LOS ANGELES -- Canadian Michael Simpson easily won the first major triathlon of his pro career, taking the City of Los Angeles Triathlon by nearly a minute over another darkhorse pro, Australian Richie Cunningham.
Simpson, 22, clocked a time of 1 hour, 51 minutes, 33.9 seconds
over the Olympic-distance course.
Cunningham's time for the 0.9-mile ocean swim off Venice Beach,
24.8-mile bike through Hollywood and 6.2-mile run ending downtown
was 1:52:25.0. Brazilian Fabio Cavalho was third in 1:52:37.9.
Two-time Hawaii Ironman world champion Tim Deboom of Colorado
was the fastest American, finishing fourth in 1:52:58.8.
Simpson came out of the water in 11th place and started making
up ground in the bike segment, where he moved into third position.
He took the lead in the first mile of the run and held it all
the way to the tape.
"I'm shocked, but really happy," he said. "We don't have
waves in Canada so the swim was very, very tough."
The women's race started with a tight grouping of three
Americans. Sarah Haskins, Sarah Groff and Julie Swail came out of
the water together.
Haskins, who lives and trains at the Olympic facility in
Colorado Springs, Colo., got her first major pro victory with a
time of 2:03:56.8.
Swail and Groff faded during the run and were overtaken by
American and three-time world champion Karen Smyers, who finished
second with a 2:04:32.8. Swail was third with a 2:05:16.1.