalities locally and internationally. The race will be broadcast domesticaly and internationaly with last year's broadcast airing in almost 82 global markets. The show will feature Philippines as an active lifestyle destination with world class beauty.