By ITU Admin on 18/07/04 at 12:00 am
2004 ITU Corner Brook World Cup, 18 July 2004.
Smet and Richmond Two New World Cup Title Holders
Corner Brook, Newfoundland: For immediate release: A full week of multi-sport festivities culminated today in Corner Brook, Newfoundland with the ITU Corner Brook World Cup Triathlon. The weather for the 3 lap swim, 6 lap bike and 4 lap run was overcast and windy, with water temperatures at 18oC, mandating the use of wetsuits.
In the womens event, Anneliese Heard of Great Britain, the 2000 and 2001 Junior World Champion led the field through the 1500m swim and up the steep 500m run to the transition area in a time of 20:43. Eleven seconds behind her was Canadas Jill Savege, with Australias Pip Taylor and Annabel Luxford, Belgiums Kathleen Smet and Britains Jessica Harrison a few seconds back.
Although the six athletes appeared to form a tight group at the front, Savege was dropped on the first lap, as Luxford decided to go it alone and went off the front.
Luxford powered her way over one of the most difficult courses on the circuit and extended her lead over each lap. The chase pack of Smet, Heard, Harrison and Taylor worked well together, but lost valuable time on each of the 2 hills on course. The second chase pack included Canadas Tara Ross, Savege, Carol Montgomery and Gillian Moody, as well as Andrea Whitcombe of Britain. Mirinda Carfrae of Australia missed the chasers and road the entire 40km alone.
By the bike to run transition, Luxfords lead was 90 seconds as she docked her bike and swept onto the run course. At this point the 2004 Under 23 World Champion appeared well on her way to capturing her first World Cup title. However the 2002 and 2000 European Champion Kathleen Smet had other plans for the young Australian. Smet and Taylor flew out of the transition together with Heard and Harrison several strides behind.
At this point the second chase pack of Savege, Ross, Montgomery, Moody and Whitcombe were over 4 minutes behind the leader.
On the first lap Smet and Taylor took 25 seconds out of Luxford, as Smet made her move on Taylor and began to reel in the young leader. At the halfway point Smet was just 19 seconds behind Luxford and overtook her on the 3rd lap. As they started the bell lap, Smet had a 14 second lead over Luxford, with Taylor a further 9 seconds behind. Meanwhile Andrea Whitcombe was eating up the course on her way to posting the fastest 10km run time of the day. She caught Harrison on the 2nd lap and was closing in on Heard.
In 2002 Kathleen Smet was 3rd at the Corner Brook World Cup her best World Cup performance. But today there was only one step that would satisfy her, and that was the one at the top. She ran a wonderful last lap urged on by the thousands of spectators that lined course to take the win 30 seconds ahead of Pip Taylor. Annabel Luxford easily held off Andrea Whitcombe for the last step on the podium.
In her post-race interview, Kathleen Smet said, Ive been in the mountains training very hard for the Olympic Games. Ive lost 10 pounds, and am very happy at how that has affected my running.
For the mens event, the sun came out, the wind died away and the thermometer shot up.
Nathan Richmond of New Zealand and Marko Albert of Estonia, both heading to Athens in August, moved to the front on the first lap of the swim, but were not able to get away. Levi Maxwell of Australia, making his first appearance in a World Cup event since his 3rd place finish at the 2000 Hawaii World Cup led the field up the big hill and onto his bike. He tried to get away on the first lap, but Richmond, newcomer David Dellows of Australia, British team-mates Marc Jenkins and Richard Allen and a strong team from the USA including Joe Umphenour, Andy Kelsey, Michael Smedley, Seth Wealing and Victor Plata, got themselves organized and soon reeled Maxwell back in.
The lead group electrified the crowd with their energy and the effectiveness of their peleton. But it was the brave-heart like effort by Mark Fretta as he dropped Ellice and bridged the gap to the leaders on the second lap who won their hearts.
With Ellice alone in no-mans land, the strong pack led by Frederick vanLierde of Belgium, with Gilberto Gonzalez of Venezuela, Christoph ODonnell of the USA and Canadian team-mates Sean Bechtel and Nick Hastie took on the hunt for the leaders.
Through the third and fourth lap, the Americans worked their magic at the front, until Joe Umphenour and Mark Fretta saw a window open and they dashed through to break from the group on the 5th lap. Although adding great excitement to the event, the rest of the group was too wily for them and by the bell lap they were all together again. Michael Smedley and Marko Albert pulled the leaders through the final lap with Umphenour and Fretta resting their legs after their valiant effort.
Maxwell, Richmond, and Dellow were the first through the bike to run transition, with Albert, Allen, Umphenour, Kelsey out after them in that order. Dellow moved to the front on the first lap as Richmond, Plata and Umphenour calmly pulled the 2 Aussies back on the first lap. Mark Fretta moved into 5th after his incredible effort on the bike.
Through the 2nd and 3rd lap, Richmond and Plata ran together at the front with Umphenour and Dellow dropping back a few seconds. As they disappeared down the hill on the final lap, the finish-line judges prepared for a sprint finish, but a hungry Nathan Richmond did not let this happen. He slowly pulled away from his challengers to post his first World Cup victory with a 7 second margin over Joe Umphenour who passed Plata in the final straight both reaching the World Cup podium for the first time. Dellow was 4th and Fretta rounded out the top 5.
After the race, Nathan Richmond was overwhelmed by his victory. He said, This win proves that I am a worthy member of the New Zealand Olympic team. He, along with World Champion Bevan Docherty and Hamish Carter will make up one of the strongest teams at the Games.
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