On Saturday March 15 several of the top pro triathletes in the world were on hand in the United Arab Emirates to take part in the 2014 Abu Dhabi long course triathlon.
The headliners and favorites going into the race were Mellissa Hauschildt for the pro women and Frederik van Lierde for the men.
Van Lierde had the early lead in the race as the pro men exited the swim, but was being chased by nine competitor's who were all within ten seconds of the lead.
Van Lierde could not make a clean break between himself and the rest of the field as a pack of five pro men were close together at the front as the 200k bike leg neared it's conclusion.
Tyler Butterfield and Sylvain Sudrie surged away from the rest of the field and it was Butterfield who proved to be the strongest in the run and is the winner of the 2014 Abu Dhabi Long Course Triathlon.
For the pro women, Jody Swallow of Great Britain is well known for her swimming ability and had built up a sizable lead of over three minutes on second place Michelle Vesterby of Denmark as the pro women entered the swim/bike transition area.
Australian Mellissa Hauschildt made up a five minute deficit by the half-way point of the 200k bike course and took over the lead.
The only one managing to stay close to her early on the bike course was Michelle Vesterby of Denmark who was 90 seconds back going into the last half of the bike.
Yvonne van Vlerken made a late charge and it was Hauschildt, van Vlerken, and Vesterby in the top three spots as the Elite women began the 22k run.
Hauschildt had a lead of just under one minute over the two challengers and it was van Vlerken who managed to close on Hauschildt in the first half of the run course.
There was also a short course race in Abu Dhabi and a combined total of 2400 athletes took part in the events.
The race featured a prize pool of $230,000 which makes it one of the biggest cash prize pools in the sport of triathlon as far as races that do not require qualification or invitation.
The race was still in progress at press time.
To see who would go on to win for the pro women and the final times for all the top short and long course pros as they become available visit IronStruck.com.