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Trizone talks to Age Grouper Laura Siddall after her second overall at Hawaii 70.3

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You could be forgiven for confusing the name Laura Siddall as a professional on the female long course circuit after finishing second overall at the recent Honolulu 70.3 to seasoned professional Belinda Granger. In reality Laura is an age grouper juggling a demanding career as a qualified chartered mechanical engineer. After making the move from Nottinghamshire/Yorkshire in the UK in 2008 to pursue her career, it was here in Australia that Laura discovered triathlon and hasn’t looked back since. To date her focus has been on short course events, with two age group world titles in both the sprint and Olympic distances (Beijing 2011 and Auckland 2012 respectively).

Prior to attending university Laura spent a year as a Second Lieutenant in REME, in the British Army, based with an artillery Regiment in Germany. A self-confessed sport junky, Laura’s idols include her own sister, a Commonwealth medal holder in the English Netball team, her coach Spot Anderson (a champion athlete in his own right), Chrissie Wellington and a number of other highly driven and successful Olympians. To Laura, it is the high work ethic and dedication displayed by these athletes that inspires her, giving you an insight into how she achieves at such a high level across two demanding domains.

We spoke to Laura to see what makes her tick and her plans for the future.

Trizone: Hi Laura, thanks for joining us on Trizone and congrats on your recent result at Honolulu 70.3 – first overall age grouper and 2nd overall female – can you tell us a little about this performance?

Laura Siddall: Thanks. It was a fantastic race. The whole event was really well organised and such good fun. I think because the race was in Hawai’i it was a bit like being on holiday. In fact in the days leading up to the race I was so relaxed (ok well relatively) I kept forgetting I had to race!

As for the result itself, I was obviously really pleased. I guess deep down I’d hoped to win and wanted to win but until you cross the finish line, I don’t think you can really take it for granted or believe it. I still feel so new to the sport and I’m still learning all the time, that every race is a bit of an unknown.

I really enjoyed the race though, and that was one of the goals. It’s such a fantastic location and course, with the challenge of the climb up to Hawi and the winds, as well as the Hawiian heat on the undulating run around the golf course.

The swim was in the stunning setting of Hapuna Beach. There were so many fish and even the odd turtle about, it was easy to forget you were racing. I was wearing a new Huub speed suit which was great. The bike was great too. I felt really comfortable and in control and loved every minute of it. I have to say thanks as well to the team at Shotz for the help with my nutrition plan. I think this was a real boost knowing that I had this structured (apart from when I managed to drop my gels at the start of the run – a big learning here and I’m keen to see how I go when I don’t mess this bit up!)

I don’t think it really sank in when I crossed the finish line. I was 4th female outright to actually cross the line and that was a pretty good feeling as well as knowing I was the first female age grouper to finish. I felt really good at the finish, which was either just the high from racing or the caffeine in my system! However at the same time I was disappointed with certain elements of my race so I always find it’s a whole mix of emotions. Elation for the win and finishing, relief that I achieved what I’d dreamt about and envisioned, and that training is going in the right direction, but also a little disappointment or frustration for various aspects of my race and a question or knowing of ‘could I have done better’?

Trizone: Does a result like this make you wonder how you would have fared in the pro wave, or are you content on focussing on your own races and performances?

Laura Siddall: Whenever I race, I focus on my own race and performance and making sure I execute to the best of my ability. You can only control yourself in the race, so I focus on the controllable. However, having said that, yes, it is hard not to wonder afterwards how I would have fared. I think to an extent that’s human nature. I think I have to be pretty realistic about it too though. On paper I may have been second, but I started in a different wave. If I was racing shoulder to shoulder who knows what would have happened and the outcome could have been completely different.

TZ: You have a couple of age group world championship victories to your name, including in Auckland 2012 (Olympic distance) and Beijing 2011 (Sprint). Do you have a preference towards the shorter distance, or do you plan on racing longer in the future?

Laura: I love the short distance, and these have been great as a learning and start for me into the sport of Triathlon, but my plan is to race longer going forward. My swim isn’t as fast as I would like and I feel this is key to the shorter distance races, particularly at the elite level. I’m excited about moving up to the longer distance though. It’s daunting but I’m looking forward to the challenge and learning how to race and be competitive over that distance. (I’m also not getting any younger and so the longer races I think will suit me better.)

TZ: Any desire to step up to the pro ranks? Is there anything specific you’re aiming towards or working at before taking this step?

Laura: Yes for sure, I’d love to step up and see what I can do. I love the sport, the training and the racing so why not make the leap and compete with the other girls in the Pro ranks. I want to see how fast I can go.

At the moment I have to sort out things like visa and work, if I’m going to do this I want to try and do it properly (well as much as I can whilst still surviving). I aim to race at Las Vegas and London as an Age Grouper and then will hopefully step up after that.

TZ: You moved to Australia and discovered Triathlon in 2008 – can you tell us a little bit about this and how it’s changed your life?

Laura: Changed my life…?? It is my life! Ha ha! As you said I’m a self confessed Tri Geek come Sports junky!

