Ex ITU triathleteÂ and Pro Cyclist Sarah Crowley has won the Urban Hotel Group Ironman 70.3 Cairns 2012. Crowley came in to this race as a relative unknown at this distance and flew under most people’s radars. Fellow pro and 4th over all today Matilda Raynolds called it earlier this week when talking to Trizone. She said Crowley would be hard to beat and as it turned out today she was impossible to beat.
â€œI knew I had a pretty good lead out of T2 so I was just trying to keep a nice tempo and kept my splits up â€“ it was great coming back to The Esplanade and seeing the crowd â€“ they really lift you during those last few kilometres,â€ said Crowley.
â€œIt was pretty tough but I’ve been doing a lot of work in the heat, a lot of tempo work but there was a bit of mental toughness out there today.â€
â€œI’ve just been holding back on the little races here and there in preparation for this race and everything went to plan today.â€
Right behind Crowley there was a real battle going on between New Zealand’s Joanna Lawn and Australia’s Michelle Wu with Wu triumphing right at the end and finishing a mere 50m ahead of Lawn.
Wu had given it everything and was completely shattered at the end and had to be assisted away before coming back out for the medal presentation.
Wu chased hard on the run but the gap Crowley had amassed proved an impossible task.
â€œThat was incredibly hard, I don’t think I’ve ever had to chase so hard in my life the girls really made it tough out there today.
â€œI tried to stick with the girls for as long as I could on the run but it wasn’t until around the 18km mark that I started to close the gap and I think with only 1km to go I passed Joanna and I kept thinking to myself â€˜I can’t lose this, I can’t lose this’, so I’m just really happy I managed to get past her and take second place today.
â€œI just put my head down and ran my little heart out.
â€œComing from Canberra I found it pretty hot out there today but compared to the weather earlier this week it’s pretty much perfect and the course was pretty special too,â€ said Wu.
Crowley cycled for a pro team last year and said after the race that this has had a huge positive affect on her racing. “Racing with the cycling team taught me so much about cycling and has given me the confidence I needed on the bike. After racing ITU and loosing my passion for the sport I needed to go away and do something else for a while.’ Crowley raced the Hell of the West earlier this year to see how things would go again. “I raced at Goondiwindi because I just had to give triathlon a go again. I love running and missed it a lot. Goondi gave me the confidence I needed to get back in to triathlons.”.
In 4th place and not far behind was Matilda Rayonlds who suffered in the heat of the day but was only just behind third placed Wu with the run proving to be the major difference.
5th placed Jacinta Worland put in a very strong all round effort to come in just over a minute behind Raynolds. Worland said the day before that reports that her bike leg was slightly underdone had spurred her to address this perception and today she showed that she is becoming a strong competitor.
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