Triathlon – After seven consecutive victories in the Totalsports Challenge Dan Hugo is without a doubt South Africa’s multisport-king. The 25-year-old from Stellenbosch finished the 12km surfski, 1.5km swim, 50km road bike (from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond), 13km road run, 13km K1 canoe, 25km mountain bike and finally a 9km beach run in 7 hours and 15 seconds.
Hugo has won five times in Kleinmond and twice at Sun City for his total of seven victories. He has never lost an event like this in South Africa. “I’m untouched here, but I do realise that I am a big fish in a small pond,” said the ever realistic Hugo.
“In New Zealand for example multisport is so much bigger than here.” It was a hard day in the office for Hugo but he described it as seven hours of pleasure and not pain. “The plan was to go as hard as possible in the road bike and road run, because I have a half ironman in East London on 23 January. In the other disciplines I wanted to hold back a bit, but I soon realised I was kidding myself. The pace was hard from the start.”
Hugo’s best friend and Specialized mechanic Dylan Van Der Merwe was second. Hugo was full of praise for Van der Merwe. “Dylan was second today and I am so proud of him. Yesterday he not only had to get his own bikes ready, but mine as well.
“I do realise that my victories here goes beyond my own abilities. I have great back up and having the family involved is real special.” Hugo said that the surfski and K1 canoe were the two hardest disciplines on the day. “It just felt so long. And especially with the K1 it was like I had no strength left in my arms.”
Hugo was very impressed with his two Specialized bikes on the day. “It was the first time I raced with the Specialized Shiv. It’s a aggressive rig. I enjoyed racing it immensely. It was really fun and I’m very excited looking forward to the half ironman where I will use it again.” On the mountain bike leg he used the Epic 26’er.