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Terenzo Bozzone takes Challenge Dubai
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Friday 27th February 2015


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UPDATE - Five athletes (Bozzone, Raelert, Kung, Potts and Collins were identified post race of 'unintentionally not following the course', missing a section on the bike loop and subsequently being applied a four minute penalty each. This impacted the final published and official results - full details below).

Friday was race day for the much anticipated Challenge Dubai, race one in the 2015 Middle East Triple Crown Series, with a $300,000 prize purse attracting the world’s elite. After totally smooth conditions in the days leading up to the event, athletes woke up on race day to find huge waves whipped up by the wind, and an amended two-lap, wetsuit swim.

While conditions may have been unexpected in the water, a men’s professional field of 60+ athletes and strength in depth meant little impact on positions after 1.9km of swimming, with Andy Potts (USA) leading out (22:19) Javier Gomez, Manuel Kung, Pete Jacobs, Michael Raelert, Rasmus Petraeus, Terenzo Bozzone, Martin Jenson, Ben Collins, Michael Murphy and more in close order. For the British contingent, Dan Halksworth and David Mcnamee were right in that leading group, with Will Clarke and Fraser Cartmell 45 seconds back (23:15). Ritchie Nicholls was a little further adrift in 24:33 with Joe Skipper with work to do on dry land, out of the swim in 26:07

The wind which caused the chop in the water added to the challenge on the bike course. That, along with the 20 metre drafting rule, ensured that the bike leg was a lot more than a procession, and the large swim groups were soon broken up on the roads of Dubai. Martin Jensen, Terenzo Bozzone, Michael Raelert and Ben Collins were among those being aggressive during the bike section – resulting in pre-race favourite Javier Gomez losing a lot of time late in the ride. Bozzone reached T2 alone, closely followed by Martin Jenson (DEN) and Maunuel Kung (SUI), with Challenge Bahrain winner Michael Raelert looking ominous around two minutes back in fourth.

Bozzone looked good from the start of the half marathon, but would have known the threat of Raelert from behind. Raelert was able to close – but only by 45 seconds over the 13 miles (1:13:51 to 1:13:06), leaving the Kiwi former Ironman 70.3 World Champion to take the title from the twice former Ironman 70.3 World Champion. A huge performance from Switzerland’s Manuel Kung to complete the podium and take third spot.

The Brit Pro’s finished as 19th Joe Skipper (3:53:18), 21st David Mcnamee 3:55:03, 34th Will Clarke (4:01:35), 37th Ritchie Nicholls (4:02:57), 42nd Fraser Cartmell (4:07:52), DNF Dan Halksworth.

UPDATE: Post-race the final results changed, when it was confirmed that five athletes (Bozzone, Raelert, Kung, Andy Potts and Ben Collins), had missed part of the bike course - "a penalty was imposed on five athletes for unintentionally not following the correct course" - and each athlete had four minutes added to their times. As a results, Tim Reed moved up to second over Michael Raelert, while Manuel Kung who initially crossed the line in third dropped down to ninth, with Potts and Collins dropping out of the top ten alltogether to 12th and 16th respectively.

Challenge Dubai – Friday 27th February 2015
1.9km 90km 21.1km

Pos Men Purse
1st Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:45:45 ** $65,000
2nd Tim Reed (AUS) 3:45:35 $35,000
3rd Michael Raelert (GER) 3:46:49 ** $20,000
4th Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:47:13 $9,000
5th Martin Jensen (DEN) 3:47:19 $6,000
6th Eneko Llanos (ESP) 3:47:20 $5,000
7th Domenica Passuello (ITA) 3:48:04 $4,000
8th Trevor Wurtele (CAN) 3:49:06 $3,000
9th Manuel Kung (SUI) 3:49:39 ** $2,000
10th Joe Gambles (AUS) 3:50:23 $1,000

OFFICIAL RESULTS

The originally published 'across the line' results - before the penaties were applied - was:

Pos Men Purse
1st Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:41:45 $65,000
2nd Michael Raelert (GER) 3:42:49 $35,000
3rd Manuel Kung (SUI) 3:45:39 $20,000
4th Tim Reed (AUS) 3:45:35 $9,000
5th Andy Potts (USA) 3:46:50 $6,000
6th Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:47:13 $5,000
7th Martin Jensen (DEN) 3:47:19 $4,000
8th Eneko Llanos (ESP) 3:47:20 $3,000
9th Domenica Passuello (ITA) 3:48:04 $2,000
10th Benjamin Collins (USA) 3:48:32 $1,000

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