IRONMAN New Zealand saw a star-studded cast of local talent go head-to-head on the shores of the stunning Lake Taupo.
Both the men’s and women’s races produced some compelling individual battles, with some of the world’s strongest triathletes competing over full distance.
We have created a ‘Dream Relay’ for both the men’s and women’s races, made up of the strongest performers in each discipline.
Swim: Rebecca Clarke (48:38)
Rebecca Clarke’s scintillating time for the first leg in New Zealand was a reminder of her frightening pace in the water.
A veteran at middle distance while still a threat over longer races, Rebecca strung together a commendable display to finish second behind Wells.
She led the PTO World Ranked #29 by more than five minutes exiting the fresh, blue waters of Lake Taupo, after completing the 3.8km course in 48:38.
Bike: Hannah Wells (4:50:40)
Hannah Wells began chipping away at the deficit to Clarke as soon as she mounted the bike for the 90km cycle through the Lake Taupo District.
The eventual winner overhauled her compatriot as she asserted herself as by far the quickest athlete ‘on land’.
Her time of 4:50:40 for the bike leg was 11:28 quicker than Clarke, and more than 20 minutes swifter than third-place finisher Emily McNaughtan.
Run: Hannah Wells (3:10:50)
Hannah was all-conquering yet again on the run, as she continued her remarkable streak of finishing on the podium every time she has crossed the finish line in professional triathlon.
Her first full-distance victory will no doubt see her climb the PTO World Rankings, while her blistering time of 3:10:50 for the final leg is sure to catch the eye of the Team Internationals captains ahead of the rescheduled Collins Cup this August.
Wells was some 6:50 quicker than Clarke over the final leg as she claimed victory.
The women’s ‘Dream Relay’ would have finished 5:16 clear of Wells, in a sensational time of 8:56:33.
Swim: Kyle Smith (46:32)
Kyle Smith eventually came home in third position, but the 23-year-old led the field out of the water after a strong opening leg.
The PTO World Ranked #33 completed the 3.8km course in 46:32 and was nearly a minute clear of two former IRONMAN New Zealand winners in Currie and Mike Phillips.
Bike: Mike Phillips (4:23:28)
Once in the saddle, PTO World Ranked #25 Phillips joined Currie in hunting down Smith, and the leading trio ended the 90km leg in close proximity.
Phillips was marginally quickest as he clocked 4:23:28, just 18 seconds faster than eventual winner Currie. Smith was just another two seconds slower than Currie as the race really heated up going into the final leg.
Phillips’ performance on the bike was the basis for his second-place finish.
Run: Braden Currie (2:40:46)
It was Currie who stole the show on the final leg, with his speedy T2 setting the tone for a powerful and decisive run.
The 2017 winner averaged 3:49 per km as he stormed to top step on the podium, finishing the 42.2km run in 2:40:46.
Currie was 9:05 quicker than Phillips, with fourth-placed Jack Moody the closest challenger for the quickest run of the day as he registered a notable 2:42:14.
Small margins would make the difference for the men’s ‘Dream Relay’, which would have completed the course in 7:55:57, 1:15 ahead of Currie.