Tuesday, 31 July 2007
In 17 degree temperatures but unusually clear British skies, the women's race turned into a day for the runners after an amazing 42 women exited the bike leg within 20 seconds of each other, playing into the hands of world number one Vanessa Fernandes (POR), Olympic champion Kate Allen (AUT) and Warriner.
All three Kiwi athletes in the field were in the big lead group on the bike with Warriner and Debbie Tanner prominent throughout, while Taryn McLeod enjoyed a rare outing near the head of a quality field.
Warriner made her intentions clear with a great transition and was the only athlete to challenge Fernandes in the run home, but despite the best efforts of the Whangarei athlete, she could do little to stay with the flying Portuguese who went on to win her 17th ITU World Cup race.
"At one stage I had nosed in front of Vanessa and had a great smile on my face but she has been training so hard so she deserves the win. I tried to chase her but she had too much on the day but to hold off the Olympic champion (Kate Allen) is an amazing feeling."
The result for the Kiwi athletes is all the more significant given they are aiming towards the Beijing race in September as the first Olympic qualifying race and have not tapered for this event.
"I'm not distressed at all given this is my first race for a while and the focus is on Beijing later in the year so I am really just starting my season today. What I am pleased about is I am closing the gap on Vanessa, I was miles behind her last time but today it was just 40 seconds, next time I plan to be even closer to her.”
Warriner was pleased too with a smaller and yet critical aspect of any race, especially such a close one.
“My transition speed was great and today proved the worth of that specific training, I estimate I gained 10 to 15 seconds on some of the athletes at that point, vital when such a big group is exiting the bike together."
Meanwhile Aucklander Tanner hung on in a fast run 10km to finish in 7th place but like Warriner Tanner has not raced for some time and did not taper for today's race, consequently she was not too disappointed.
New Zealand number one and now world number three ranked triathlete Docherty finished in sixth place while fellow Kiwi Clark Ellice fell prey to mechanical failure.
The men’s race unfolded in almost identical fashion to the earlier women’s event with a huge group of 50 athletes together on the bike and entering transition in a mad dash for running shoes and position.
After a swim and bike that proved largely uneventful, local British hope Tim Don was the first to show out early in the ten kilometre run, attempting to shake off the chasers that included four of the top five on current ITU points. Spaniard Javier Gomez (1), Docherty (2), Aussie Brad Kahlefeldt (3) and Canadian Simon Whitfield (5) were all in hot pursuit of the current world champion.
On this occasion though, Docherty could not match the rhythm of the leaders and gradually fell off the pace, hardly surprising given his recent heavy workload in training since he last raced over a month ago in Edmonton.
“I had the luxury of a short break three weeks ago and have only just started building up again for the big races later in the year so didn’t expect much today. Having said that I felt strong physically during the run but had no leg speed – something that is totally expected at this time of the year with five weeks to worlds and seven weeks to Beijing and the Olympic qualifying race.”
Despite looking from a distance like a reasonably sedate pack bike ride, Docherty said the pace was on for most of the 40km distance.
“We were working quite hard actually, there was a bit of pace on the bike and with such a large group you are always going to get attacks which we did.”
Docherty was typically up front about the result but is also looking further ahead.
“I got beaten up a little in the swim and found myself midfield but the group was always going to come together on a course like this so I am reasonably happy today. However that doesn’t take away the fact it always sucks not being on the podium, but the bigger picture is the Worlds and the Beijing race later in the year.”
Docherty will race in London next week before beginning his final training block ahead of the World Championships in Hamburg in late August and the crucial Olympic qualifying race for the New Zealanders at the Beijing World Cup race in September.
Gomez meanwhile forged past a tiring Don and finished strongly to win his fifth World Cup race from Kahlefeldt and Whitfield while Don held on in fourth place in front of his home crowd.
The race did work out as planned for Clark Ellice, looking for a second ever top ten finish in a World Cup race on the back of his 16th placing last week in Austria.
