Hy-Vee Recap


Posted by Coach Dustin


This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Des Moines, IA to watch the Hy-Vee Elite Cup Triathlon. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this race, it's a race where the best of the best compete for the largest prize purse in Triathlon, a total of 1.1 million dollars. The WTC puts on a series of international Olympic distance races and the top 30 ranked pros (plus a few special invites) qualify for this final race. Just to give you an idea of the level of competition, the men's gold and silver medalists from London Alistair Brownlee and Javier Gomez were racing along with Ironman world champion Chris McCormack, 4 time US Olympian Hunter Kemper, and British Olympian Stuart Hayes. On the women's side was the silver medalist from London Lisa Norden, US Olympians Sarah Haskins, Laura Bennett, and Sara Groff, and 70.3 world champion Melissa Rollison.


These athletes were not only vying for a lucrative $151,500 that went to the top male and female each, but there was also the incentive of primes on each leg of the race. The race was the typical Olympic distance, 1500m swim, 40k bike, and 10k run, and the course was set up so that the swim was two laps and the bike and run were four laps each.  For each of the 10 laps there was a bonus line and the first person across it was awarded $5150 as long as they finished the race. It was so fun to be able to be out there and see these athletes race, just to watch them suffer and dig deep for probably the biggest race that a lot of them will ever race in.


Lisa Norden and Sarah Haskins were the favorites going into the women's race though Norden was a little iffy coming off of the Olympics, a big weekend of racing last weekend in Stockholm, and a lot of travel. Haskins has been racing very well recently and had some redemption to get after being run down in the last 800 m last year and going from 1st to 4th. Haskins sailed through the swim, leading both laps and earning both primes and then began to rip through the bike. She built on her lead during the first two laps, but then a few of the girls began to slowly chip away at her lead. She led all four laps of the bike, but didn't have much of a lead starting out on the run. As a matter of fact, not long into it, she was passed by Norden and just didn't have the legs to stick with her. Lisa Norden earned the title for the second year in a row, Sarah Haskins got second, and Jodie Stimpson rounded out the podium in third place.


The men's race was a little less predictable and had a lot more lead changes. Josh Amberger won the prime on the first lap of the swim and then Gomez won the second, leading the men out of the water. Once on the bike, Ben Collins took a commanding lead, winning the first two primes, but being chased not too far behind by the likes of Alistair Brownlee, Javier Gomez, and Matty Reed. David Thompson (who had previously been in 2nd place) came through as the leader of lap three after Collins was delayed by wheel problems and on lap four the announcer mistakenly identified the leader as Thompson until the rider got closer and we all realized it was actually Greg Bennett who had come up from 6th or 7th place. Bennett proceeded to lead the final bike lap and was able to barely hang on and win the first run prime. Just after passing the bonus line, Gomez caught Bennett and would never look back, finishing in first place. Hunter Kemper was also able to catch Bennett, finishing in second, while Bennett hung on to the last podium spot, not too bad for a 40 year old racing against a bunch of young studs.



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