Butterfield rides quickest time in London

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  • Premier Paula Cox and Olympian Tyler Butterfield display the Bermudian flag following the Men's Olympic Triathlon where Butterfield finished 34th.

    Premier Paula Cox and Olympian Tyler Butterfield display the Bermudian flag following the Men's Olympic Triathlon where Butterfield finished 34th.


Despite his frustration with the negative tactics of the riders in his group, Tyler Butterfield finished with the fastest cycle time in the men's Olympic triathlon to place 34th overall.

And while Butterfield might not have achieved his target of a top 20 finish, he insisted the London 2012 triathlon had been his most memorable race.

Competing in his first Olympics since Athens 2004, the Bermudian completed the course, which started and ended in centuries-old Hyde Park, in a time of one hour, 50 minutes and 32 seconds.

As Butterfield predicted before the race, which started under cloudy, cool skies, he came out of the Serpentine lake towards the back of the 55-man field and almost three minutes behind fastest swimmer Richard Varga of Slovakia.

Butterfield shot off hoping to close the gap on the bike ride, his strongest event, but was prevented in his pursuit as the riders in his pack looked to protect their team-mates further ahead.

So disgusted was he with their reluctance to push the pace, Butterfield questioned their professionalism before reminding them they were competing at the Olympics.

“I knew it was going to be a hard ride and I was a bit disappointed, to be honest,” said the former professional cyclist, who climbed to 23rd position with the race's quickest bike time (58.32).

“A few of the stronger cyclists didn't seem to want to ride. They had a few of their team-mates up front and therefore didn't want to work hard.

“I sort of yelled at them 'come on this is the Olympics boys, what are you waiting for? There are 30 guys in front of us.'

“But you can only encourage them to work and give them a stern telling off once or twice. Then you have to just put your head down, and that's what I did."

Angry, annoyed and in an effort to improve his position, he finally broke away from the passive pack on the seventh and final lap of the 6.1 km bike course.

In hindsight it was not the wisest move, admitted Butterfield, who felt heavy legged during the 2.5km lakeside running course.

“I knew it wasn't a smart move to break away from my group on the last lap. I wasn't going to catch the leaders but I was a bit tired of putting the effort in,” said the 28-year-old. “I knew it would sting me for the run but this is the Olympics, there's no point saving anything.

“I knew it was going to hurt but that's what I trained for: to swim at my max, cycle at my max and run at my max. If you're not at the front it's simple: you work to get there. There's no point playing tactics.”

In front of a huge crowd of more than 250,000 lining the streets of London, Butterfield said he was proud of his performance and had never before experienced a triathlon with such an incredible atmosphere.

“I was happy to represent Bermuda well. Bermuda has a population of fewer than 70,000 and I'm mixing it with some of the biggest countries in the world,” said Butterfield, who finished 35th in Athens.

“The atmosphere was amazing. This was definitely the best race I've ever done. For me, this is the best Olympics and best race ever."

Alistair Brownlee became Great Britain's first Olympic champion in triathlon while his brother Jonny picked up a bronze medal. Spain's Javier Gomez finished second to take silver.

There was heartbreak for Canada's flag-bearer Simon Whitfield, the Olympic champion in Sydney and the silver medallist in Beijing, as he crashed very early on the first lap and was forced to pull out.

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Published Aug 7, 2012 at 9:00 am (Updated Aug 7, 2012 at 9:55 am)

Butterfield rides quickest time in London

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