Those hopes were dashed early in the bike leg however when the handle bar on the New Plymouth athlete’s bike snapped in two, forcing his immediate withdrawal and luckily not causing a crash or injury.
It was a bitter blow for the world number 65 and fourth ranked Kiwi given his good form and anticipation of a strong finish in Salford.
2007 Salford BG Triathlon World Cup - Elite Men Results
1. Gomez, Javier (ESP) 1:51:47
2. Kahlefeldt, Brad (AUS) 1:51:59 +:12
3. Whitfield, Simon (CAN) 1:52:04 +:18
4. Don, Tim (GBR) 1:52:19 +:32
5. Rana, Ivan (ESP) 1:52:33 +:46
6. Docherty, Bevan (NZL) 1:52:39 +:52
7. Brukhankov, Alexander (RUS) 1:52:43 +:56
8. Clarke, William (GBR) 1:52:53 +:1:07
9. Hayes, Stuart (GBR) 1:52:59 +1:12
10. Raelert, Andreas (GER) 1:53:02 +1:15
2007 Salford BG Triathlon World Cup - Elite Women Results
1. Fernandes, Vanessa (POR) 2:02:59
2. Warriner, Samantha (NZL) 2:03:17 +:19
3. Allen, Kate (AUT) 2:03:23 +:25
4. Whitcombe, Andrea (GBR) 2:03:59 +1:01
5. Niwata, Kiyomi (JPN) 2:04:02 +1:04
6. Densham, Erin (AUS) 2:04:14 +1:16
7. Tanner, Debbie (NZL) 2:04:30 +1:32
8. Peon, Carole (FRA) 2:04:30 +1:32
9. Groves, Lauren (CAN) 2:04:33 +1:35
10. Spirig, Nicola (SUI) 2:04:38 +1:40
32 Taryn Mcleod (NZL) 2:08:08 +5:10
Thursday, 26 July 2007
At the same time Cofidis has withdrawn its team after Italian Cristain Morenis failed a dope test.
This is not good news, and comes hard on the heels of the shocking exit of Alexander Vinokourov.
Where does that leave us? Well let me make it quite clear that doping in sport is absolutely and totally wrong, and cannot under any circumstances be taken condoned. But right now the sport has a crisis on its hands. And I do not believe the athletes are solely to blame. Sure they are the ones, usually knowingly, taking the drugs. But so much else doesn't make sense. Only now are the teams taking the stance they should have taken long ago, probably because management is mixed up in it, or at least had been while they were riders in days gone by. The way the tests and results are handled appears to be totally botched, and this does not add credibility to the administration.
Yes we all know there is doping going on, and lots of it. But are the right people being caught and dealt with appropriately? I think not. Religious crusades generally excuse themselves from all manner of wrongs. I don't think the anti-doping administrators are any different. Just because they are "in the right", does not give them the right act however they feel. They also need to get their act together.
I don't know about you, but for once I am really glad I am a recreational athlete. I do what I do for fun, for pleasure and for me. Thank goodness drugs have no part of that.
Blood doping - the practice of illicitly boosting the number of red blood cells in the circulation in order to enhance athletic performance. Because they carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles, more red blood cells in the blood can improve an athlete's aerobic capacity and stamina. There are two ways to do this. The athlete can use their own blood, supplied some time before competition thereby allowing the body to naturally recover, and then use this blood product later for a boost. The real advantage of this method is the reduction in risk of introducing communicable infectious diseases, and of course, reducing the chance of detection. The big downside is that giving up one's blood during training will hamper the training process and this may well not be worth it. A second method is to use someone else's blood. And this is what Vinokourov is charged with - having more than one detectable source of blood cells in his body.
When Floyd Landis tested positive the cycling world took its biggest blow. We still don't know if his appeal will be upheld yet. With the weight medical and legal technical evidence around process and other errors I don't see how a guilty verdict can stand. And this would be a disaster for a sport that needs a scapegoat. Much as I want to believe Landis is not guilty I fear that he will be found as such. And the cycling will be all the poorer, less able to move on.
