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Ironman Melbourne Men’s Preview

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Outside of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii Ironman Melbourne is arguably the hottest Iron distance field globally. In addition this is the first time in Australia that an Ironman triathlon is being held in a major metropolitan city and therefore will gain major TV, Print and Radio network exposure. We just hope that the coverage will be positive and will hold up the men and women racing as true sporting heroes therefore raising the profile of our sport like we used to have in the 1980s.

Due to injury one of the men that would have been short odds to take the title is out of the race. It would have been exciting to see Pete Jacobs racing in Melbourne and going head to head with Craig Alexander again. Whilst Ironman Melbourne is a hot field it can be argued that 4-10 of the worlds leading Ironmen would still be making sure that they are at 100% in October and Melbourne may be a little early in the year to gauge performance.

I have to say that there are just so many people to cover in the preview that it is impossible to do everyone justice so apologies if anyone feels slightly under represented. I am happy to update so please email us by clicking here with any extra information.

The Australian contingent will be racing hard to make sure that the first ever Ironman Melbourne title is not won by an overseas athlete. Heading the field has to be Craig Alexander closely followed by Luke Bell, Luke McKenzie, Aaron Farlow, Clayton Fettell, Courtney Ogden and Matty White. That is not to take anything away from Joe Gambles, Greg Bennett, David Dellow, Justin Granger, Paul Matthews, Josh Rix and Jason Shortis. Over a 70.3 you would be a fool not to take Greg Bennett seriously along with Paul Matthews and Joe Gambles. Gambles and Matthews could be the ones in this group to watch and David Dellow if he is on.

Craig Alexander did not have the best start to the year because of sponsor commitments and a fair bit of overseas travel in January. He has had a solid block since and as the consummate professional that he is will be in perfect shape for Sunday. Crowie is here to win and will be the one to beat on Sunday. It is not every day that many of the pros racing get to race the world champion and they will all want to perform well against him.

Luke Bell is a Melbourne local and knows the conditions better than anyone. Read Luke’s race preview by clicking here. As one of the world’s most prolific winners of half ironman and 70.3 races (19 firsts, and 14 seconds and thirds) he will be looking to perform well in front of the home crowd. With a 5th, 7th and 13th to his name at Kona Bell will be looking for that elusive Ironman win on Sunday. At the press conference today Bell acknowledged his ‘local’ status. “I live 2km down the road so I’m literally local! I can tell you how many steps from Frankston to St Kilda Sea Baths along the iconic Beach Road stretch with thousands of cyclists riding along the road each day,” said Luke Bell. “It’s a city that loves a big event and the field has definitely lived up to the expectations. On a scale of events, it’s on an International level with the Grand Prix here last week, and ASP Surf Pro at Bells Beach coming up,” continued Bell.

Luke McKenzie is flying under the radar a bit. He shouldn’t be. “Yes, it’s a good feeling to fly under the radar, but to have the quality of field here in Melbourne, it’s exciting because there is no other field outside of Hawaii assembled like this. To have this race in our home country, it really is exciting to be lining up in this size event. I’m looking forward to giving these guys a good run,” said Luke McKenzie. McKenzie’s coach Siri Lindley is confident with where McKenzie is.

Aaron Farlow has come on in leaps and bounds since teaming up with Brett Sutton and Team BBB. Last year Farlow won Ironman UK got two more podiums in Ironman Wales and Challenge Henley on Thames. Farlow won Challenge Wanaka in January this year and will be well placed if everything goes to plan on Sunday.

Another to fly under the radar is Courtney Ogden. Ogden was unlucky at Ironman Australia last year when a couple of punctures put him out of the running. Otherwise he had a good race with a great run. In January this year Ogden was 4th at Challenge Wanaka with his bike holding him back. In October last year Courtney finished 16th at Kona with a solid run of 2:55.

Joe Gambles racing at Falls Creek 2012

Gambles in particular seemed very relaxed and confident when chatting to Trizone today. “After suffering through my Achilles issues and using some lifts in my shoes while getting them right I found that I was having some hamstring issues which I couldn’t get rid of. I was reluctant to get rid of the lifts because they had fixed my Achilles but in reality they were now causing me other issues. I threw them away four weeks ago and have been running freely since.” Gambles raced the Australian Long Course at Falls Creek in early February and knew exactly what he need to address before Melbourne.

