Early today, Kelowna’s Heather Wurtele scored a second place finish while racing against an ultra-competitive professional field at Challenge Dubai. Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf took control of the race with the top ride (2:18:54) and run (1:17:24) to take the win and just need two more wins to cash in on the $1 000 000 Triple Crown payday.
We caught up with Heather Wurtele after the race and she offered these comments:
Heather on today’s race.
“We woke up to some serious wind here in Dubai this morning and they actually changed the swim course to two loops (instead of one large one) because the ocean swell was so bad. Sighting was difficult, but I took my own line while a lot of the lead pack went way off track, so that minimized my deficit out of the water. On the bike, it was my kind of ride with strong winds, and the 20m draft zone made it a lot easier for me to put the hammer down and chase the leaders because everyone really had their nose to the wind. I was off the bike in 3rd, just behind Jodie Swallow, and ran hard to pass her and try to catch Daniela. I felt good, the conditions (windy, not too hot) were great for racing, but Ryf was untouchable out in front.”
Heather’s plans for 2015.
“I will be doing the Challenge Triple Crown series. I really appreciate their investment in the sport, the great live coverage of the races and the forward thinking rule changes like the 20m draft zone – which is especially key for flat races like most of those in the middle east. That said, 70.3 Worlds and Kona are still a major focus for me so I will be back racing 70.3 Oceanside, St. George, and IM Texas to qualify for both world champs. I will have more of a mid-season break this year to hopefully be more fresh for Kona, and for late season races like the Island House Nassau invitational in November and then Bahrain.”
Why the great performance today at Challenge Dubai?
“We had a great winter back home in Kelowna (all the trainer rides were good for this race!) and are lucky to have training camps with some talented ITU athletes in Poway, CA., care of our coach Paulo Sousa and the Triathlon Squad. Chasing them in on tempo runs is always good race prep!”
Challenge Dubai Top 5 Pro Women
1. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 4:05:01
2. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:09:21
3. Helle Frederiksen (DEN) 4:11:43
4. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 4:13:35
5. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:15:55
New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone was solid across all three segments and managed to stay ahead for the win – despite receiving a 4 minute penalty for unintentionally cutting the bike course. Michael Raelert, Manuel Kung, Andy Potts, and Ben Collins, also received a four minute penalty for the same violation.
Challenge Dubai Top 5 Pro Men
1. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:45:45
2. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:46:35
3. Michael Raelert (GER) 3:46:49
4. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:47:13
5. Martin Jensen (DEN) 3:47:19
8. Trevor Wurtele (CAN) 3:49:06