Kestrel Domination: Potts wins 4th Oceanside title, Cunningham takes 2nd
Source: Kestrel Bicycles
© John Schnack
(Oceanside, California) April 3, 2012 – Andy Potts not only won his first race of the season Saturday, kicking off 2012 seemingly just where the 2011 Toyota Cup Champion left off; he earned his 4th Ironman 70.3 California title with a time of 3:54:03, beat his winning time last year by nearly 2 minutes, and simply obliterated the field after coming out of the swim 1:24 up.
And it wasn’t only Potts who prevailed on an unseasonably bitter, damp, and dreary day in Southern California. Kestrel-sponsored Richie Cunningham gave it all he had to overtake NCAA All-American Jesse Thomas on the run to sprint across the line 2nd. A 1-2 punch for Team Kestrel.
“To start off the season like this, I mean it’s the best possible result we could have hoped for,” said Kestrel Brand Manager Steve Harad. “Andy’s won this thing 4 times. It’s not an easy race, and he just dominated. Jesse is a phenomenal runner, and yet Andy, and Richie for that matter, just killed it.”
He added, “What an awesome podium for Richie. Coming off the fractured hip from last season, Richie’s started his season really strong. And he proved today that he’s someone to look out for.”
As expected, Potts was first out of the water. The surprise: by such a decisive margin. Hopping on his Kestrel 4000 with ease at Transition 1, Potts led the entire 56-mile bike through the hills and valleys of Camp Pendleton, with Cunningham close behind in the 5-man chase group.
© John Schnack
A frigid ride, Transition 2 proved more difficult. With frozen hands, Potts struggled to unhook his helmet and maintain his lead heading into the 13-mile run. The chasers, however, had the same troubles, so Potts found himself comfortably in front on the 13-mile course through downtown Oceanside.
Cunningham and Thomas launched an attack on the run, but Potts was simply dialed in. With the finish line in sight, he hi-fived members of the crowd all the way to the tape.
Potts described after the race the different emotional responses a win elicits: the one fist pumper, the double, and the two-handed fist pump with eyes closed. His 4th Oceanside title produced the latter. “It was a really sweet victory,” said Potts.