Clayton Fettell will most likely be the one that all the other pros will be nervously watching. There is no doubt where he will be after the  swim and will follow with his equally strong bike. Will this mean that the leading pro males will make decisions and alter their race day plan depending on what Fettell throws at them or continue with their own race plans. At Abu Dhabi recently Fettell through caution to the wind and had a crack at winning from the front. This didn’t work out but he was not far off at the end.

Matty White will pressing for a big result this weekend. White has managed to get rid of all injuries and recently won the Victor Harbour triathlon after a 140km run week. “My injury woes are now gone and the signs are good heading in to Melbourne. After Melbourne I will be waiting for our first child to be born which is due late April so if all goes to plan I will be in Busso 70.3 and Cairns Ironman.”

Another Australian triathlon legend is Jason Shortis. The evergreen ironman great has completed well over 50 Iron distance triathlons and was 3rd at Ironman WA in December. In this race he ran himself in to 3rd after being slightly off the pace in the swim and bike. Shortis posted a 2:49:58 marathon. Being slightly off the pace in the swim and bike in this race will not be ideal. This is a Kona strong field and the swim / bike will set the race up.

The overseas athletes are here in big numbers and will want to take the title from the Australians. Eneko Llanos had a good result recently in Abu Dhabi and has been in Wollongong for the last three weeks completing his preparations for Melbourne. As one of the world’s leading Ironmen he will not be traveling this far without expecting a win.

Frederik Van Lierde will be one of the short odd favourites. He showed that he is in great form recently at the Abu Dhabi triathlon with a 5th place just 3:28 behind winner Rasmus Henning.

Kiwi and 10 time winner of Ironman New Zealand Cameron Brown is feeling good going in to the race. Speaking to Trizone yesterday Brown feels he is in Good shape for Sunday “With NZ Ironman 70.3  three weeks ago I’m now fully recovered. If it was a Ironman it would be a different story! Hopefully that will put me in good shape for a hard race on Sunday as NZ 70.3 was fast! The field has a number of top guys mainly Craig Alexander. He will be the man to beat plus Eneko Llanos. With 10-15 strong Aussies there as well it will not be an easy day at all but I’m looking forward to it. Should be a fast day looking at the race course especially the bike.”

After a couple of 70.3 wins last year and a very good training block with coach Darren Smith in Canberra former World Duathlon champion Bart Aernouts is competing in his first Iron distance race. Aernouts is confident of a good performance. At the recent Wollongong triseries race Aernouts spoke to Trizone about Melbourne. “I feel I have done the work needed and am confident that I will be in the mix later in the race. There is the unknown element but I have raced many long distance races and I have am sure I will be fine.” One of Aernouts training mates, Lisa Norden was very bullish about his chances in Melbourne. “Bart will be one of the dark horses”.

Mitch Anderson had a mixed race at the recent Falls Creek Australian Long Course Championship. His bike and run were exceptional. He had a minor issue in the swim but regained himself and exited the water just a bit down on the field. The surprise of the day was his speed over the 20km run. It will be interesting to watch Mitch on Sunday. He could be right up there.

 

Athlete Country
Aernouts, Bart Belgium
Albert, Marko Estonia
Anderson, Mitchell Australia
Bell, Luke Australia
Bennett, Greg USA
Borg, Johan Australia
Brown, Dan Philippines
Brown, Cameron NZ
Crennan, Finnbar Australia
Croneborg, Fredrik Sweden
Dellow, David Australia
Farlow, Aaron Australia
Fettell, Clayton Australia
Gambles, Joe Australia
Granger, Justin Australia
Grønbek, Jens Denmark
GUILLAUME, Romain France
Hovgaard, Esben Denmark
Israel, Todd Australia
Jameson, Joel UK
Jammaer, Bert Belgium
Johannessen, Oyvind Norway
Leder, Lothar Germany
Llanos, Eneko Spain
Marques, Sergio Portugal
Matthews, Paul USA
McKenzie, Luke Australia
Nishiuchi, Hiroyuki Japan
Ogden, Courtney Australia
Petersen-Bach, Jens Denmark
RIX, JOSH Australia
Santamaria, Alejandro Spain
Shortis, Jason Australia
Simon, Billeau France
Snilstveit, Gudmund Norway
Suganuma, Shinya Japan
SYLVAIN, SUDRIE France
Vabrousek, Petr Czech
Van Lierde, Frederik Belgium
White, Matty Australia
Wisniewski, Pawel Australia

