Press Release - 2003 ITU New York World Cup
Whitfield Win In New York
10 August, 2003: For immediate release:
The 2003 New York ITU World Cup took on an interesting twist following the cancellation
of the swim due to heavy rainfall in the Manhattan area which created unacceptably
high levels of e-coli reading in pre-event water quality tests. The event was
quickly re-formatted into a 10 km run, followed by a 40km cycle and concluding
with a final 5km run. The “dry-tri” was staged completely within New
York’s famous Central Park.
In the elite women’s event, Aussie teammates Rina Hill and Emma Carney joined forces with Great Britain’s Michelle Dillon to quickly separate themselves from the rest of the field on the first of 4 laps of the 10km run. Through the latter stages of the run, Emma Carney and Michelle Dillon dropped back and were over taken by Britain’s Jodie Swallow. About 20 seconds behind, a chase group led by Mirinda Carfrae and Pip Taylor of Australia, and Barb Lindquist of the USA were not giving up any space to the 2 leaders at the front. On the final lap of the first run, a strong looking Rina Hill, making a comeback after a 2 year absence from the sport, broke away from Swallow and earned a 30 second lead by the start of the 5 lap 40km bike course.
A well-organised chase pack of eleven soon got together on the bike which included Jodie Swallow, Laura Reback, Pip Taylor, Canada’s Samantha McGlone, as well as American teammates Jessi Stensland, Barb Lindquist and Australia’s Liz Blatchford.
By the second lap, Hill’s lead had diminished to 21 seconds as Susan Williams and Melissa Ashton, who started the bike course as the second chase pack, were making up time and bridging to the group led by Barb Lindquist. By the end of the 2nd lap, the chase group had caught Rina Hill and Williams and Ashton had caught the group as well, creating a strong, confident group of 13 at the front. The chase group now became a smaller group led by France’s Stephanie Gros and Marion Lorblanchet, Kelly Rea of the USA and Lucie Zelenkova of the Czech Republic which was almost 3 minutes back by the final lap.
On the 4th lap, Emma Carney suffered a flat tire, but was in and out of the wheel stop in under 10 seconds and back in touch with the lead group.
Samantha McGlone was the first one into and through the bike to run transition, followed quickly by Rina Hill, Pip Taylor, Liz Blatchford, Laura Reback, Barb Lindquist and Mirinda Carfrae. After the first lap of the run Rina Hill was back in front. Hill slowly began to pull away from all contenders on the final lap of the 5km run, although Pip Taylor was always in contention. It was very close to a sprint finish as Rina strode down the finish stretch with a 10 second lead on Taylor who finished second, with Michelle Dillon, one of the most consistent podium finishers in the sport coming 3rd in 2:01:05..
55 men toed the line in the men’s event, all in fine spirit as the sun came out through the graceful trees of Central Park for the first time in days. Australia’s Greg Bennett, World Ranked #1 flew through the 1st lap of the 10km to take a 25 second lead on the rest of the field. The chase group included all the stars of the sport including the current Triathlon World Champion, Ivan Rana of Spain, the current Long Distance World Champion, Eneko Llanos also of Spain, and the Olympic Champion, Simon Whitfield.
Bennett continued to increase his lead throughout the next 3 laps to finish the 10km run almost 45 seconds ahead of the 30-member chase pack.
Going it alone at the front, when the chase pack includes the best of the Spanish team, as well as World and Olympic Champions is probably fraught with impending disaster, even if you are the #1 Ranked Triathlete in the World. Bennett, held off the chase pack for the first 2 laps, but by the start of the 3 lap, he was swallowed up by the group and sunk deep into the back as the group easily cruised through the final laps, as there was no question now that the podium would be from this energetic group at the front.
Once off the bike, Simon Whitfield, the Olympic Champion pulled out the magical other gear that he has inside his impish character and moved through to the front. Although it appeared as if he was playing with the competition, he later confessed “I really missed the swim - the humidity today, combined with the pace during the 2 run legs really took it’s toll.”
Whitfield romped for home with a comfortable lead over the current Duathlon World Champion Tim Don of Britain. Bevan Docherty continued his successful 2003 season by capturing the final step on the podium.
Despite the cancellation of the swim for this World Cup event, there was great applause after the event for the merits of both the world-class quality of the athletes, as well as the fact that New York’s Central Park was completely closed for an event.
The World Cup Series takes a couple of weeks off now before starting up again
in Hamburg, Germany on 6 September 2003. Please tune into www.triathlon.org
for complete photos, results and video.
Related Event: 2003 New York ITU Triathlon World Cup
|Results: Elite Men|
|Results: Elite Women|