Denmarks Rasmus Henning has successfully defended his title in Des Moines, winning todays Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup by an 8-second margin over New Zealands Bevan Docherty and Australian Greg Bennett. With the win, Henning picks up $200,000 (all funds USD) and his fifth career world cup title in the seventh round of the 2008 BG Triathlon World Cup series.
I dont know what to say. This is unbelievable, said Henning at the finish line. I didnt have any plans on winning this, I just wanted to come back and defend my title in a fashionable way. Im so happy. I guess I added a bit to my bank account today.
The final U.S. Olympic spot was a battle between two-time Olympic Hunter Kemper and 2004 Olympian Andy Potts. If either man was the top American across the line, he would get the final the spot for Beijing. Due to the disastrous floods that have hit Iowa, the course had to be reconfigured and moved to West Des Moines nine days before the race.
Like the womens race, a Speedo-sponsored $5,000 bonus went to the first athlete out of the water and like the womens race, it went to a former NCAA All-American swimmer; Potts. He emerged from the Blue Heron Lake ahead of the field but had fellow Americans Kemper and Brian Fleischmann close behind.
The small group began the 40-kilometer bike together but wasnt able to get away and were soon pulled back into the first chase group, forming a 21-man front pack. Among the leaders were a host of pre-race favourites including last years winner Rasmus Henning, Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield, 2006 world champion Tim Don and Bevan Docherty, Olympic silver medalist from 2004. On the third of eight laps the chase group, led by Will Clarke of Great Britain, caught up to the leaders, which means 28 men rode together for the remainder of the bike leg.
On the sixth lap, American Tim ODonnell broke away from the lead group and rode solo into T2. But after losing 15 seconds on the final bike lap, his lead was only six seconds over the field. ODonnell was overtaken quickly in the run. A distinct lead group of five men contained Henning, Whitfield, Docherty, Greg Bennett and 2002 world champion Ivan Rana of Spain; a wildly accomplished group that owns a staggering 28 world cup titles and seven Olympic appearances between them.
Nearing the midway mark of the run, Henning began to break away in his bid to defend his title, leaving the other four to battle for the final spots on the podium. Henning was victorious in Des Moines again with a time of 1 hour, 54 minutes and 21 seconds while taking home $200,000. In a thrilling fight for second, Docherty edged out Bennett. Docherty takes silver and $40,000 for the second straight year. Bennett settled for bronze and decent pay day of $25,000. It’s his first world cup podium since Edmonton bronze in 2003. Rana and Whitfield rounded out the top five.
In the battle for Beijing, Kemper finished in sixth place, 30 seconds ahead of Potts, ensuring his third trip to the Olympics. Kemper proudly waved the American flag broke down in tears as he came across the line. Click here for the ITU’s Official Olympic website
2008 Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Elite Men Official Results
Gold - Rasmus Henning (DEN) 01:54:21
Silver - Bevan Docherty (NZL) 01:54:29
Bronze - Greg Bennett (AUS) 01:54:32
4th - Ivan Rana (ESP) 01:54:41
5th - Simon Whitfield (CAN) 01:54:49
6th - Hunter Kemper (USA) 01:54:58
7th - Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 01:55:22
8th - Andy Potts (USA) 01:55:26
9th - Dan Wilson (AUS) 01:55:37
10th - Hendrik De Villiers (RSA) 01:55:38
Click here for official full field results
Emma Snowsill ran away with the womens title. Click here to read the womens race recap
Rasmus Henning celebrates his second straight win at ITU’s richest event
|Results: Elite Women|