But this, this is so much worse. Vino stole my cycling heart a few years ago when his team turned against him. Dropped from the leading group on a searing climb he looked much worse for wear. Then he stormed back, caught the leading group and without so much a word, raced away from them. Add this is the classic Vino we all came to love. His team then chased him down, preferring to defend the chances of official team leader Jan Ulrich. With some decent support Vino could have won that year.
And then came one of his greatest moments, the finish in Paris in 2005. This is sport at its gladiatorial best. The six lap charge around the Champs-Élysées is every bit a match for the 100 metre sprint final at the Olympic Games. Vino took the sprinters on, on their home turf. With 1 kilometre to go he burst out of the pack, and won going away in one of sports best moments ever. His accident this year saw him battle on with up to 60 stiches, mostly in his knees. He would lose time, and then bravely fight back including two emphatic stage wins. He won over a legion of fans, and was idolized among the already converted.
Landis never quite won our hearts despite battling agonizing pain, and then storming to victory, on a stage which the experts called the greatest ride the tour has ever seen, to reclaim the race after he had been written off the day before. All this did was confirm in our minds that he must be cheating. In essence, the sport could afford to lose Landis, and at the start of this year's race the popularity of the tour, despite the ongoing drug furor, seemed as strong as ever.
But this, this is a mortal wound for many fans. Robert Millar, a blooding doping cheat himself, and otherwise brave Scot, reduced to tears on Tuesday when news of Vinokourov's failure broke: "It makes me really sad. Vino is one of my favorite riders, one of the most beautiful riders in the peloton. If a guy of his stature and class has done that, then we might as well all pack up our bags and go home."
I agree. I feel my cycling heart is broken.
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
The win was made all the sweeter for Hewitt with training partner Nicky Samuels finishing strongly for third, her first ever podium finish in a World Cup event, and only 13 seconds off the pace.
Victory for Hewitt continues a superb season for her and New Zealand athletes generally, backing up earlier World Cup victories by Samantha Warriner and Bevan Docherty and numerous other podium finishes.
Hewitt once again proved too strong in a close finish, out sprinting local hope Eva Dollinger with Samuels in third. The 25 year old athlete was thrilled to finally taste World Cup victory after a number of podiums.
"The changes to my training and the decision to race less this year are clearly paying off big time. There were three of us at the finish and it came down to a big sprint to the line. I have always been the one to start the sprint and of late I have been coming out on top."With parts of Europe in the midst of a heat wave, Hewitt was pleased to see rain on the morning of the race.
"Conditions were good today. I was worried earlier in the week with temperatures in the mid thirties but the rain this morning took the edge off and with a temperature of about 20 degrees and a little humidity, it was almost a typical New Zealand type day."
"The non-wetsuit swim suited me and I led out of the water. The course wasn't too technical but I was cautious after crashing here last year and eventually we had a big group on the bike but given my running form, this did not concern me greatly."
Following closely behind Hewitt and Dollinger was Nicky Samuels, also with a career breakthrough performance for her first ever World Cup podium. She too was delighted.
"This is a fabulous day for both of us. The key for me was closing the gap on the bike, despite our group not working that well but I guess the leaders were even worse in that regard and it closed up before the end of the 40 kilometres."
Samuels suggested there is more to come though as neither she nor Hewitt tapered for the race.
"Our focus is still the Beijing World Cup race later in the year and qualifying for the Olympics. We are both doing some big mileage and didn't focus too strongly on this race but it is a great vindication of our training and ability to race quick on the back of some tough training."
The men’s race couldn’t live up to the women’s with Clark Ellice the best of the New Zealanders in 16th place, by some margin his best result of the 2007 season. He was only just over a minute off the winner, 2000 Olympic Games champion Simon Whitfield who won in a sprint finish.