 

 

 

 

 

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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Dylan Mcneice And Yvonne Van Vlerken Take The Lead In Challenge Family World Bonus

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Per Bittner and Yvonne van Vlerken both take the titles at Challenge Aruba. Image by: Eric Wynn

After the first five of our CHALLENGEFAMILY World Bonus races, Dylan McNeice from New Zealand has taken the lead with 500 points after his strong win at CHALLENGETAIWAN. The female standings are currently dominated by the Dutch Yvonne van Vlerken. She not only took the victory at CHALLENGEGRANCANARIA and CHALLENGERICCIONE but also earned an additional 75 points at CHALLENGEROMA. Yvonne is currently leading the table with a total 575 points!

As you are probably already aware, the CHALLENGEFAMILY World Bonus is the pro athlete bonus scheme we use for our races worldwide. The initiative provides professional athletes with the opportunity to race for a share of the $165k end-of-season bonus in addition to the prize purses of the individual races. Athletes are only able to count their best six CHALLENGEFAMILYraces during the season, of which no more than two can be full distance races.

McNeice is currently leading the male standings but Pablo Gonzales from Spain is close behind in second place. Right now, and thanks to his amazing results in CHALLENGEGRANCANARIA and CHALLENGEROMA, he has a total of 475 points. Fredrik Croneborg from Sweden came second at CHALLENGETAIWAN, which earned him 400 points and a swift move to third place in the male ranking.

The female Dutch athlete and current leader of the CHALLENGEFAMILY World Bonus, Yvonne van Vlerken, is being chased by Julia Grant from New Zealand. Julia won CHALLENGETAIWAN and promptly earned 500 points for her victory. She’s now 75 points behind Van Vlerken. Alyssa Godesky from the USA earned an instant 400 points after her second place at CHALLENGETAIWAN and is currently holding third position in the CHALLENGEFAMILY World Bonus.

Upcoming

The next opportunity to earn points is CHALLENGELISBOA. This race takes place in Portugal on the 19th May 2018. The $165k end-of-season bonus will pay five deep across both male and female with the top-ranked Pro taking home $30k. Second place will carry a bonus of $20k, third, fourth and fifth positions will pay $15k, $12k and $5k accordingly. Ranking will be decided through a fair points system based on placings earned. This system is explained fully here:

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Jake Birtwhistle finds the tiger in his tank for stunning WTS Yokohama silver

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Tasmania’s Commonwealth Games hero Jake Birtwhistle has continued his outstanding form to charge home for a stirring silver medal in today’s World Triathlon Series race in Yokohama.

The 24-year-old who won Australia’s first medal of the Games – silver in a frantic finish on day one on the Gold Coast before spearheading the Mixed Relay to gold – again dug deep to run from third to second inside the last kilometre.

But not even Birtwhistle could catch today’s winner, two-time ITU world champion, Spain’s Mario Mola who stole the race from the outset of the run.

Mola was never headed in one of the most impressive 10km run legs of recent times, to sprint away with the gold, well ahead of the fast finishing Birtwhistle, who had claimed another Spaniard in Fernando Alarza in a dramatic fight for silver.

Birtwhistle came out of the pack four kilometres into the run and looked comfortable enough running on Alarza’s shoulder.

In the warm afternoon sun, the durable Spaniard found his second wind and opened up what looked like a commanding lead and with Mola well ahead – a Spanish 1-2 finish beckoned.

But Birtwhistle wasn’t going away and had other ideas, producing the kind of tactic he has often used in his spectacular climb up the ITU rankings, pouncing like his “Tassie Tiger” nickname suggests racing away for a remarkable silver medal.

