Tim George and Melissa Rollison win Gatorade Queensland Triathlon Series at Raby Bay
The Sunshine Coast’s Tim George and Brisbane’s Melissa Rollison took out convincing wins at Race 3 of the Gatorade Queensland Tri Series this morning in difficult conditions over the 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.
George handled the Sprint format skillfully in the wet conditions coming from behind to beat home Brisbane pair Nicholas Hull and Josh Meader.
â€œI prefer the rain to the heat, to be honest. I seem to do OK in the rain. I won last weekend in the rain (Bribie Island), won Mooloolaba Open Elite in the rain and did pretty well at Caloundra and it was pouring so I seem to do OK. It was tough on the bike, but not that bad really if you’re used to it,â€ George said.
Series leader Bryce Mcmaster lead out of the swim, trailed by a group of ten athletes that included Maeder, Jack Hickey, Michael Lori and Nicholas Hull.
As the rain dried up it made for very slippery conditions on the four lap cycle that claimed some of the top athletes. Mcmaster got caught up trying to avoid an age group athlete which put an end to his chances of claiming a third successive win but had a strong run to finish fifth. Another to come down on lap two coming into the roundabout, Hickey, but he recovered quickly.
Caution was the name of the game on the bike and it paid dividends in the end for George. Exiting the swim in the first pack and methodically working his way through the field. By lap two Hull, Maeder and George had established a good lead over the chasers. Heading back into T2 George led in from Hull and Maeder with Hickey a further 45 seconds adrift.
George showed his strength once he hit the run course and continued to put time into the field eventually winning by 40 seconds, Hull hung on for second ahead of Maeder.
â€œMost of my regular competition is away and I’ve managed to sneak in a couple of wins while they’ve all been elsewhere,â€ George said.
After some good wins early in 2010 George took time out to finish his law degree but it is looking forward to the 2011 season.
â€œI’ve got the usual races coming up Caloundra, Geelong and Mooloolaba next and I’ve decided to race for a German team next year, for 5 months, finally going to be able to do it because I’ve finished my law degree now. So I’ll be in Germany from May to September, racing over there. Finally get there to travel the world,â€ added George.
For these elite athletes they are all hoping to meet the High Performance criteria to race at the Seven Caloundra Enduro Tri on 6 February 2011.
â€˜This will be a hotly contested affair just to get a spot in Caloundra, everyone is gunning to do well in the next few races to secure a spot,â€ said Mcmaster.
In the women’s event Rollison claimed her second win at Raby Bay after placing first in Race 1 of the series earlier this year.
Rollison came out of the water 35 seconds behind leaders Maddi Allen and 2010 Youth Olympic silver medallist Ellie Salthouse. Rollison’s swim is improving with each event and with such a bike/run combination she was always going to be tough to beat. On lap three she had moved to the lead and was never going to be challenged on the 5km run. In her first race back Salthouse put in a solid performance to finish second with Allen claiming her first podium of the series.
â€œThe swim is my weakest leg so obviously I came out dead last but I think I was only 30 or 40 seconds behind, usually I’m about a minute behind. The bike was just so wet and so slippery, every roundabout, every corner there was somebody on the ground so I think everyone was pretty cautious there. I caught most of them by two laps (on the bike) and the lead girl on the third lap so then I just backed off and tried to stay upright. Then the run, which is my strongest leg I just went for it.â€ Rollison said.
â€œI’m training for half ironman and using the QTS as a sharp hit out, a good practice, especially for my swim,â€ added Rollison.
This was Salthouse’s first race after recovering from a broken elbow.
â€œI didn’t ready stop training, I was off the bike for 5 weeks and two weeks off the swim and run, so
really not that bad,â€ Salthouse said.
â€œIt was tough out there today in the wet conditions, I just took it easy on the bike. I had a great swim, I’ve been training really hard so to come out second was unbelievable. Then I had a really good run so I just tried to give it everything I had,â€ she added.
For the age-groupers, Raby Bay once again proved to be a popular venue with just under 1500 competitors turning out to take part in the annual Christmas themed event. Participants of all ages and ability embraced the Christmas spirit, donning Santa hats, reindeer ears and tinsel to celebrate the beginning of the festive season.
The increasingly popular Courier-Mail Kool Kids Triathlon for children 7-11 years of age saw over 130 kids participate in the 100m swim, 2km cycle and 400m run.
This event concluded the 2010 season. The Gatorade QTS will be back with the final 4 events of the series in 2011.