Shane Reed faded to finish 21st after featuring amongst the leaders early in the run. Christchurch’s Dylan McNiece showed out in the lead bunch early on the bike but also faded to eventually finish 53rd while Blair Jordan and Ben Pulham were never in contention as they failed to stay with the pace on the bike leg and steadily lost ground.
2007 Kitzbühel BG Triathlon World Cup – Elite Women Results
1. Hewitt, Andrea (NZL) 1:54:31
2. Dollinger, Eva (AUT) 1:54:34 +:02
3. Samuels, Nicky (NZL) 1:54:45 +:13
4. Niwata, Kiyomi (JPN) 1:54:46 +:15
5. Franzmann, Joelle (GER) 1:54:53 +:21
6. Spirig, Nicola (SUI) 1:55:01 +:30
7. Pilz, Christiane (GER) 1:55:16 +:45
8. Sweetland, Kirsten (CAN) 1:55:27 +:56
9. Peon, Carole (FRA) 1:55:49 +1:17
10. Harrison, Jessica (FRA) 1:56:00 +1:29
36. Williamson, Evelyn (NZL) 01:58:39 +4:08
40. McLeod, Taryn (NZL) 01:58:54 +4:22
2007 Kitzbühel BG Triathlon World Cup - Elite Men Results
1. Whitfield, Simon (CAN) 1:42:56
2. Belaubre, Frederic (FRA) 1:42:57 +:01
3. Kahlefeldt, Brad (AUS) 1:43:01 +:05
4. Riederer, Sven (SUI) 1:43:07 +:11
5. Raelert, Andreas (GER) 1:43:27 +:31
6. Clarke, William (GBR) 1:43:32 +:36
7. Rank, Sebastian (GER) 1:43:34 +:38
8. Polikarpenko, Volodymyr (UKR) 1:43:41 +:45
9. Turbaevskiy, Vladimir (RUS) 1:43:46 +:50
10. De Villiers, Hendrik (RSA) 1:43:48 +:52
16. Ellice, Clark NZL 01:44:11 +1:15
21. Reed, Shane NZL 01:44:36 +1:40
53. McNeice, Dylan NZL 01:47:34 +4:38
65. Jordan, Blair NZL 01:50:26 +7:30
Monday, 23 July 2007
On the Sunday Long Distance World Champion medals were on offer across elite and age group fields and in the elite women’s race Gina Ferguson made a break through onto the World scene having taken the Contact Energy National Series this year, placing sixth just four minutes outside of a podium finish. Following the leaders 30 seconds out of the swim she was always in contention with the leaders as she ran a solid 1hr 21min leg home. Leanda Cave from Great Britain who was never far from the front of the race took her first World title.
In the men’s elite field Hamish Johnston and Jamie White came through the field in 28 and 30th respectively and made good solid starts to their international campaigns.
Despite NZ missing the podium in the elite race, some fantastic Age Group medals were taken by Neil Fleming 2nd, Kristin Hewitt 3rd and Lucy Williams 3rd.
Other great top ten performances in Age Group ranks came from Richard Begg, Anne Bondy, Fiona Eagles, John Hellemans, Stephen Farrell, Emma Hunter, Darryl Lee and Shirley Rolston. Despite the great set of results the New Zealand team did not have luck on her side throughout the competition as the majority of athletes lost all of their bikes in the week prior to the race and only just received their bikes back from the airlines in time for the start.
|Andrew||Davidson||50-55||DNF||Crashed in Cycle|
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Our sport only succeeds because of tireless work by volunteers at all levels, and even those that are paid are often giving way more than they are paid for.
These two positions offer an opportunity to make a difference at a very significant level, and so if not you, then surely someone you know could be nominated. TriNZ have a checkered history, but to be sure they have definitely lifted their game of late. The issue of multisport (in this case defined in the New Zealand South Island context as endurance sport more typically involving kayaking, and both on and off-road running and biking, and also extending to adventure racing) is burning bright at the moment. TriNZ's formal brief extends to multisport, but we all know (and by its own admission) it is not doing a good job in this area. The South Island multisporters want to form their own organisation, while TriNZ members feel two organisations would not be good for the sport as a whole.
