The ‘Big Unit’ came into the race on a high after reeling off three middle-distance wins, and was hopeful he could continue that fine form in his first full-distance race since last year.
it was not to be though as the 27-year-old American was plagued by tyre issues, finally pulling out at around halfway of the 180km bike leg after stopping multiple times in a bid to rectify the issue.
Long ironically had endured tyre issues at Coeur d’Alene back in 2021 but was then able to make it through the bike leg en route to a famous victory over a field which included big rival Lionel Sanders.
This time though there was no way back as Long found it impossible to deal with a major slash in his front tyre.
Long forced to DNF with tyre issues
Long came out of the water in Idaho just under five minutes behind race leader Dylan Gillespie, but he was well on the road to eradicating that deficit as the bike leg got into full swing.
Then though it became apparent he was losing air from his front tyre, which had a major slash in it. A first stop to pump air into the tyre did not resolve the issue, and a second one saw tech support replace the tyre.
Long’s issues continued as his tube failed and he made the sombre final journey into transition to confirm his DNF from the race.