New Zealand’s Kyle Smith and Hanna Wells took the wins at the last triathlon race of 2020, the Rotorua Suffer Triathlon. The half-distance event (1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21.1 km run) saw competitive fields of Kiwi competitors, but in the end it was Smith and Wells who showed their strength to take the wins.
The race began with a two-lap swim in Lake Tikitapu, followed by the bike from Lake Tikitapy towards Lake Rotoma. With lots of hills the challenging bike course seemed suited for Smith, who extended his lead throughout the bike. After 20 km he was up by two minutes over big-name stars including Braden Currie, Mike Phillips and Terenzo Bozzone. By the time Smith hit T2 his lead was up to five minutes.
The run included off-road laps around Lake Tikitapu with some major climbs, and Smith was able to stay in front and take his share of the Professional Triathletes Organisation-supported NZD $15,000 prize purse.
In the women’s race Wells took the title thanks to a solid overall performance that saw her third out of water, second off the bike and first across the finish line.