We saw what happened to pros who did not ride the full bike course at Shepparton 70.3 in 2011. The lead guys turned early following the pace car (which had turned early prior to a U-Turn to stay out of the riders way) rather than continue to the U-Turn as was supposed to happen. They were handed 5min penalties but the short cut was only hundreds of meters.
There were different circumstances in Koh Samui including ‘police in a foreign country’ telling ‘you’ what to do. This in itself could cause those not given to standing their ground no matter what to hesitate and err on the cautious side.
The ensuing circumstances meant that in this race there were no winners. Ben Allen and Courtney Atkinson’s first and second will be talked about and the pros that did ride the correct course have missed out on potentially earning their wages.
For Allen and Atkinson this by no means should make anyone think anything less of their character as you would have had to be there at the time to understand what they were up against.
To the race…
After the swim at Koh Samui Ben Allen and Courtney Atkinson got an early break on the bike. Paul Ambrose, David Dellow, Dan Halkworth & Todd Skipworth for the remainder of the race made up the chasing lead group.
At the back of the bike and on the opposite side on the island there is a loop that is nearly 15km (see image) that is comprised of a very large and sharp hill and tight switch back turns. (It is not a fast loop with the addition of 40deg and 100% humidity).
Reports from spectators say that the race leaders Allen and Atkinson missed this loop giving them a significant lead on the bike. In addition to Allen and Atkinson, all other male pros (excluding Ambrose, Dellow,Â Halkworth & Skipworth), female pros and all age groupers were also directed by local police to miss this section.
The course is apparently simple to navigate and is clearly marked the entire way unless you have police telling you not to go a particular way. If you rode the first loop you would see that the back end loop is clearly marked with km markers for the 2nd loop of the bike.
What happened to the aforementioned chase group was the police tried to stop them and turn them around to say they were going the wrong way. The police were wrong and were told so by the four pros who continued on the correct course which included the addition back end loop (clearly marked).
The leaders were also told not to go this way by the police and adhered to this advice despite protesting that they had to ride this way.
What happened with all the following pros was that supposedly the police coned off the turn and told all other athletes to ride back to transition which completely changed the entire race. Not only did this give them a sizeable lead on the pros who rode the correct course of 20-30min (approx) but they had fresher legs from not riding the extra distance and a fresher body not riding in the insane heat.
The organisers gave most that had cut the bike course a 15min stand down penalty on the back end of the run. Next to an aid station which additionally gave them nice fresh legs too finish off their race.
The 15min stand down penalty was seemingly light given there was a tough 15km+ bike section missed.
No doubt the fallout from this debacle will continue for a while.
Paul Ambrose, David Dellow, Dan Halkworth & Todd Skipworth were the pros that completed the full race and will be unhappy (understatement) about the outcome and will feel that some of them should have been rewarded with podiums and pay cheques.
What do you think should happen in these circumstances?
