Cunningham, Naeth Win Tough Rev3 Portland Race
Rev3 Portland welcomed a new, tough and technical course for its sophomore year.
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Rev3 Portland welcomed a new, tough and technical course for its sophomore year. Australia’s Richie Cunningham and Canada’s Angela Naeth outpaced the competition to continue successful 2012 seasons and take the half-Rev victories.
The defending champ Graham O’Grady of New Zealand was one of the first men out of the water in 26:38. A large group, which included Australia’s Paul Matthews and New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone, followed him. Rev3 series leader Cunningham exited the swim less than a minute back, but the other pre-race favorites Thomas and Jordan Rapp (USA) came into T1 with their work cut out for them at three minutes behind.
Once on the bike, Matthews pushed hard and was able to build a lead in the early miles. Cunningham was able to bridge the gap and joined Matthews at front. By the time Cunningham reached T2 he had built a small lead over his fellow Australian. Following the Aussie duo onto the run course were Bozzone and the United States’ Eddie Switaj. Thomas and Rapp rode the tough bike course together, posting the fastest bike splits of the day and starting the run in fourth and fifth, respectively.
The run came down to a battle between Cunningham and Thomas. Thomas looked like he was having the faster run, but he was ultimately unable to catch Cunningham. The Aussie continued his Rev3 hot streak (he also won last month’s Rev3 Quassy) and walked away with the 4:00:38 win and extended his lead in the Rev3 Series standings. Thomas finished second at 4:01:01. Ukraine’s Viktor Zyemtsev, who won Ironman Coeur d’Alene back on June 24, rounded out the podium.
It was three Americans in Meredith Kessler, Becky Lavelle and Lauren Goss leading the women into T1 in just under 29 minutes. Naeth exited the water about 90 seconds back and quickly put her cycling strength to work.
Kessler, who was likely aware that Naeth was not far back, immediately pushed the pace on the bike course. Despite the efforts from Kessler, Naeth caught her at around mile 20 and worked to build a lead heading into T2. When bike turned to run, Naeth had held the front position by about two minutes over Kessler.
The gap remained steady throughout the 13.1-mile half marathon and Naeth cruised across the finish line at 4:27:27 for the win. Kessler, who also won Ironman Coeur d’Alene only two weeks ago, earned second at 4:29:45. Goss claimed third in 4:38:25.
Portland, Ore. – July 8, 2012
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 4:00:38
2. Jesse Thomas (USA) 4:01:01
3. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 4:05:34
4. Jordan Rapp (USA) 4:05:42
5. Andrew Russell (USA) 4:07:01
1. Angela Naeth (CAN) 4:27:27
2. Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:29:45
3. Lauren Goss (USA) 4:38:25
4. Becky Lavelle (USA) 4:39:27
5. Nicole Kelleher (USA) 4:40:40