Norden repeats, Reed and Haskins win series in Dallas
Dallas – Yesterday 2008 Olympian Matt Reed showed what he can do when he’s rested and prepared for a big race. After sitting out the Los Angeles triathlon last week he used the extra training time to hone his skills and came to Dallas with a single purpose; to win. His race day best efforts earned him the win of the Toyota US Open triathlon and the Toyota Cup series crown.
Reed raced in classic form by swimming just off of the heels of the leaders, dispensing with all but one hard charging cyclist and then finally, established an early lead on the run and never looked back.
The conclusion of the European mega-prize purse race season brings the best International Triathlon Union (ITU) draft legal athletes to the USA looking for a big payday. Leading the group was Beijing Olympics bronze medalist, Bevan Docherty of New Zealand. Ladies’ defending race champion Lisa Norden of Sweden, 2nd in ITU world rankings, coming off a win in last week’s Los Angeles Triathlon, arrived in Dallas with her eyes on the $20,000 first place prize; along with five other women ranked in the world’s top 10 including American Olympian Sarah Haskins. Haskins had designs of her own on the purse as well as the Toyota Cup series overall championship. Despite leading the women out of the water and on the bike, Haskins couldn’t shake Norden and, in the end, settled for second place. However, her placing was good enough to take the series title.
Reed hunted his prey
Autumn’s first rains lingered over the weekend and made for a uncomfortably cold day of racing. Shivering athletes stood on the shores of Joe Pool lake bearing the mid-50’s air before swimming 1500 meters in its considerably warmer waters. Steady northerly breezes added to the difficult conditions of the 40- kilometer ride into downtown Dallas. Although a thick cloud cover remained, the drizzle was gone by the time the 10-kilometer run began.
In the men’s race it was Brazilian ITU star, Paulo Miyashiro out of the water first with Reed and three-time defending champion Greg Bennett of Australia a half minute back. The field’s chase of Miyashiro was short lived when the Brazilian made a wrong turn on the bike and lost contact with his contenders.
Andy Starykowicz of Long Grove, IL pushed the pace on the bike leaving all but Reed behind in the race to T2. But the punishing speed exacted a toll on Starykowicz and he faded shortly into the run and finished in 10th. Reed was firmly in control early on the run before turning off the downtown streets onto the Katy Trail.
Bennett, Docherty, and a handful of others gave chase but made up little time on the fast running Reed. With less than a mile remaining it was clear the race was for the remaining spots on the podium. Bennett used his fast leg turn over to barely edge Docherty for second.
Reed’s dominating performance in Dallas along with a 3rd place in New York and wins in Minneapolis and Chicago won him in the Toyota Cup series earning him a total of $40,000 in prize money.
Haskins made her earn it
Like in the men’s race, the ladies contest was won in predatory style. Cup series leader, Haskins exited the water with fellow USA super swimmer Sarah Groff on her heels. The duo had a slim lead over University of Oklahoma educated Dr. Amanda Stevens and a two-minute lead over the rest of the field at the start of the bike.
Leading the chase pack out of the water was the reining Xterra world champion Julie Dibens of Great Britain. Undaunted by the wet roads she used her bike handling skills and attacked the course to move past Groff into second place by the 20-mile mark. Considering that Dibens was riding a replacement bike delivered to her only the before the race – to remedy a cracked frame on her custom Trek rig – her ride was nothing short of remarkable. But, ITU powerhouse Norden wasn’t far behind and once off of the bike she made her presence known.
The chilly, wet conditions made for stiff feet and Haskins struggled to get her running shoes on giving her chasers just the break they needed. Haskins, Dibens and Norden were nearly shoulder-to-shoulder at the start of the run and remained that way for the first 800 meters. It looked like Haskins would outmatch Norden’s pace for a wire-to-wire the win but Norden’s strength all year long has been the run and it wouldn’t fail her today. Near the 4-mile mark Norden firmly took the lead. By the 6-mile mark she built a 15-second gap over the American would hold that margin to the finish.
While Norden may have repeated for the win in Dallas it was Haskins who won the Toyota Cup and took home an additional $20,000 with the title.
1. Matt Reed 1:51:03
2. Greg Bennett 1:51:22
3. Bevan Docherty 1:51:26
4. Stuart Hayes 1:51:31
5. Bruno Pais 1:51:38
1. Lisa Norden 2:01:44
2. Sarah Haskins 2:01:59
3. Julie Dibens 2:03:15
4. Sarah Groff 2:03:33
5. Nicola Spirig 2:04:07
Toyota Cup Series final standings
1. Matt Reed
2. Greg Bennett
3. Paul Matthews
1. Sarah Haskins
2. Julie Dibens
3. Rebeccah Wassner
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