Josh Amberger and Mary Beth Ellis both led from the start and were never headed today in Singapore. Whilst Ellis was on her own for the whole race Amberger did have three other guys with him until the run. Along with Amberger was Denis Vasiliev, Dylan McNiece and Christian Kemp in a group of four who all came out of the water together and then rode for the bike leg and headed out of T2 still in a group of four. This was a successful swim for Kemp. “Out of the water and we had a 2:45 gap on the rest of the field. I was super happy to swim the way I did as I was not sure I could swim with the three guys I did”.
What makes the win more significant for Amberger was the relatively late signup for this race and his relaxed attitude to it. Josh, at 22, is not taking the long distance racing too seriously just yet as he realises his youth is still a restricting factor in these distances. In saying that the races I have seen him in over the last 12 months show that he will be one of the worlds top triathletes and he does turn up at races to win. “I’m happy to race 1 or 2 70.3’s a year, perhaps as a portent for the future but also because I have respect for every format, ITU & non-drafting whatever the distance. I just love to race and love to win. My main focus for this year is the Hy-Vee 5150, and when I saw they were offering qualifying points from Singapore I had to sign up.”
Josh Amberger went in to this race with the idea that if he could clear out on the swim that would be the key to a win. “I was surprised and probably a little intimidated when Kemp got out of the water up the front with us. The swim was pretty cruisy though, and I was just playing a patience card saving myself for the ride.” ‘Us’ being Amberger and his fellow ITU triathletes McNiece and Vasiliev. To be successful in ITU you need a strong swim so it is expected that the ITU guys should be around the front somewhere out of the water.
Out on the bike Kemp and Amberger tried several times to break the other two unsuccessfully but had them hurting a few times as they made sure they kept in touch.
The first 40kms on the bike took the lead guys 55mins. Kemp and Amberger still attempted to break the other two. At this stage Kemp was happy at how the race was unfolding “We had extended our lead on the chase group to 5 minutes by this stage. the rest of the bike was more controlled but we kept up the pace and kept putting time in to the chase pack”.
The four guys hit T2 together and it was Kemp and Amberger who got the jump on the other two. They established a 70m lead straight away and it looked like it was going to be a race between these two. However early on in the run Kemp’s left quad started cramping and Amberger sensed this and pushed on leaving Kemp to get passed fairly quickly by the other two. This is something that plagues Kemp often and should he get this sorted it looks like he is only one or two races away from another 70.3 win. Christian is off to Oceanside next (as is Leon Griffin fresh from his 2nd place at San Jaun 70.3 in the weekend).
Mary Beth Ellis had it all her own way and was just too good for the other women on the day. Wu had a crack on the run and posted a time almost two minutes faster than Ellis but it wasn’t enough to pull back the deficit. In the end there was around six minutes between first and second.
Josh Amberger’s run was a highlight of the day and certainly showed that he has put in some solid work in that area. He has threatened so many times recently to only be slightly off the pace on the run. Singapore has certainly put him on the map. The renowned swimmer last year showed that he can also ride with the best. Now he has posted a solid run time to add to his repertoire.
The men’s run times were a fair bit slower than last year (Kris Gemmell 1:13;39 and Pete Jacobs 1:17) the run times by Mary Beth Ellis and Michelle Wu were also slower. Ellis ran almost 4mins slower and Wu was almost 2mins slower. Although in saying that Guy Crawford posted a faster run time this year. The run conditions were sauna like and with long distance races in Asia you can never read too much in to run time variances.
Ollie Whistler was 8th overall with a time of 4:14:47. Not a great time for Whistler who would normally be under 4 hours. His run was unusually slow. Luke Gillmer came home in 15th place overall and Sydney based Kiwi age grouper Campbell Hanson came in 17th overall and 4th age grouper overall.
Kate Bevilaqua was 3rd overall with an uncharacteristically slow run and after her second in New Zealand at the 70.3 a couple of weeks ago there was an expectation by all that she could go one better.
Another Australian Ali Fitch was only just off the podium with a stron 4th placing. Ali is making a strong comeback to the sport and it will be great to see her race in the US this year.
|1||ELLIS, Mary Beth||35/FPRO||0:26:42||2:17:45||1:32:07||4:19:35|
|7||LI, Shiao Yu||35/3539||0:36:15||2:27:19||1:34:16||4:42:12|
|16||CHOO, Ling Er||25/2529||0:38:06||2:34:25||1:50:13||5:07:35|