Round two of the World Triathlon Series visited Auckland, New Zealand and saw four of Ireland’s elite triathletes take to the start line.
Aileen Reid emerged from a bruising 1500 meter swim alongside World Champion Gwen Jorgenson of the USA in a time of20:38. They had some catching up to do as Carolina Routier of Spain led out the swim in a fantastic 19:51.
The Auckland bike course is renowned for being among the toughest on the circuit and Reid found herself in the chase pack and losing ground on the leaders. At the end of the 43 kilometre course Reid and her chase group were some 2:30 down on the top 11 athletes.
A quick 35 second transition saw Reid off in pursuit and moving well over the 10 kilometre run. She clocked 36:20 for the distance, the 11th quickest split of the day and good enough for 15th overall. The result see’s Reid move up to 17th in the World Series standings after two events. With eight events remaining there is plenty of time to continue her rise up the rankings.
The elite women’s race was won by Gwen Jorgenson in a time of 2:09:04 with Katie Zaferes 2nd and local athlete Andrea Hewitt 3rd.
In the men’s race it was Jonny Brownlee who put on a show of strength as he took the title in a time of 1:55:26. He beat off the challenge of defending Auckland World Series Champion, Javier Gomez who had to settle for 2nd with rising star Pierre Le Corre of France, 3rd.
The Irish men had a forgettable day with Bryan Keane finishing best of the Irish in 42nd place. The hilly bike should have suited the Cork man but a poor swim damaged his hopes of a top 20 finish. Armagh native Conor Murphy was also well below par in the swim and struggle through the Olympic Distance triathlon finishing 48th from 65 starters.
After a promising start which saw Ben Shaw exit the water just 9 seconds off the front of the race he struggle on the bike and eventually suffered a DNF.
Round three of the World Triathlon Series is just 2 weeks away in the Gold Coast and gives the Irish team another opportunity to gather points.