It was Birtwhistle who ran his way into the hearts of Aussie sports fans on the Gold Coast last month with his satisfying silver behind South African Henri Schoeman, who failed to finish today’s race, before anchoring Australia to a spectacular gold medal in the Mixed Relay with Ashleigh Gentle, Gillian Backhouse and Matthew Hauser.

After today’s race Birtwhistle claimed he was “probably credentialed to talk about sprint finishes” which were quickly becoming his specialty – and a handy one at that.

“I’m becoming a bit of a sprint specialist now I guess,” said Birtwhistle, who revealed he had been “training solo” in Launceston since the Games.

“I thought I was spent in what was my first Olympic Distance race since last November.

“But I just dig deep and found something over those closing stages and I’m very happy to come away with the silver.

“With such a big group on the bike and the weather so warm it was pretty sketchy at times – and the most important thing was to stay safe and stay hydrated.”

Birtwhistle says his major goal for the season was the Commonwealth Games and with that box ticked it was now time to continue with a successful WTS season which will culminate in the Grand Final on the Gold Coast in September.

Birtwhistle is now sitting second in the WTS pointscore behind Mola with Alarza third.

In a great day for the Australians in the opening race of Olympic qualification period, Rio top 10 finisher Ryan Bailie was seventh and young gun Luke Willian – who like Birtwhistle made his Games debut last month, finished ninth, with another Rio Olympian Aaron Royle 19th and another youngster in Hauser (fourth on the Gold Coast) 22nd after coming out of the swim up front.

Earlier in the day Commonwealth Games Relay gold medallist Gentle produced a sizzling run to just miss the podium, finishing fourth, with Games team mates Charlotte McShane and fellow Mixed Relay golden girl Backhouse ninth and 11th respectively; Natalie Van Coevorden 14th and Emma Jeffcoat 17th.

The race saw defending WTS and Commonwealth Champion Flora Duffy (Bermuda) dominate the run to continue her incredible season ahead of Katie Zaferes (USA) with former World Champion Non Stanford (Great Britain) holding onto third ahead of Gentle.

The never-say-die Australian powered home on the run after she came out of the water in 34th position – leaving her well off the leaders and in a chase pack left to do a power of work and 1:15 behind the leading group of nine.

Undeterred, last year’s WTS silver medallist, got the bit between her teeth and ran past six runners – including three fellow Australians – Backhouse, Abu Dhabi WTS bronze medallist and training partner Van Coevorden and last week’s Chengdu World Cup winner Jeffcoat.

The third member of Australia’s Games team, McShane also produced a stirring 10km run to also come from the chase pack to finish 9th.

Gentle clocked the second fastest 10km split of the day with her 33.54 to finish 1.37 behind winner Flora Duffy (33.26) and got to within 21sec of bronze medallist Non Stanford (GBR) in third.

Meanwhile Albury’s Justin Godfrey continued his PTS3 category dominance with a season opening victory in the first round of the World Paratriathlon Series.

It was Godfrey’s 11th major international career victory and a 15th podium finish – his third win of 2018.

The 34-year-old triple world champion led the Australian contingent to a three medal haul in perfect conditions.

Other medals went to:

Newcastle’s Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Lauren Parker who finished with a hard fought silver – after leading for the first 3.5km of the 5km run leg and despite missing the finish shoot and having to push an extra 500 metres – which made no difference to the places.

And WA’s two-time ITU world champion Sally Pilbeam who was third in the PTS4 category.

In other results were: Nic Beveridge (6th PTWC); Sara Tait (6th PTWC); Brant Garvey (6th PTS2);Josh Kasulke (7th PTS5) and Jonathan Goerlach (7th PTVI).

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Ironman Australia To Remain In Port Macquarie

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Photo: L-R Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams, IRONMAN Australia Race Director Ben Herbert; Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Mayor Peta Pinson; Chairman of the Local Organising Committee Mike Reid

IRONMAN Oceania, Managing Director, Dave Beeche has welcomed the announcement by the NSW Government that IRONMAN Australia will remain in Port Macquarie for at least another three years.

Mr Beeche said he was delighted that the partnership between IRONMAN Oceania, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will continue from 2019 – 2021.

“The iconic IRONMAN Australia is one of the longest running IRONMAN events in the world that has become an integral part of life on the New South Wales Mid North Coast and a must visit destination for the thousands of competitors, families and supporters who return to Port Macquarie year after year.”