Clearly the current situation cannot continue, as the multisporters are not receiving fair representation and support at a national level. This is a very good opportunity to put the right people "on board".
If TriNZ do not ensure adequate and fair representation of SI multisporters at all levels, and particularly board level, then they are not doing what they are supposed to do. I am confident that they will, but they need the people to do it. This is an opportunity that should not be missed.
For more details see http://www.triathlon.org.nz/news_view.asp?id=585
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
11th July 2007.
This race, on 5th January 2008 serves as:
* Long Distance Triathlon National Champs 2008
* World Age Group Long Course Triathlon Champs 2008 - Selection Race. It is the only selection race.
However as the race fills up very early athletes wishing to complete in the championships, or gain selection for the world age group champs need to enter very soon. The normal rules such as TriNZ and club membership as well as the requirement to fill out a selection form apply.
This commentator believes that teams have no place in a championship event where individuals are being turned away because of full fields. TriNZ and the race organisers need to set this right.
Enter online or get more info from www.halfironman.co.nz
Well most of you would think that I would have my feet up a week after Ironman Coeur d'Alene but I was feeling really good and decided to push my body and signed up for the Half Ironman in Morgantown West Virginia. I wanted to support HFP Racing as they put on amazing events and really take care of the Pro that support them.
I was flying from Spokane to New York to meet with my new agent Jason Goldberg and sponsors R&A Cycles who will be building my Hawaii bike! It must have been the high altitude in the plane but I diced that I could manage this Double that I don't think many athletes could.
After doing 1 light swim and a 1hr ride on the Trainer with new gear on my bike a Ergomo power meter and Rotor Rings on the Thursday I was set to go! We packed the car up on Friday and went on or 6 1/2hr Road trip from NYC to Morgantown.
It was great to be back and I knew that I would have to use my strengths and experience if I was to win this race as there was a very good Pro Male field.
The bike course had changed so I rode the sections that I hadn't ridden before on Saturday and found that is was pretty flat but there were some good hills as well! At the Pro meeting they said there would be no wetsuits so I was happy about that as I knew I needed to work my strengths to have a big lead for the run as my legs were very tied from the Ironman last week.
Race Day was perfect a coldish morning with steam rising from the river, we had a Dive start that took me back to my swimming years I went as hard as I could but was lactate up bad so just kept it smooth and strong! I gaped the others and tried to build a good lead. I came out of the water with smaller than hoped lead of around 20sec I had as quick transition and went about smashing myself on the bike as if I was going to win the race I would have to do it on the bike.
I felt great on the first lap and think I put all my time into the field on the first lap of the ride as the second lap got very hard and also with the lapped and Olympic distance traffic made it tricky going! I came into T2 with a healthy 2.45 on Paul Fritzsche , 3.50 on Brent Lorenzen and 7mins on Andrew Hodges so I was hoping that I could hold on for the win.
The first lap of two was super hard going my quads were killing me and I didn't know if I could make the finish but I took as many Clif Shots as I could and a few salt tablets and my rhythm started to kick in I lost all but 40sec of my lead to Paul and a lot to Andrew but over the last 3 miles I could push it and crossed the line in 1st 1.52 ahead of Andrew with another 35sec back to Paul. I was amazed that my body could go through that and I felt good! An Awesome feeling Champion again! 1st win on US Soil for 2007!
Special thanks to Coach G Force, sponsors and family.
2007 Race Results
1 Rhodes, Bryan 04:07:05
2 Hodges, Andrew 04:08:57
3 Fritzsche, Paul 04:09:32
4 Lorenzen, Brent 04:12:24
5 Bagg, Chris 04:14:06
To be sure its a beautiful day, but its still a very cold early morning. The impressive thing however, is the 53 competitors who have turned up for race 3 of Manawatu Triathlon Club's winter duathlon series. Duathlon has long been a cinderella sport worldwide, and in New Zealand, and to be fair duathlon is just what most triathletes do in winter.
