With only three foreign participants at the Oceania Triathlon Cup in Taupo, both the men’s and women’s race had a New Zealand podium clean sweep. In the men’s race, it was Olympic bronze medalist Hayden Wilde who got onto the highest podium stage. He shared the podium with Tayler Reid (+0:18) and Dylan Mccullough (+0:37), who took second and third respectively. In the women’s race, Ainsley Thorpe claimed the victory, as she outran Nicole van der Kaay (+0:04) and Andrea Hansen (+0:26).
Swimming 8:47 minutes, Reid was first out of the water and into T1. While Mccollough closely followed in third, Wilde was a bit more behind after that first discipline. He reached his bike in 9th place, 17 seconds down to the leader. On the bike, Wilde was able to move up, before he wrapped it up with a strong run. Running the – by far – fastest 5K of the day (14:49 minutes), Wilde got to break the tape and celebrate the win. Reid followed in second, and Mccullough claimed the final podium spot.
Wilde on nearly having a DSQ
For a little while, it seemed like Wilde’s win would be taken away from him as he would receive a DSQ for an incident that happened during the race. Fortunately for Wilde, the referees ended up changing their minds. On Instagram, the athlete apologizes for how he acted after the finish and explains that he wasn’t feeling at his best today. “I’d like to thank Triathlon New Zealand and World Triathlon’s technical team for taking this protest seriously with a very thorough process which concluded all athletes involved back into the race. I’d also like to apologize to the technical team for not taking it too well with my three-minute tantrum. At the end of the day they are doing their job, and I wasn’t feeling 100 percent in the race, so it was the last thing I wanted to hear over the line.”
Thorpe found herself right in the mix after the swim. It was Hannah Knighton – who ended up with a DNF behind her name – who was first out of the water. Thorpe was right in her slipstream, though, just like approximately ten others girls were. During the bike part, that group stayed together, and therefor it all came down to the run. Running 17:16 minutes over 5000 meters, Thorpe was first to reach the finish line. The battle with Van der Kaay was tight, as she followed only four seconds later. Hansen completed the podium by finishing in third place.