Cur­rie’s left leg lets him down

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - MAR­JORIE COOK

Wanaka’s Braden Cur­rie was beaten on the line at the Xterra Pan Amer­ica triathlon in Utah on Sun­day, de­spite ap­pear­ing to have won the race from US ri­val Josiah Mid­daugh.

In a bit­ter twist to the toughly fought race, Cur­rie slid his right leg across the line but his tim­ing chip was on his left leg.

Mid­daugh’s tim­ing chip was first by 0.007 of a sec­ond in what proved to be the clos­est fin­ish in Xterra’s 21 year his­tory.

‘‘If only I knew which foot my tim­ing chip was on,’’ a rue­ful Cur­rie said af­ter the race.

Mid­daugh’s win­ning time was 2h 20min­utes:23.57secs

Cur­rie, 30, led the field of 35 pro­fes­sional ath­letes un­til the last 5m.

Al­though dis­ap­pointed, Cur­rie said he had plenty of pos­i­tives to take for­ward to the Xterra World Cham­pi­onships in Hawaii in October.

‘‘I in­tend to put ev­ery­thing into the next five weeks and our plan is to stay in Lake Ta­hoe af­ter the Pan Am Champs and train. It is the best pos­si­ble train­ing en­vi­ron­ment I could hope for go­ing into the Hawai­ian event.’’

He was run­ner-up in Hawaii in 2015.

Cur­rie is re­cov­er­ing from a re­cent calf strain and will con­cen­trate on moun­tain bik­ing, af­ter hav­ing a largely road bike-fo­cused past six months.

He swam with the top bunch of four and ex­ited with them into the first tran­si­tion.

He was first away on the steep 28km moun­tain bike ride, which fea­tured 1036m of climb­ing and was an up­hill slog.

‘‘This sort of big climb­ing course seems to suit me. I got to the Sar­dine Peak Trail sum­mit (2225m) and this is where Josiah caught me last year, so my goal this year was to get there with­out him in sight, which I did,’’ Cur­rie said.

Af­ter a tech­ni­cal de­scent Cur­rie was 23 sec­onds ahead of Mid­daugh into the run tran­si­tion.

He found the high alti­tude run at 1950m ‘‘pretty bru­tal’’.

Mid­daugh started to gain ground on his ri­val dur­ing the last de­scent, and in the fi­nal 5m edged along­side Cur­rie, who in des­per­a­tion drove the wrong leg for­ward.

Cur­rie’s next races at the World Xterra Cham­pi­onships on October 23.

He has races in China and Aus­tralia in Novem­ber be­fore re­turn­ing to New Zealand for races in Taupo and Tau­ranga and the Red Bull De­fi­ance.

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