Johns Wins, Docherty 2nd Again At Hamburg ITU World Cup
Hamburg, Germany: A small group, led by Volodomyr Polikarpenko of the Ukraine, Shane Reed of New Zealand, Reto Hug of Switzerland and Carl Blasco of France tried in vain to make a break away in the 2-lap, 1500m swim leg of todays Hamburg ITU World Cup, but it was not enough to get away on the bike, as the entire field of 64 men was out of the water within 1 minute. Polikarpenko posted the fastest swim split of the day at 19:44.
With almost the entire field on the bike together, and no significant chase pack, Johns, who went through the first lap in 57th position, gradually moved his way up to the front by the end of the 8-lap 40km bike course. The speed of that big pack was very challenging around all those technical corners. I really had to stay focused because of all the maneuvering and attempted breakaways. Johns said after the race.
Bevan Docherty managed to post the fastest bike split of the day at 54:46, which set him up for a strong run at the top of the podium, something that has alluded him all season.
Once onto the 3-lap, 10km run course, a huge group stayed together at the front through the first 2 laps. German teammates Daniel Unger and Stefan Vukovic stayed in good position, and when Unger actually took the lead for most of lap 2, the thousands of German fans who lined the course were stirred into a frenzy, hoping for a repeat German triumph like yesterdays event and Anja Dittmers victory.
It was the young Brad Kahlefeldt from Australia, 2002 World Champion in the U/23 category who decided to break up the big pack at the front, and at the start of the last lap he picked up the pace and pulled away. John and Docherty recognized what was happening and immediately met the challenge and went with Krahlefeldt. With about 250 metres to the finishline, Johns discovered that he had another gear and the energy to go with it. The crowd was so loud at that point that I couldnt hear either my footsteps or my breathing, he said after the race. Docherty, who along with Johns posted a sub-30 minute 10km was dropped by Johns in the finish straight for 2nd, while Brad Kahlefeldt was 3rd. Daniel Unger was 4th, his best performance of the season, and Australias Simon Thompson was 5th.
Germanys Olympic silver medallist, Stefan Vukovic said in an interview before the race, If I finish in the top 10, then I know that Im back! (following a series of illnesses and injuries that have plagued him since the Sydney Olympics.) His 7th place finish today sent out that message in spades!
In Bevan Dochertys post-race interview he said about
his string of 2nd place finishes, Andrew Johns has found that other secret
gear in the run just like the one that (Olympic Champion) Simon Whitfield
has. I need to find that gear!
|Results: Elite Men|