Australia’s Brad Kahlefeldt has scored a stunning victory to win the Dextro Energy ITU Triathlon World Championship Series round in Hamburg today.
Kahlefeldt timed his run to perfection to score a dramatic win over Will Clarke (Great Britain) and David Hauss (France) after they dropped defending champion Javier Gomez (Spain) in the final 500 metre charge to the finish.
The 31-year-old Gold Coaster, who had been on the podium so many times in Hamburg over the past decade, finally broke through for a timely win, just a fortnight out from the all-important London Triathlon and Olympic qualifier on the weekend of August 6 and 7.
â€œI think that’s the ninth time I’ve raced here and I’ve had a bunch of podiums, fourths and fifths and with 500m to go I started to think about my first podium here in 2003 and I said to myself I can’t lose this one. I knew I just had to go for it. I had good legs today and I’m very happy,â€ said Kahlefeldt
The Australians were in the mix right from the outset with Kahlefeldt coming out of the water 12th after a spectacular canal swim through the picturesque city.
Fellow Australians Brendan Sexton, Dan Wilson and the 38-year-old comeback king Chris McCormack wasted no time in getting through transition to ensure they gave themselves every chance on the flat 40km bike course, although McCormack (and Germany’s Olympic champion Jan Frodeno) suffered a 15 second penalty for a gear indiscretion through T1.
But McCormack was quicker to get through transition than he did in Kitzbuhel two weeks ago and after two of the eight bike laps had taken charge of the chase pack and set his sights on the lead group.
Amazingly, it wasn’t long before the world Ironman champion had pushed hard to challenge for the front pack, leading the charge and bringing almost the entire field together before Kiwi Kris Gemmell pedaled hard towards a break away.
With the bell lap ringing for the bike, Gemmell had come back to the field and the group of 50
including the Aussie foursome were positioning themselves for a crack at the 10km run.
Home town hero Frodeno suffered an agonising mechanical mishap on the final lap of the bike which cost him 35 seconds as McCormack again challenged for the lead with the field riding towards T2.
Into the first half of the run it was Kahlefeldt who looked as comfortable as he’s looked in any of the year’s World Championship Series races who settled into a good rhythm and with two laps to go Kahlefeldt continued to press for the lead.
Sexton was in the second group with McCormack charging through with the third group.
Defending world champion Gomez and Kahlefeldt were in a group of six that also included young British hopeful Clarke.
On the bell lap with two-and-a-half kilometres to the finish it was Gomez who started to up the anti and Kahlefeldt went with him with McCormack serving his 15second penalty, but Gomez looked to be struggling.
Kahledfelt, who didn’t finish in Sydney, finished 51st in Madrid and fifth in Kitzbuhel a fortnight ago, followed Gomez’ every move on the final lap as they jostled for the lead.
Frenchman Hauss, fifth in Sydney, made a move with a kilometre to go and Kahlefeldt and Clarke went with him to stage a three-man break and a thrilling charge to the finish.
Kahlefeldt looked to have them all covered no matter what the others threw at him and with 100 metres to go it was the Aussie champion who out-sprinted Clarke and Hauss and he skipped across the line, raising his fingers as the number one on the day.
Sexton, despite his 15 second penalty, finished 16th and will go into London with plenty to prove, while Wilson was 29th.
McCormack finished an encouraging 26th and was quick to lift Kahlefeldt in the air with a bear hug, to celebrate Australia’s first win in the Series, a win that will certainly give the women, defending world champion Emma Moffatt, Olympic champion Emma Snowsill and their Beijing team mate Erin Denham an enormous confidence booster.
Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany / July 16, 2011
1.5k swim / 40k bike / 10k run
Full race details on Triathlon.org
|18||Jan Van Berkel||NED||1:45:32||0:17:48||0:55:28||0:31:14|
|27||Martin Van Barneveld||NZL||1:46:15||0:17:38||0:55:39||0:31:52|
|38||Hendrik De Villiers||RSA||1:47:21||0:17:51||0:55:24||0:33:00|
|41||Duarte Silva Marques||POR||1:47:46||0:17:32||0:55:54||0:33:19|