“Since it was established in 1985, IRONMAN Australia has attracted some of the biggest names in the sport and the event has played an integral part in the growth of IRONMAN in this region.”

“The success of IRONMAN Australia and the development of its reputation as a truly global event is a result of the dedication and hard work of many people and long term support of local community. In this, the 40th anniversary of IRONMAN, it is wonderful to be able to announce the continuation of the partnership with the NSW Government and Port Macquarie Hastings Council that continues this outstanding sporting tradition,” he said.

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said that as one of the oldest IRONMAN events, she is delighted that IRONMAN Australia will be returning to Port Macquarie for another three years.

“IRONMAN Australia is expected to attract more than 33,000 overnight visitors and generate over $27 million for the local economy across the three year period.”

“This wonderful event has been hosted in Port Macquarie since 2006 and provides a fantastic opportunity for local businesses, accommodation providers, restaurants and tourist attractions to capitalise on the additional visitors.”

“It is events such as this that allow us to showcase why our region is such a great destination, with many IRONMAN competitors coming back to the region for a holiday with friends and family,” she said.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said driving tourism growth in rural and regional NSW is one of the Government’s leading priorities.

“Regional events such as IRONMAN Australia in Port Macquarie help to fuel the State’s overnight visitor economy, while placing our incredible destinations front and centre.”

“As a country-based Minister I am determined to continue our support for rural and regional events, to help boost local economies and generate jobs,” Mr Marshall said.

IRONMAN Australia Port Macquarie is an endurance triathlon event that includes both a full-distance IRONMAN, consisting of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42km run, and a half-distance IRONMAN 70.3 which both run concurrently.

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Challenge Family Launches Second Stage Of Campaign To Search For Inspirational Triathletes

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Following the launch of its social media campaign to search for inspirational triathletes ahead of THECHAMPIONSHIP 2018, CHALLENGEFAMILY is asking YOU to nominate worthy triathletes to win free race entry prizes.

The Race Directors of Challenge Prague, Challenge Almere, Challenge Davos and Challenge Geraadsbergen have agreed to offer ‘Family Packages’ as prizes, which nominated athletes can choose from*. These include:

– 1x free slot for Middle FOR FATHER OR MOTHER OF THE FAMILY WHO WANTS RACE

– 2x free slots for Junior (kids run) FOR THEIR CHILDREN

– 3x free pasta party voucher FOR ALL FAMILY MEMBERS

Zibi Szlufcik, CEO of CHALLENGEFAMILY, says of the nomination stage: “Following the initial launch of the social media campaign, we have had great feedback from athletes, but now we want to give back. With impressive prize offerings such as free race entries and Family Packages, CHALLENGEFAMILY is welcoming nominations of extraordinary athletes, again using the hashtags #ChallengeYourself, #JoinTheFamily, and #AllAboutTheAthlete, with the aim to highlight lesser-known, but nonetheless remarkable athletes with amazing life stories out there.”

Now in its second iteration, THECHAMPIONSHIP 2018 will take place on 3rd June 2018 at the extraordinary x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Western Slovakia.

Three qualifier races remain for competitors ahead of the event in Samorin, with the next race being Challenge Riccione, Italy, on the 6th May 2018.

For more information and updates on THECHAMPIONSHIP 2018, please visit: www.thechampionship.de.

For more information on individual CHALLENGEFAMILY qualifier races and how to enter, please visit:http://www.challenge-family.com/races/.

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Yokohama calling strong Australian contingent as Olympic cycle begins

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Delly Carr | Triathlon Australia

The cream of Australia’s ITU triathletes and paratriathletes will converge on Yokohama this Saturday for the resumption of the World Triathlon Series and start of the World Paratriathlon Series in Japan’s second largest city.

The event also herald’s the start of the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the two-year Olympic qualification period for triathlon.

It will feature the Australia’s Commonwealth Games team led by gold and silver medallist Jake Birtwhistle; Rio Olympians Aaron Royle and Ryan Bailie and a host of Paralympians and emerging stars with their sights set on returning to Japan for the 2020 Olympics.

