The 2019 Antwerp World Cup provided another dose of dramatic sprint-distance racing and some truly memorable performances on what was a steamy Sunday afternoon in Belgium.
New Zealand had three starters in each of the races (men’s and women’s) and confidence was high after Tayler Reid’s sprint finish to narrowly miss out on top spot last year, Hayden Wilde being allocated race number one and the team being in good form after some solid training blocks and hard racing.
Hayden Wilde’s complete absence of any luck whatsoever in Antwerp continued as he snapped a valve and once again had his race cut short on the first lap of the bike. Team mate Kyle Smith also had a puncture.
The race came down to a pack of seven into the last lap of the run with Reid in the mix. Eventually Gabriel Sandor of Sweden and Reid edged clear of the pack with the Swede narrowly out front as they hit the blue carpet before Reid dug in, memories of being outrun last year still fresh in his mind. Last year’s silver medallist Reid timed his final attack perfectly this time around, flying to the tape two seconds ahead of Sandor, a delighted Diego Moya of Chile delivering bronze.
Reid was happy to take the win “Frothing to take the win after second place last year. Learned from my mistakes and timed my sprint a lot later than last year. Pinned the ears back and full gak to the finish.”
For the full men’s results click here
Nicole van der Kaay, Ainsley Thorpe and Sophie Corbidge all lined up for New Zealand at Antwerp.
With solid performances on the swim and the bike, New Zealand’s Thorpe and van der Kaay were going well but by the bell it was Laura Lindemann and Lisa Tertsch both of Germany who gradually stretched away from the New Zealanders and France’s Pauline Landron were locked into a battle for third.
With half a lap to go, Tertsch found yet another gear, one that this time left her compatriot in her wake. By the tape, she had opened up an impressive 18-second margin over Lindemann in second. Behind the two Germans, it was Ainsley Thorpe who was able to edge out her rivals down the chute and take home a first ever World Cup bronze with van der Kaay finishing in fifth and Corbidge in fifteenth .
Thorpe was xtremely happy with her performance. “I’m happy to win my first World Cup medal. I Focused on the finer details of what I needed to work on and thankfully it all went to plan and my hard work paid off today.”
For the full women’s results click here
Triathlon New Zealand’s National Performance Manager Stephen Sheldrake is says it was a mixed of racing with three top tens and some bad luck. ‘Two punctures from Hayden and Kyle, two great podiums with Tayler taking the win and Ainsley with her first world cup podium and a very solid return to form from Nicole with a fifth place. The course here takes no prisoners with big Belgium cobbles. Tayler used his experience from last year’s race and timed his sprint to perfection. Ainsley showed us today what she is capable of.”