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Murray motors to maiden World Cup victory in New Zealand
- Updated: March 23, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
Commonwealth Games silver medallist triathlete Richard Murray ticked another box in his list of achievements with a maiden World Cup win in New Zealand on Sunday.
Not even a time-penalty could hold up the 2012 Olympian as he blasted across the line in New Plymouth.
He clocked 52min 38sec for the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre cycle and 5km run.
That saw him ending 21 seconds clear of Russia’s Alexander Bryhihankov and a further three seconds ahead of Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt.
‘It was great to come down here and race, I was actually supposed to race here last year,’ Murray told Road to Rio 2016 on Monday morning after a long car journey back to his Hobsonville base, just north of Auckland.
‘I was ranked No1 going into this event so there was a bit of pressure in the press etc. But I felt pretty good and the legs held up well in the build-up and after I’d ended third in the World Triathlon Series event in Abu Dhabi.
‘There was talk of rain before the event but it only rained during the morning and then cleared up. The swim was very choppy and the legs were good but I still didn’t have the greatest of swims. There was a lot of fighting at the first buoy and I was glad to get back on to terra-firma again.’
So pleased was the South African that there was a moment of indiscretion as he headed into the first transition. ‘I messed up by not putting my helmet on and had to top and was given a 10-second time penalty.
‘So I worked my way up through the bike leg and the end of the first lap I was up to the position I wanted after the swim.’ Murray built up enough of a buffer to serve his time-penalty on the second lap of the run. ‘ I pushed the run very hard and with 200m to go sprinted for the win.
‘I’m very stoked with this win. Now we’ve got about three or four weeks here in New Zealand (I’m skipping the Auckland leg of the WTS Series) and then focusing on the Gold Coast leg and on getting in a good training block in before April.’