Potts cooking

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:42 PM ET

Practice really does pay off.

Andy Potts figured he should tune up his celebration and decide exactly how he would enjoy the final strides to the finish in the days leading up to the ITU World Cup race in Edmonton just in case. His preparation was worth the extra time and the beaming smile on his face told the story of his success.

The unheralded American captured his first ITU series victory yesterday, going virtually wire to wire to take the win ahead of teammates Hunter Kemper and Matthew Reed.

So deliriously excited by his result, Potts couldn't let go of his wife Lisa's hand as he talked about his triumph.

"I know little kids practise their victory celebrations and I was telling my wife that this is what I want to do when I win. It's sounds corny but even big kids do those things," said Potts, who hit the tape in 1:46:32 - 35 seconds up on Kemper.

"I was practising the other day in the rare case I do get to cross the finish line. I didn't know it would be today. I only had one thing prepared and that was a little shout-out to my wife.

"I tried to enjoy it as much as I could, but with a guy like Hunter running me down, I honestly didn't know how much space I had. I actually put my biggest effort in before the homestretch so I could enjoy the stretch as best as I could. It made all the pain go away.

Although Kemper holds the No. 1 ranking in the ITU standings, the Americans may have another threat for Olympic gold in Potts.

Ranked No. 21 coming into the Hawrelak Park race, Potts had only 2 1/2 years of triathlon experience under his belt, but the former U.S. national swim team member has made a dramatic ascent. He placed 22nd in the 2004 Athens Olympics and has a burning desire to get back to the Summer Games.

"To get a win this early in my career at the World Cup level is going to motivate me for days to come to try and replicate this," said Potts.

"I took a corporate job for a little bit and I decided that wasn't for me. I had some more goals to achieve and some higher heights to reach. My appetite for athletics ... I wasn't done with my meal yet."

Potts was second out of the water in 17:31, only two ticks off the lead and he maintained his strong pace during the bike stage, again hitting the transition zone in second, back by just three seconds.

A powerful stride got him roaring in the run and while his time was 10th best over the last 10km, none of the favourites had enough in the tank to catch him.

Olympic hero Simon Whitfield didn't get much done in swim or bike stage, ranking 22nd and 20th in both, but stormed the field with a surge in the run to finish ninth in 1:48:09.

"You come to win these races or to compete in the front pack and it indicates I've got a lot of work to do on the swim again," said Whitfield.

- - -

MEN'S RESULTS

1. Andy Potts, U.S., 1:46:31; 2. Hunter Kemper, U.S., 1:47:06; 4. 3. Matthew Reed, U.S., 1:47:28; 4. Craig Walton, Australia, 1:47:30; 5. Greg Bennett, Australia, 1:47:43; 6. Hamish Carter, New Zealand, 1:47:58; 7. Bevan Docherty, New Zealand, 1:48:01; 8. Joe Umphenour, U.S., 1:48:01; 9. Simon Whitfield, Victoria, 1:48:09; 10. Courtney Atkinson, Australia, 1:48:19.

OTHER CANADIANS 20. Paul Tichelaar, Edmonton, 1:51:09; 23. Colin Jenkins, Hamilton, 1:52:37; 26. Marc Despaties, Laval, Que., 1:53:43.

- - -

WOMEN'S RESULTS

1. Emma Snowsill, Australia, one hour 58 minutes 12 seconds; 2. Annabel Luxford, Australia, 1:59:02; 3. Joanna Zeiger, U.S., 1:59:50; 4. Laura Bennett, U.S., 2:00:45; 5. Barbara Lindquist, U.S., 2:01:48; 6. Samantha McGlone, St. Catharines, Ont., 2:02:10; 7. Catriona Morrison, Britain, 2:02:21; 8. Miranda Carfrae, Australia, 2:03:09; 9. Kiyomi Niwata, Japan, 2:03:30; 10. Mariana Ohata, Brazil, 2:04:10.

OTHER CANADIANS: 14. Carolyn Murray, St. Albert, 2:06:16; 15. Kathy Tremblay, Montreal, 2:07:05; 16. Tara Ross, Longueuil, Que., 2:07:07; 18. Gillian Kornell, 2:08:53; 20. Christine Jeffrey, 2:09:48; 23. Ayesha Rollinson, 2:10:35.


Videos

Photos