By ITU Admin on 16/04/06 at 12:00 am
Courtney Atkinson from Australia has successfully defended his crown, winning the 2006 ITU Ishigaki World Cup triathlon in a sprint finish with American Hunter Kemper. For the third time, Atkinson has taken gold at the Ishigaki World Cup. Kemper and Atkinson raced together at the front for the majority of the race until the final few steps. Andy Potts (USA) finished third with a surprising and gutsy run.
I came to Ishigaki to defend my title and I did just that, said Atkinson. I felt good the whole day and it was my kind of race. I love being at the front.
Potts, Kemper and Atkinson came out of the water together with a large group of athletes including Bevan Docherty (NZL), who was fresh off a win at the ITU Mooloolaba World Cup, Kris Gemmell (NZL), Matt Reed (USA), Stuart Hayes (GBR) and Kuniaki Takahama (JPN).
Potts, Gemmell and Takahama made a break during the first lap of the bike and gained an immediate 20 seconds on the rest of the field. The main pack seemed unfazed though and did not allow the lead to increase beyond the 20 seconds, reeling the breakaway back during lap three of six.
Next it was Yuichi Hosados (JPN) turn to take front stage on the live Japanese television show, making a solo breakaway for the next two laps. He was eventually caught on the final lap of the bike.
Atkinson, Kemper and Gemmell went out fast onto the run course with Docherty and Reed.
Throughout the run Kemper tried many times to give the lead to someone else, zig-zagging across the course, but no one would have it, preferring to let Kemper set the pace. This clearly frustrated the American who eventually surged in the final stages of the race and only Atkinson was able to go with him.
This set the stage for a second final sprint on the day with Atkinson surging past Kemper in the final steps to win the 2006 ITU Ishigaki World Cup and successfully defend his title.
Im gutted at losing this race, said a drained Kemper. You would think I would be happy with two silvers in two races. Now I know Im not satisfied unless Im on top.
Potts began the run back from the main group but ran steady to eventually pick off Docherty, Reed and Gemmell. This is the second podium for Potts but wont be the last as he continues to improve.
Im so happy to have third place, stated Potts. Kemper and Atkinson kicked into gear at the end and I didnt have the extra gear to catch them. I showed today I had the swim, bike and run to compete with the big guys.
There was a large Japanese team present and they did not disappoint the hometown crowds with impressive finishes in both the Mens and Womens events.
Pre race favourite Dimitry Gaag (KAZ) was caught in the third bike pack after a slow swim and pulled out of the race after coming off the bike over three minutes back.
2006 ITU Ishigaki World Cup Elite Men
1.ATKINSON, Courtney (AUS)1:48:03
2.KEMPER, Hunter (USA)1:48:04
3.POTTS, Andy (USA)1:48:11
4.GEMMELL, Kris (NZL)1:48:23
5.REED, Matthew (USA)1:48:47
6.FRETTA, Mark (USA)1:49:20
7.TAYAMA, Hirokatsu (JPN)1:49:36
8.DOCHERTY, Bevan (NZL)1:49:52
9.FIORELLA, Leonardo (ITA)1:49:54
10.HAYES, Stuart (GBR)1:49:58
2006 ITU World Cup rankings Elite Men
1.FRETTA, Mark (USA)
2.POLIKARPENKO, Volodimir (UKR)
3.ATKINSON, Courtney (AUS)
4.KEMPER Hunter (USA)
5.DELLOW, David (AUS)
6.DOCHERTY, Bevan (NZL)
7.GEMMELL, Kris (NZL)
8.GOMEZ Javier (ESP)
9.GLUSHENKO, Andry (UKR)
10.KAHLEFELDT, Brad (AUS)
Find more details about this event - 2006 Ishigaki ITU Triathlon World Cup