By ITU Admin on 11/06/06 at 12:00 am
As the tide rolled in for the start of the mens race, a full field of seventy-five men ran into the Indian Ocean for the start of the 2006 Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup. This was the inaugural BG Triathlon World Cup to be held in South Africa and as such was an historical event for the African nation and the triathlon community.
Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, Brad Kahlefeldt from Australia was the victor of the first ever African world cup triathlon today in a time of 1:52:59. He was followed closely by Reto Hug (SUI) and Jan Frodeno (GER), who used to live and train in South Africa. The two athletes finished second and third in times of 1:53:08 and 1:53:15 respectively.
Im surprised, commented Kahlefeldt. I havent been training since Australian champs and I didnt sign up until Tuesday.
The day began as expected with Australian powerhouse Craig Walton quickly moving to the front of the swim, creating a small gap of twenty seconds heading onto the bike. From there, the Aussie rode on his own for the entire forty kilometres, mimicking his partner Emma Snowsill.
Eventual winner Kahlefeldt was over one minute back from Walton and thirty seconds behind the first chase pack after a disastrous swim.
That was the worst swim Ive ever had, stated Kahlefeldt. At the start of the bike I was really hurting and I thought it just wasnt my day.
He and number one ranked Mark Fretta (USA) worked hard to bridge the thirty second gap to eventually bring both groups together. Fretta was badly hurt, however, in a crash on the last lap of the course. He bravely road back to transition and was immediately taken to hospital with what seems like a broken collarbone.
It was a big group that came together on the bike and that made it a runners race.
Walton was able to increase his lead to over one minute twenty by the end of the bike and headed out on the run knowing some of the sports top runners were close on his heels. It didnt take long for the sports fleet-footed to catch Walton and quickly it was down to three as Kahlefeldt, Hug and Frodeno ran away from the rest of the field.
It was not until the last hill that Kahlefeldt made his move, dropping Hug and Frodeno, and running to his second world cup victory of 2006. Hug pulled away from Frodeno over the last few hundred metres to take the silver medal.
We were lucky Walton didnt get more then a minute ahead, said Hug. I was happy to stay with Brad and Jan and in the end, Brad was just too strong.
Local hero Hendrik DeVilliers (RSA) had the race of his life finishing fifth in a three way sprint with Dmitriy Gaag (KAZ) and Daniil Sapunov (KAZ). The thousands of local spectators were ecstatic.
The quality of field was exceptional with the top fourteen athletes finishing within one minute of the winner and fifteen athletes running under thirty-two minutes.
Craig Walton finished 35th.
2006 Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup Elite Men
1.KAHLEFELDT, Brad (AUS)1:52:58
2.HUG, Reto (SUI)1:53:07
3.FRODENO, Jan (GER)1:53:14
4.GAAG, Dmitriy (KAZ)1:53:19
5.DE VILLIERS, Hendrik (RSA)1:53:20
6.SAPUNOV, Daniil (KAZ)1:53:20
7.WEIMER, Christian (GER)1:53:29
8.FONTANA, Daniel (ITA)1:53:58
9.SMUROV, Dmitriy (KAZ)1:53:43
10.FRIMAN, Doug (USA)1:53:45
Find more details about this event - 2006 Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup