Oakley Domination at the 2011 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon: Julie Dibens Becomes First Repeat Champion

Julie Dibens

Oakley was a dominating force at the 2011 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon taking six of the top ten spots in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

The Men

Out of the water after the 3k swim in front of the Emirates Palace hotel, Oakley’s Dirk Bockel, Rasmus Henning and Craig Alexander led the pack just seconds behind race leader, Sylvain Sudrie.

Bockel had a quick transition and was first out on the bike, but he would not be out front for long as Bjorn Andersson quickly made a push for the lead. Oakley teammates Raynard Tissink and Cam Brown fought back from a slow start to finish the 200k ride within seven minutes of eventual leader, Andrew Starykowicz. Unfortunately, Rasmus and fellow Oakley competitor, Chris McCormack, were forced to withdraw from the race due to severe cramping and cleat issues, respectively.

Even though, Starykowicz hit the second transition with nearly six minutes on Bockel, the Oakley powerhouse made up more than four minutes within the first 10k. After a charge by Belgian triathlete Frederik Van Lierde knocked Starykowicz from the lead however, Bockel found himself under pressure by Van Lierde’s countryman and fellow Oakley teammate Marino Vanhoenacker and was bumped into the third position. Van Lierde managed to hold on for the win with Vanhoenacker and Bockle finishing second and third within 30 seconds of his time.

The Women

Oakley’s Julie Dibens led from start to finish to defend her 2010 title, but her lead did not go uncontested.

Dibens exited the water seven seconds up on Leanda Cave, two minutes ahead of Oakley teammates Rachel Joyce and Caroline Steffen and nearly five minutes ahead of the rest of the field.

Her dominance continued on the bike where she quickly distanced herself from Cave. Upon her first entry into the Yas Marina Circuit, Dibens held a solid two-minute lead, which she extended to five minutes by the second pass. Despite the distance between her and second place, Dibens continued to push the pace and hit the run with almost nine minutes on Steffen who has surpassed Cave on the bike.

Steffen did manage to gain some time on Dibens, but there was too much ground to make up and Dibens crossed the line in first place to become the first repeat champion of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. Steffen crossed the line in second place and was followed by fellow Oakley teammate Catriona Morrison for an Oakley sweep of the women’s podium.

“It’s awesome to win in Abu Dhabi again,” said Dibens. “I had to push myself like never before. I felt great all day and knew this was a race I could win.”

Top10 Men

1.Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 6:43:14
2.Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) OAKLEY 6:43:31
3.Dirk Bockel (LUX) OAKLEY 6:43:42
4.Raynard Tissink (RSA) OAKLEY 6:43:47
5.Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) 6:45:49
6.Craig Alexander (AUS) OAKLEY 6:46:46
7.Luke Bell (AUS) OAKLEY 6:46:52
8.FarisAlSultan (GER) OAKLEY 6:48:22
9.Timo Bracht (GER) 6:49:40
10.Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 6:50:22

Top 10 Women

1.Julie Dibens (GBR) OAKLEY 7:14:23
2.Caroline Steffen (SUI) OAKLEY 7:19:45
3.Catriona Morrison (GBR) OAKLEY 7:31:12
4.Rachel Joyce (GBR) OAKLEY 7:32:09
5.Angela Naeth (CAN) 7:32:34
6.Leanda Cave (GBR) 7:34:20
7.Lucie Zelenkova (CZE) 7:46:33
8.Joanna Lawn (NZL) OAKLEY 7:48:10
9.Belinda Granger(AUS) OAKLEY 7:49:09
10. Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) 7:51:30


Elishia Matta


March 13, 2011