Braden Currie was in imperious form as he romped to victory in the opening IRONMAN event of 2021 – winning in comprehensive fashion in New Zealand.
The PTO World Ranked #11 produced a scintillating 2:40:46 marathon split to complete victory in Taupo by a margin of 9:26 from compatriot Mike Phillips.
Braden exited the water in second place behind Kyle Smith as the pair continued their ongoing rivalry. Up to this point Kyle had Braden’s number over half-distance with victories at the PTO-Supported Tauranga Half and CHALLENGEWANAKA.
However, the majority of Smith’s lead evaporated in the first transition as the pair began the bike leg almost in unison, along with Mike Phillips, Ben Phillips and Simon Cochrane.
Braden, Mike and Kyle then produced almost identical bike splits as Phillips led the trio by 20 seconds heading into T2.
But it was Braden who excelled on the run, dominating the field to earn a sensational victory.
The outstanding display will no doubt catch the attention of the Team Internationals captains as the race to qualify for the rescheduled Collins Cup heats up.
Braden, who currently sits third in the Team Internationals rankings, is likely to have earned a nice haul of points with his sub-8 hour showing.
“I forgot how much it takes to win an Ironman,” he said after taking victory in Taupo.
“I finished yesterday and spent an hour on a stretcher in the medical tent. I won and I’m stoked. But I’ve realised in this last year of not racing, that to win, I must summon everything I have.
“The calibre in NZ right now is world-class. I wanted this win, and I needed this win, and that’s what I brought to the start line.”
Here are the ‘Weapons of Choice’ which Braden used en route to victory:
Goggles: Blueseventy Contour
Sports Watch: Garmin Forerunner 945
Bike frame: Felt IA
Frame size: 54
Aero Bars: Custom
Front wheel: HED Vanquish Pro RC6
Rear Wheel: HED Vanquish Pro Disc
Tyres: Schwalbe Pro TT
Tyre and Tube type: Tubeless
Component Groupset: Shimano Dura Ace Di2
Power meter: Shimano Dura Ace
Head Unit: Garmin Edge 820
Crank Length: 172.5mm
Helmet: Giro Aerohead
Cycling Shoes: Giro Imperial
Saddle: Gebiomized Stride
Hydration System: Custom
Shoes: Asics Metaracer
Heart Rate Monitor: Garmin
Eyewear: Oakley Radar EV
Headwear: Red Bull visor