The official men’s results at Challenge Dubai have changed from the original finishing order because five of the leading triathletes were found to have cut the course, including the first three across the line.
A four-minute penalty was handed down to the offenders with the upshot a reshuffled podium, but Terenzo Bozzone was still awarded the title and $65,000 first prize. Tim Reed moved from fourth to second and Michael Raelert slipped from the runner-up position to third.
Switzerland’s Manuel Kung dropped six places to ninth, with fifth-placed finisher Andy Potts and fellow US triathlete Ben Collins out of the prize money altogether in 12th and 15th.
It appeared something was amiss during the bike leg of the race when the ‘leader’ Denmark’s Martin Jensen (now officially awarded fifth) showed annoyance to a bike marshal after spotting triathletes placed ahead who hadn’t passed him on the road.
It became more apparent at the finish line with many of the professionals convinced the route hadn’t been adhered to, but the original podium of Bozzone, Raelert and Kung stood for the presentation ceremony before being altered for the official awards in the evening.
There is no suggestion any of the five triathletes tried to gain an advantage by deliberating cutting the course, with unconfirmed reports that they turned at an incorrect roundabout when following a motorbike outrider.
But under International Triathlon Union rules, which govern the Challenge races, an advantage gained by taking the wrong route should mean a disqualification.
Revised top five men’s results:
1. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL)* 3:45:45
2. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:46:35
3. Michael Raelert (DUE)* 3:46:49
4. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:47:13
5. Martin Jensen (DEN) 3:47:19
*Received a four-minute penalty for cutting the course