Birtwhistle, Royle and Bailie will be joined by Games young guns Matt Hauser and Luke Willian in a men’s field that will be led by defending WTS champion Mario Mola and Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman.

Hauser, a fast-finishing fourth to Schoeman, Birtwhistle and Scotland’s Mac Austin who will also take his place in the field.

“Coming off the back of the roller coaster ride that was the Commonwealth Games it’s been a tough road back to reality that’s for sure,” said Hauser.

“But the thing that’s pushed me has been the challenge of my first Olympic Distance Triathlon in Yokohama.

“I’ve been based on the Gold Coast preparing mentally and physically for my debut and the challenge is exciting in what will be my first WTS for the season as well.

“I always love heading to Japan and it’ll be my first time in Yokohama which will be a pretty exciting place to be with 2020 just around the corner.

“I’ve gained a lot of confidence from my races in 2018 so far and I’m looking to execute a solid performance this weekend.”

After securing second place in the year’s first WTS in Abu Dhabi, Mola finished in fourth place on the beautiful yet extraordinarily tricky Bermuda course, but the double world champion looks confident in retaining the ranking leadership as he goes for a third straight win in the Japanese city.

Mola will have to keep an eye on teammate Fernando Alarza, who proved in Bermuda that he should never be overlooked in Olympic-distance races.

Alarza finished sixth after a frantic sprint to the line, beaten by mere tenths of a second by another one to watch in Yokohama, Frenchman Dorian Coninx. France’s U23 World Championship silver medallist is one of the stronger athletes through the run section, which can always prove decisive in this race.

Most eyes will certainly be set on the rising stars to emerge from Bermuda: the Norwegians. There, they made history by becoming the first team ever to secure a clean sweep of a WTS podium, and Yokohama will see two of those stars racing again come Saturday; Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden.

The women’s race will see Australia’s Commonwealth Games trio of Ashleigh Gentle, Charlotte McShane and Gillian Backhouse joined by the inform Emma Jeffcoat and Natalie Van Coevorden.

“It will be my first time in Japan and the Yokohama WTS and I’m super excited to be here, especially off the back of a win in Chengdu World Cup last week,” said Jeffcoat.

“I couldn’t ask for a better start to my international season and I’m very happy with my racing and training over the domestic season -it’s all coming along really well.”

And her expectations?

“I’m going in very much process based, with Yokohama being only my fourth ever WTS and second Olympic distance race, I know it’s going to be one hard day out there but I’m ready to focus on me, execute on the little things we’ve been working on and I’m looking to have a solid day out there, and really enjoy myself.”

For Van Coevorden, after her first WTS podium, a bronze in Abu Dhabi, her preparation has been a case of all downhill.

“The past month I have split my time behind home (Campbelltown), Wollongong and the AIS in Canberra,” said Van Coevorden.

“Training has been building every week and I have been able to incorporate some downhill running back into my program which I found earlier in the year really worked for me.

“I am looking forward to being able to demonstrate the hard work that has been going on behind the scenes.

“Last year Yokohama showed me I had the ability to perform under some tough conditions and I came away with my best WTS result in years.

“Leading into this weekend, I really wanted to maximize on opportunities that I have on Saturday and have confidence through all areas of racing with evidence from training and previous racing.

“Leading into the next Olympic cycle it’s an exciting time and something that I want to use to lift my game even higher.”

McShane admitted she was disappointed with her Games debut but has put it behind her as she starts her WTS season.

“This is my 6th time in Yokohama so I know the course and place very well,” McShane said.

“I love coming back here as the people are so friendly and the course is always lined with spectators.

“I took time off after Gold Coast to recover and refresh mentally and physically before I started my 2018 WTS season.

“After a disappointing race in Gold Coast, I took some pressure off myself to enjoy training and the buildup leading into Yokohama and I’ve managed to hold onto some pretty good shape.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out there and showing that.”

All eyes will be on dual world champion Flora Duffy as she lines up again after her Commonwealth Games gold medal, and spectacular win at the inaugural WTS Bermuda in front a home nation.

The Americans have sent a strong team that includes current series leader Kirsten Kasper, Katie Zaferes and Summer Cook.

