The United Arab Emirates sure likes triathletes. Almost 4 years after the now disbanded Tri-Dubai triathlon team attempted to bolster the tourism in Dubai, Abu Dhabi is taking a go at putting on a world class event, Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. The word is out on a new triathlon that boasts a $250,000 professional prize purse and a $20,000 amateur prize purse taking place March 13, 2010. Aside from the insane prize purse, it also has some very uncommon distances. The long distance race (which is where all the prize money will be awarded) includes a 3K swim, 200k bike, and a 20K run (1.8 mile, 124 mile bike, and12.4 mile run).
This very bike heavy, non-drafting race will most definitely favor the uber-cyclists of the triathlon world as the bike leg will take roughly 5 hours for even the fastest cyclist, compared to just over a 1 hour for the run. Just today, I mentioned this to our very own uber-cylcist David Thompson and he seemed VERY interested (although he was questioning whether he could get himself in top form for such an early race). The $50,000 prize for 1st place would definitely make for a successful kick-off for the year:) With the $1/4 million prize purse, this will definitely bring the likes of other uber-cyclists such as Bjorn Andersson, Chris Lieto, Jordan Rapp and Matt Reed in addition to a slew of the other top non-drafting triathletes that would put a lot of effort into doing well at this race. The unique distance would also lend itself to having some potentially interesting race tactics.
The Curt prediction:
There will be a large pack of draft-legal riding through 30 miles, at which time Chris Lieto, Bjorn and David will break off the front and get a gap that will grow and grow. By the end of the bike they will have a 10-12 minute lead, allowing them enough time to play tactics in the 12 mile run. Bjorn will fade after 4 miles, and Chris and David will run stride for stride until mile 11.5 at which point David will fein weakness by grabbing his hamstring and start alking, Chris will think he’s got it in the bag and let up on the pace. At this point, David will sprint along the edge of the course past Chris and onto the win. So there you go David, don’t let me down:)
And with a $20,000 prize purse, the age group races will surely bring out some talent from across the globe. $1,000 will go to the male and female winner out of every age category up to 60+. Definitely another unique characteristic.
If it weren’t for the $1500+ plane ticket, I would be on my way out there this March.