By ITU Admin on 12/11/05 at 12:00 am
Despite a squall that swept through during the bike course, the unsettled weather could not dampen the spirit of the most dramatic finish to a World Cup Triathlon ever.
ITU Tiszaujvaros and Hamburg World Cup events earlier this year claimed the right to most dramatic finish ever!, but that title was stolen from them today in New Plymouth. Within a few hundred metres of the finish the final result was anyones call as the worlds best triathletes charged head to head to the finish.
As Kiwi team-mates Kris Gemmell and Bevan Docherty (2004 World Champion and 2004 Olympic Games Silver Medalist) charged to the finish, Rasmus Henning of Denmark (multiple World Cup Champion), Hunter Kemper of the USA (the 2005 World Cup overall leader) and Aussie team-mates Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson shadowed their every move.
This showdown in the dying minutes of the 10km run segment of the World Cup Triathlon was preceded by a challenging 1.5km swim and a 40km bike.
Courtney Atkinson of Australia and USA team-mates Andy Potts and Matt Reed led through the opening 2 lap swim section and then almost escaped the major players in the field onto the 40km bike segment. USAs Hunter Kemper was wise to their tactics and organized a group around him to make sure the trio did not escape off the front.
Meanwhile the chase pack was desperately trying to make up lost ground and with the likes of Paul Amey leading the charge they moved to within 40 seconds of the leaders by the final 10km of the bike.
Several brave souls attempted to break from the bike group at the front, but most failed until Marko Albert of Estonia got away and took Aussie team-mates Chris Hill and Greg Bennett with him as well as Andy Potts of the USA.
By the time the breakaway group hit the bike to run transition they had 44 seconds on the 24 athletes in the chase pack. Bennett was the first to emerge from the transition and for the first 2km it looked as if an Aussie might claim a World Cup title in Kiwi-land.
Sadly for the many Team Bennett fans this was not to be as charging Kiwi mates, Kris Gemmell and Bevan Docherty soaked up the adulation of their country-mates that lined the course.
By the 5km mark it looked as though the two New Zealanders would demolish the field, until Rasmus Henning of Denmark, Hunter Kemper, and Aussie team-mates Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson started to reel them in.
The final 300 metres was the most dramatic the sport has ever seen. Kris Gemmell began his sprint early, and although everyone responded it looked as if he would take the top honours.
However, just the way he did at the 2004 ITU Madeira Triathlon World Championships, Bevan Docherty responded and charged past Gemmell in the finish straight to take his first World Cup win of the year. At the same time he recaptured the hearts of the New Zealand nation the way he did in 2004 with his silver medal victory at the Athens Olympic Games.
Kris Gemmell, the undisputed favourite of many in planet Triathlon was second by a hair, and Rasmus Henning was 3rd. Hunter Kemper won the overall World Cup title by placing 4th as Brad Kahlefeldt rounded out the top 5.
Top 10 Results are:
Kemper, Tim Don (GBR) and Kahlefeldt won the top 3 places on the overall World Cup and took home their share of the $100,000us bonus pool
For the 90,000 spectators who were watching the event live on www.triathlon.org the event was as real as if they were sitting in the stadium.
High resolution ITU Media photos (Photographer Delly Carr’s photos) are available - please contact Adrienne@triathlon.org
Please visit www.triathlon.org for complete results and photos.
The ITU World Cup Series is a 16 race series contested by the leading Olympic distance triathletes in the world. All events are contested over the Olympic distance of 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run. For more information about ITU Events please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Full rankings are available on the rankings page.
Find more details about this event - 2005 New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup