Full results for Pro Tour, Sprint and Enticer below along with Enticer photo gallery.
Sam Douglas and Matilda Raynolds have taken out the first round of the NSW Pro Tour at Forster last weekend. Sam had to work hard to get over the top of his training partner Michael Murphy late in the run with Michael Fox finishing third. Matilda Raynolds had less trouble after coming out of the water with Bree Jones around 20secs behind Elyse Foster and Laura Cook. Matilda, the strongest of the girls on the bike remained calm and waited for the second lap on the technical bike course to make a break on one of the hills and was never trouble.
Over 350 triathletes raced the sprint and enticer distance triathlons on the Saturday at the inaugural Forster Ultimate Triathlon weekend. The weekend was a huge success with the overwhelming feeling being that the Forster Ultimate Triathlon is a weekend that will become another ‘Huskisson long course’ weekend.
In the sprint race Travis Shields was the first age grouper home with Angie Sharp the first female age grouper home. Shields, fresh from a 15,000km ‘around Australia’ cycling challenge, felt he was a bit under done and would struggle on the swim and run. Last season Shields won a round of the Sydney Sprint series while training for Ironman WA.
The swim in the Pro Tour was going to be a competitive one. Sam Douglas was one of the favourites to take the race out. “Kieren Roche, Michael Murphy, Michael Fox, and myself were all up in the mix at the front. We came out of the swim at the same time and all had the same plans – break away from the main group, and stay away, which meant transition needed to be quick! Douglas was out of T1 first and headed off to try and put a gap between himself and the field. “I looked over my shoulder to see both Michaels (Michael Murphy my training partner and Michael Fox) were right after me with no one else in sight. We all knew that the bunch had a few quick runners, so the plan was to ride some time into them and make them work to catch us. This seemed to work as the gap increased with each lap, and by the third lap we had a comfortable buffer for the run.”
T2 was quick and Sam soon had the lead. “200m in Michael Murphy came tearing past me and put a good gap between us. I tried to kick and hold the gap, but struggled to find form early on. I regained my form and slowly closed the gap over the final few kilometers. By the last kilometer I was feeling good and the run was now on the road, so I came up beside Murph and passed. Howver, Knowing Murph, I knew he would not give up easily as he is a gutsy racer! In the last 300m I lifted the leg speed and slowly pulled clear to finish across the line first by around 5 seconds”.
Murphy and Douglas are both trained by Mark Newton under the Hert banner.
Matilda Raynolds had a very set plan going in to this race and she stuck to it like glue. “My coach Spottie Dog Anderson and I agreed on a race plan and to further boost his ego my race went according to plan. Though I came out of the water third with Bree, we were able to catch first and second early on the bike and all four of us road together for the first lap of the three lap bike course”. The Pro Tour is a draft legal race and after a winter of criterium racing Raynolds was looking forward to the opportunity to test this type of racing out on her new TREK Madone. “Part way through lap one I did do a short breakaway to test the waters however the girls caught up. This may have hurt them a little as part way through lap two I attacked on the hill and ended up staying away and putting two minutes into them”.
Whilst never overly confident about the win until the finishline Matilda was able to spend the run focusing on her form and used this race as a good hitout in the leadup to Noosa which is her goal race. With a taper before Noosa Matilda should go well. Raynolds backed up for a 4th on Sunday in the Ultimate Triathlon however did not push herself as all. One of Matilda’s big takeaways from the Pro Tour race was to remain calm and stick to her race plan.
“From now on my focus for the season is on speed and learning as much as possible from racing elites along with reducing tan lines and trying to the fill the void of Australia being kicked out of the Rugby World Cup. This will be my first season racing in the professional ranks”.
Michael Fox had one of his better starts to the season. “It all came down to the run with Sam and myself having the smoother transitions and getting away from Murphy. This didn’t last to long as Murphy caught and surged past us. Sam managed to lift and slowly reeled Murphy back in but unfortunately I couldn’t go with them. From there Sam was able to get the better of Murphy”.
Fox swam and rode well but has some work to do with his running at this stage. “I think it is a good indication of where I’m at right now. It was a great weekend of racing. Emo just needs a carpet sponsor for transition for next year now!!” (Bindi’s in transition)
Finally from Sam… “I was very happy with my result, and glad to get the first race of the season in the legs. Forster is always a great destination for a race, and the team at Elite Energy always put on a great event so entry was a given. I would like to thank my Coach Mark Newton (who trains both Sam and Michael Murphy) and the guys who I train with. Also the boys in the race and spectators watching, It isn’t a race without you”.
Click here for more information on the Elite Energy triathlons calendar for the summer including the triseries and the Ultimate Triathlon which is being held in Wagga Wagga next. The Wagga Wagga race is also a NSW long course WC selection race.