However it is filling a valuable role. A look at the multisport race calendars will shows over a dozen races each month. This means that for most there will be a race near their doorstep at least once a month. This is testament to the health of the sport in New Zealand.
Beyond the standard club races there are some iconic (to those that race them) events. Waipawa's Mike Brown Memorial Duathlon is one such race. The North Island Interclub Duathlon Champs is another. And a recent introduction to the calendar is Marton's Double D duathlon, a run-bike-run-bike-run event. This column will feature all of these in the coming weeks.
For the record, the race was won by Mark "Cabin" Leishman from the improving youngster Struan Webb. Leishman is best known for his mountain bike exploits but his foray into multisports is not looking too shabby following his third place in the Rotorua's Xterra, and an overseas campaign. He heads off to Hamburg soon to compete in the world age group champs.
Full race results at http://www.triclub.co.nz/info_page.php?info_id=36
Monday, 2 July 2007
Blenheim Duathlon Race 3
Race three of this popular duathlon series was held in warm, overcast conditions. The light north-westerly wind made the way to the Ridge hard but aided athletes on the way home. The race was easily won by Greg O'Connor who is starting some big training days in the lead up to his world championships triathlon, in 2 months time in Hamburg.
Nicole Leder and Andrea Brede found themselves neck and neck heading into the finish shute and ahead of them was a sprint to the finish after 9 hours of racing with Leder coming through for the win with just 5 seconds to spare .
“I thought to myself to just keep going until 30km, and then it would be tough for everybody,” she continued. “Then Andrea attacked and I thought ‘If she’s running the last 10 km like this, I’m going to drop off,’ but she slowed down a bit. Then we just attacked each other over the last 10 km. Mentally it was really tough, so tough mentally, I didn’t know how I would make it to the finish.”
“You train so hard for this,” she said when asked what kept her going through the marathon. “This was like a home race. All the time I kept telling myself to keep going. I kept thinking that maybe she would blow up and I’d have an easy run to the finish, but she didn’t blow up – it was really hard right to the finish.”
With the absence of the 2007 mens champion, Cameron Brown (who was out with injury) the victory went to the runner up last year, Timo Bracht. Normann Stadler the defending world champion retired due to health concerns. Czech Petr Vabrousek produced a creditable fifth position after starting the year on a difficult note after controversially being disqualified at Challenge Wanaka for a swimming glove infringement.
Full race coverage and stories available on ironman.com
1.Nicole Leder 9:04:11
2. Andrea Brede 9:04:16
3. Nina Eggert 9:12:18
4. Imke Schiersch 9:27:31
5. Meike Krebs 9:29:44
6. Nicole Töpfer 9:43:21
7. Linda Schücker 9:47:07
8. Birgit Schönherr-Hölscher 9:52:02
9. Simone Aumann 9:55:23
10. Iris Tiedeken 9:56:04
1. Timo Bracht 8:09:15
2. Michael Göhner 8:11:50
3. Frank Vytrisal 8:13:34
4. Jan Raphael 8:19:29
5. Petr Vabrousek 8:22:31
6. Faris Al-Sultan 8:23:16
7. Tom Söderdahl 8:24:46
8. Uwe Widmann 8:29:37
9. Hektor Llanos 8:30:27
10. Lothar Leder 8:43:55
This will be the second race of the year, following some six weeks after Challenge Wanaka (http://www.challenge-wanaka.com) on 19th January 2008 which has over 300 entries already in only its second year.
Its good to see two ironman-distance races thriving in New Zealand, and while their proximity to each other means most athletes have to choose one or the other, this can only be good for the sport, and ultimately for both races. There is talk of a third race by an independent operator. Watch this space.