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L.A. TRIATHLON

Bennett, Snowsill win again

September 10, 2007|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

Different year, same results.

Greg Bennett and Emma Snowsill of Australia won the Los Angeles Triathlon for the second consecutive year Sunday morning, but another course mishap among the early leaders probably changed the outcome of the men's competition.

Bennett finished the Olympic-distance race outside Staples Center in 1 hour 51 minutes 49 seconds, beating fellow Australian Craig Walton by six seconds.

Walton, however, was part of the lead group of swimmers who turned at the wrong buoy on the 0.9-mile leg off Venice Beach and had to retrace their strokes, putting them back in the trailing group with Bennett.

Walton estimated the error cost him 30 to 45 seconds.

"I wish someone had told me before I got across to the other side, but I can't blame anyone other than myself," said Walton, who won this event in 2002 and 2003. "At the end of the day, I should know the course and that's the bottom line."

Bennett said he wouldn't have caught Walton if not for the course error.

"I really feel for him because that was his biggest weapon today, and it was taken from him," Bennett said. "It's one of those things, where I wanted to see him win, but I wanted to win too."

A year ago, Leanda Cave of Britain was the first woman to cross the finish line, but it was already determined that she had missed a turn on the bike portion of the race, causing her to skip about 3 1/2 miles of the course. Snowsill finished second but was quickly declared the winner.

There was no confusion in the women's race this year, as Snowsill was first out of the water and did not relinquish the lead while winning in 2:03.30, three seconds ahead Julie Dibens of Britain. Snowsill said her favorite part of the course is the 24-mile bike ride, which takes riders through some of the more well-known spots of Los Angeles.

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dan.arritt@latimes.com

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