Leave your comments below…
|1||Courtney Atkinson||M S3||AUS||1||0:51:49||2:49:44||2:16:33||6:00:18|
|2||Ben Allen||M S2||AUS||1||0:51:49||2:49:41||2:21:31||6:05:22|
|3||Marcel Zamora Perez||M S4||ESP||1||0:57:51||2:58:03||2:15:18||6:13:58|
|4||Melissa Hauschildt||F S3||AUS||1||1:00:10||3:04:49||2:07:06||6:14:49|
|5||Daniel Halksworth||M S2||USA||2||0:53:46||3:16:51||2:02:10||6:15:42|
|6||Todd Skipworth||M S2||AUS||3||0:53:44||3:16:46||2:02:31||6:15:58|
|7||Jimmy Johnsen||M S4||DEN||2||0:57:59||2:57:49||2:18:33||6:17:25|
|8||David Dellow||M S3||AUS||2||0:51:53||3:18:54||2:05:43||6:19:32|
|9||Liz Blatchford||F S3||AUS||2||0:58:37||3:11:06||2:07:53||6:20:36|
|10||Fredrik Croneborg||M S3||SWD||3||0:58:04||3:05:40||2:14:34||6:21:29|
|11||Nikolay Yaroshenko||M S2||RUS||4||0:51:50||3:04:00||2:26:14||6:24:45|
|12||Courtney Ogden||M V1||AUS||1||0:56:17||3:08:06||2:18:00||6:25:34|
|13||Paul Ambrose||M S2||AUS||5||0:53:49||3:16:44||2:13:50||6:27:02|
|14||Massimo Cigana||M S4||ITA||3||1:04:27||2:59:02||2:22:52||6:29:07|
|15||Caroline Steffen||F S4||SUI||1||1:00:13||3:09:36||2:19:38||6:32:18|
|16||Belinda Granger||F V1||AUS||1||1:00:11||3:09:33||2:24:57||6:37:27|
|17||Alexandra Louison||F S3||FRA||3||1:12:11||3:17:56||2:12:00||6:45:08|
|18||Justin Granger||M V1||AUS||2||1:04:25||3:11:50||2:31:34||6:50:45|
|19||Erika Csomor||F V1||HUN||2||1:06:41||3:16:16||2:25:15||6:51:18|
|20||Harry Sikkema||M V1||NET||3||1:07:09||3:11:21||2:29:46||6:52:11|
|21||Carrie Lester||F S3||AUS||4||1:00:51||3:21:07||2:31:49||6:56:50|
|22||Isabelle Ferrer||F S4||FRA||2||1:06:39||3:23:48||2:33:48||7:06:57|
|23||Martin Lieberz||M S4||HKG||4||1:08:54||3:15:46||2:52:52||7:22:25|
|24||Glenn Macnamara||M V1||NZL||4||1:23:20||3:54:16||2:53:37||8:16:02|
|25||Suwan Niphon||M V2||THA||1||1:30:29||3:56:06||2:53:16||8:22:30|
|26||Matthias Berger||M S4||AUT||5||1:22:27||3:44:34||3:12:26||8:28:16|
|27||Visarut Visanuvimol||M V3||THA||1||1:25:56||4:05:39||3:20:55||8:56:59|
|28||Ben Steele||M S4||AUS||6||1:23:31||4:09:45||3:31:42||9:17:22|
|29||Laurent Gas||M V2||FRA||2||1:40:34||4:08:43||3:27:19||9:24:22|
|30||Denis Herpe||M V3||FRA||2||1:47:37||4:10:03||3:39:12||9:45:33|
|31||Ingolf Cohrs||M V2||GER||3||1:12:45||4:01:03||4:34:16||9:55:14|
|32||Nampetch Porntharukcharoen||F S4||THA||3||1:35:44||5:02:12||3:32:18||10:22:31|
|33||Chiew Sheng Liew||M S3||SIN||4||1:50:13||4:31:25||3:54:07||10:23:12|
|34||Tassawan Sirivongs||F S4||THA||4||1:17:28||4:57:22||4:09:22||10:32:29|
|35||Witthaya Maneejakr||M V3||THA||3||1:26:21||4:35:00||4:28:25||10:35:49|
|36||Alexander Gatilov||M S2||RUS||6||1:35:17||5:07:17||4:10:19||11:02:11|
|37||Thitinanthaphan Surat||M V5||THA||1||2:05:40||4:29:16||4:27:36||11:12:13|
|DNF||Bryan Rhodes||M V1||NZL||0||0:53:50||3:03:18|
|DNF||Christophe Perret||M V1||SUI||0||1:22:06||3:54:55|
|DNF||Michelle Gailey||F S3||AUS||0||1:00:50|
|DNF||Luca Ferrari||M V2||SUI||0||1:22:09||4:30:44|
|DNF||Michael Murphy||M S1||AUS||0||0:51:55|
|DNF||Andy Lordianto||M S2||IND||0||1:16:38|
|DNF||Anna-Lee Hazell||F S2||AUS||0||1:07:18|