But the crowds will be cheering loud and proud for Juka Sato, Juko Takahashi, Juri Ide and veteran Ai Ueda.

The Paratriathletes will kick-start the busy day with the opening round of the ITU World Paratriathlon Series attracting Paralympic and world champions.

For the second year running, the Australians will be among the best paratriathletes from around the world who will compete in the first event of the revamped calendar over a sprint distance race along the picturesque Yamashita Park.

Gold Coast Games silver medallist Nic Beveridge will line up in an all-star PTWC race against Dutch Paralympic champion and two-time world champion from Rio Jetze Platz and England’s Commonwealth Games champion Joe Townsend.

Beveridge finished second to Townsend in last month’s history-making Commonwealth Games paratriathlon debut on the Gold Coast, with five-time ITU World champion Bill Chaffey taking bronze.

In the female category, Australia’s Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Lauren Parker will be joined by Games team mate Sara Tait with Spain’s Eva Maria Mortal Pedero wearing the number-one bib.

Two-time world champion from WA Sally Pilbeam will feature in the PTS4; Jonathan Goerlach in a strong line up of PTVI men and Brisbane’s Josh Kasulke in the PTS5 men, WA’s Brant Garvey in PTS2 and ITU world championship medallist Justin Godfrey in the PTS3 category.

Event Details

Schedule:
Paratriathlon: Saturday 12 May – 06:55 – Local | 07:55 AEST
Elite Women: Saturday 12 May – 10:06 – Local | 11:06 AEST
Elite Men: Saturday 12 May – 13:06 – Local | 14:06 AEST

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Emma Jeffcoat sprints to impressive Chengdu World Cup victory

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Sydney’s graduating nurse Emma Jeffcoat stole the show in China yesterday to win her second World Cup win of the season in Chengdu’s ITU Triathlon World Cup.

The two-day super sprint format comprising semi-finals on day one and a final on day two is racing over a 400-metre swim; a 10-kilometre bike and a 2.5-kilometre run to finish. And Jeffcoat, the former champion lifesaver from Dee Why, who won Mooloolaba in March was on song from the outset.

She executed her semi-final perfectly and delivered another impressive performance to repeat the dose in the final from the USA’s Tamara Gorman and Japan’s Fuka Sega with fellow Australian Tamsyn Moana-Veale seventh.

In the men’s race, won by Azerbaijan’s Rostislav Pevtsov who, after claiming the silver medal three years in a row, ran away with the gold medal in a race which saw Australia’s Brandon Copeland ninth and Marcel Walkington 12th.

But Jeffcoat’s tactics in the women’s race were simple – play to her strengths on the swim and bike and charge home over the final 2.5km run – and that’s just the way it turned out, much to the delight of coach Mick Delamotte.

After the swim, there was a lead group of four women who all worked together over the 10km bike course and after recording a quick transition onto the bike they strode out onto the 2.5km run, dominated by Jeffcoat.

The 24-year-old surged ahead to break away from the field for a near perfect day in the office en-route to next weekend’s WTS race in Yokohama.

“It was always my strategy to use my strong swim-bike to get away but I knew it might not work out that way, so I had to be ready to be adaptable no matter what happened,” said Jeffcoat, who has put her immediate nursing career on hold while she chases her triathlon dreams in the upcoming northern hemisphere summer.

“The four of us worked really hard from the start on the bike. We were all on the same page and we got away.

“I really love the sprint and super sprint format! It’s hard from the go and that’s how I race.

“I’m still really fresh to triathlon, so the Olympic (distance) is taking a lot more work to get there. “I am really happy with the win, the smile is back again.”

Gorman, who won the 2017 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup in a similar sprint race format, displayed resilient performances across both days of competition verifying the young American triathlete launches into this season in her best form.

“It worked out perfectly coming in today. I was pretty confident with a really relaxed yesterday and I was happy to go out there and go hard the whole time,” said Gorman.

Japan’s Sega, who wears the bronze medal today, improved impressively on her 2017 performance here in Chengdu where she crossed the line into 20th place.

“I am so happy with my race today, it was my best,” commented Sega. Bogen sprinted across the finish line to secure fourth place today and Hungary’s Zsofia Kovacs crossed in fifth position.

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