Dane Rasmus Henning just finished 3rd at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon (3 km swim/200 km bike/20 km run). Eneko Llanos (2nd at Ironman Hawaii 2008) from Spain won in front of Rasmus Hennings good friend and training buddy, Dirk Bockel of Luxemborg (7th at Ironman Hawaii 2009, Silver Long distance champs 2009.
Llanos won in a time of 6:34:37. Bockel and Henning were on each others heals during most of the run section, but Bockel surged late in the run to take second 53 sec behind while Henning took 3rd 1:30 behind the winner.
Rasmus Henning: „I am really satisfied with the result. Eneko Llanos is a class athlete with numerous big results and I have no shame in losing to him. I had a good swim and we were a big group of 20 guys together on the first 100 km on the bike. I felt good on the bike and my new Specialized bike felt really good. When the big guns made their move I was able to respond. I got a little cramped up in my hamsprings towards the end of the bike, and I think it has something to do with me not having the mileage on the bike as my competition has. I have only had a few long rides since I came back from Playitas 6 weeks ago and that affected my run. I did not get serious cramps on the run but never found my rythm and my legs felt heavy. It seemed like Llanos, Bockel and I had the same tactics on the bike: To stay in the front group but not taking the leads. I almost succeded in dropping both Llanos and Bockel when the break came but Llanos just managed to hang on while Bockel came up to the group after trailing for some time on his own. I have beaten Dirk, who is my good friend, many times and it is okay by me that he finally got me. Under the circumstances I had a good race and I am happy about the result this being the first race of the season,“ Rasmus Henning says.
Rasmus Henning felt good before the race. The season opener was much anticipated with the first prize of USD 50,000 on the line. Many of teh uberbikers in the sport had their hopes with a huge bike segment of 200 km and only 20 km of running.
The swim was good for Rasmus, he was into T1 in third position and out on the bike in 7th position.
Many of the big guns on the bike never came througt as expected. Home favourite Faris Al-Sultan blasted his way to the front of the bike early, but then faded and did not make it into the 9 man bunch that biked together for the entire 200 km.
Rasmus Henning entered T2 in 3rd place in the group which had very skilled runners in Rasmus Henning, Eneko Llanos and Dirk Bockel.
These 3 also blasted out on the run, with the 2008 Ironman Hawaii runner up, Llanos taking the lead. Bockel and Henning could not catch the little Spaniard and had to battle for the last two places on the podium. Bockel had a late surge that give him second place while Rasmus Henning took the last posium spot sex seconds in front of Fraser Cartmell.