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Kemp and Hudson take a tough Dragons ITT

posted 6 Apr 2018, 23:47 by HK Dragons Triathlon Club

In what were overcast and chilly conditions (by Hong Kong standards), with even a tiny bit of drizzle, fourteen intrepid competitors stepped out to see if they can hit some fast times at the first Dragons ITT of 2018.

Sleeves and even longs had been brought back out of the closet by some, and the wind was clearly up. Some of the weather apps were forecasting an 8 m/s north easterly which clearly meant that when the wind was behind you, it was going to be a huge advantage, but then again, this is an out and back course, and so what the wind giveth, it also taketh away.…..


For those looking to predict a winner, the added complication today was that the field was slightly depleted by the fact that some were still away on Easter/Ching Ming Festival holidays, and other notable regulars were either unwell or tapering for next week’s Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou race.


Still  - to use a well worn cliche - you have to be in it to win it, and there were several very strong looking competitors keen to get some points on the board for the first TT.


In the women’s race, there was the resurgent Christina Hudson, with a Tour be Bintan yellow jersey freshly under her belt, the serial competitor Manon Peters who seems to have a race almost every month at the moment, and newcomer to the scene, and not to be ignored, Kate Gaskell.


In the men’s race, there were also no foregone conclusions to be had. Paul Wright was looking imperious as ever, having last month just won the Asian Duathlon Championships in Malaysia for his age group, while the ever mild-mannered Ryan Kemp, who is rarely seen outside on a bicycle, is known for putting in some punishing sessions on the trainer. We also welcomed to the race Robert Turnbull, who brought with him a fierce reputation from performances at previous races, and Chris Liu of Holiday Racing and 6UO, who was also very capable of pulling off an upset. And of course, we must always give a mention to Victor ‘Cordobator’ Cordoba, who had travelled especially for the race from Macau and had to rush back straight after to perform in The House of Dancing Water.


This race also brought the welcome return of the faster traditional 2-lap (24 km x 2) format - a route which we used to regularly until 2015, when roadworks on the course meant we had to rework to a 3-lap 16km x 3 race.


With the steadiest going off first Jen Hsieh, Kate Gaskell and brand new Dragon, Yves Klenk, led the field off, while Christina Hudson and Wynnie Fung were placed second to last and last respectively, in a race where the fastest always are the last to leave. In the men’s field, Paul Wright, Ryan Kemp and Robert Turnbull were third last, second last and last to leave respectively - with Paul Wright proudly sporting his yellow jersey from the 2017 competition.


Speeds were high from the off and that 8 m/s north easterly meant that speeds of up to 50km/h were reached on Tung Chung Road. From a marshall’s standpoint Kemp and Wright were quickly working their way right up through the field, with Wright holding onto a slender lead. Chris Liu who started quite high up in the grid had also passed several of his competitors and was also homing in on the two leaders, with Victor ‘Cordobator’ Cordoba in hot pursuit.


In the women’s race, it was a similar story, with Christina Hudson distancing herself quickly from her female competitors, not even allowing Wynnie Fung - a huge competitor on the Hong Kong scene, who started 15 seconds later - to even get anywhere close to her.


Kemp’s unrelenting determination meant that his persistence finally paid off, as he passed Wright on the final lap, while Hudson’s hard work on the first lap, meant that there was never much change once she got to the front, though there was a fierce battle for 2nd place, taken admirably by Manon Peters with Wynnie in third.


It was a day when having a TT bike over a road bike gave you a distinct advantage. With gusting winds and cloudy low pressure conditions, getting low and aero was clearly a differentiator in the race.


Congratulations to all who participated. See you at the next one. Massive thanks to the marshalls on course: Gibbo, Adrian, roinkers, Anthony and Sheel.


FINAL STANDINGS:


Ryan ‘mild mannered’ Kemp: 1.13.48 

Paul ‘Wrighty’ Wright: 1.14.08 

Chris Liu: 1.15.13 (self-timed) (Strava moving time: 1.17.48/elapsed time: 1.25.11)

Víctor ‘Cordobator!!’ Cordoba: 1.18.11 

Robert Turnbull: 1.18.55  

Vivek Varadarajan: 1.20.16 

Christina Hudson: 1.20.26  (FIRST LADY)

Dana Guidice: 1.21.03 

Bill Fok :1.25.44 

Manon Peters: 1.25.54

Wynnie Fung: 1.28.02 (Strava moving time 1.25.11)

Kate Gaskell: 1.39.43 (despite going off course with a short stint on the #8 highway!) 

Jen Hsieh: 1.41.05

Yves Klenk: 1.41.17


Strava elapsed times take precedence unless otherwise indicated (https://www.strava.com/segments/17332182?filter=overall)



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HK Dragons Triathlon Club,
6 Apr 2018, 23:47
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HK Dragons Triathlon Club,
6 Apr 2018, 23:47
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HK Dragons Triathlon Club,
6 Apr 2018, 23:47
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