As a youngster I’ve always been involved in sport. I pretty much played every sport I could at school, before focusing more on Netball and Athletics (400m hurdles and then 800m). When I moved to Australia, I didn’t really find a athletics group I gelled with, and after a few lunch time swims with colleagues, and also signing up for the Sydney to Wollongong Cycle (before I even owned a bike), Triathlon was suggested as something I try. I found a beginners course run by Bondifit and signed up. Before I knew it I was hooked, and addicted to the Triathlon drug. To be honest it shouldn’t really have surprised me. I’m kind of all or nothing. If I do something or start something I want to see how far I can go and I fully commit to doing that.

TZ: You’re working with Spot Anderson of Bondi Fit for your coaching, do you have any additional coaches or assistance for individual disciplines, or does Spot keep a tight reign on your entire program?

Laura: Spot has an overall view and charge, I guess, of my training and program, but I think over the years we’ve developed this into quite a good partnership or two way relationship, where I can have some input as well. We’ll discuss numbers and types of sessions and I can make my suggestions.

I have a specific coach for my strength and conditioning training (Radley Spring, www.springwellness.com) and this is incorporated into the plan, as well as being supported by Turbo Studio, (www.turbostudio.com.au), and I do a weekly session there, which is awesome.

TZ: On the note of coaching, I see you joined Darren Smith for a D-squad camp in February. What did you take away from this experience?

Laura: The camp in February was fantastic. I loved every minute of it and didn’t want it to end. It was brilliant to be able to get a glimpse of the environment that Darren had created in Canberra and to be able to watch and train alongside his elite squad. He has an incredible attention to detail. He’s constantly watching, analysing, critiquing and providing feedback to his athletes. His hours and commitment to the athletes and the squad is impressive but something that I believe is necessary in demanding the best of the best and something I would want from a coach if at that level. To me it shows they are fully committed and are wholeheartedly interested in the athlete and improving.

I just couldn’t get enough of the experience. It definitely made me realise that, yes I want more of this, and I could actually see myself living in Canberra!! Ha ha! Scary I know!

It’s also about making sure that everything you are doing in training has a purpose and reason that is linked towards performing your best. Don’t just go through the motions of a session to hit a time repeat or rep or to get a session done. It’s remembering to think constantly and focus on your technique and getting the detail right all the time in everything you do. Even when you’re tired make sure your thinking about the little things and focusing.

TZ: Would you ever consider quitting work and training full time? Or do you see value as an athlete in maintaining a level of balance in your life?

Laura: Yep! I would quit work in an instance if I could and train full time! Unfortunately without an income it’s just not sustainable, until Triathlon gets the coverage and following that soccer or AFL does and pays the same! I do think there is something key though in maintaining a level of balance in your life, be that through work or family. There are lots of ways to gain the balance without working (hint hint if anyone would like to fund me full time, I’m in! 😉

I guess it depends on your passion. If you love your work then it doesn’t feel like work. I love training and finding my limits and therefore would happily do this full time.

TZ: How do you find training in a city as large as Sydney? Do you spend much time traveling for training, or are you able to keep everything pretty close to home?

Laura: Sydney is fantastic for training, well it definitely suits me with fitting in training around work. As a city, and maybe it’s just because I’m from the UK originally, it’s amazing to have so many swimming facilities (yes 50m pools) as well as all the beaches on your door step. We are incredible lucky to have Centennial Park as a cycling venue as well as being pretty close to the National Parks (North or South) for those longer rides and hills. I think I’m very fortunate to have all these facilities very close to home and a great group of people based here to train with.

TZ: Do you prefer to train alone or with company, and what do you look for in your training partners?

Laura: Most of my training is in a group and I prefer this. I thrive of the buzz between the group whatever level or ability, it’s the people that make this sport. The group can be great for really pushing you and motivating you, particularly on those days when you may not feel 100%. However some of my training is on my own. This is also good I think (I’m convincing myself now) as it’s more a mental challenge often with these sessions to keep going or to keep pushing yourself. At the end of the day in a race it’s just you and you need to be able to push and maintain your efforts without chasing or having other people around you.

What do I look for in training partners….? People who inspire and motivate me. This doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be fitter, faster and stronger but that they don’t give up and they always give it a go and 100% ++ effort. However I also look for training buddies that do obviously challenge me in speed and strength. People I can chase down, or people who I know are going to push my boundaries and limits and put me in that uncomfortable space.

TZ: Would you mind sharing a favourite training session of yours and why you enjoy it so much?

Breakfast and coffee afterwards?

Hmmm…tricky, the sessions can be so varied it’s hard to pick out a specific one. It can so often depend on how I’m feeling fitness wise and where I am in race preparation as to which sessions I love or hate. I’m not sure I really have a favourite. I really enjoy the sessions at Turbo Studio. I started these in September 2012 and I’m now really starting to see and feel the benefit. I love the fact that it’s just you against the Watts, and ok I’m now contradicting myself as I’ve just said I thrive off a group, but at the Turbo Studio there’s no hiding. You know whatever the weather, traffic or conditions you are going to get a quality work out in and can challenge yourself against the power (Most of the time there are others going through the pain with you, so there’s still the group aspect.).

Before a race, I like doing a run set that involves a series of 1km reps (for example 4-6) at race pace (or faster) off relatively short recovery. These can be done either on the promenade at Bondi Beach (which is about 1km in length) or on the track or even at Centennial Park on rougher terrain. If I’m feeling good and hitting good splits, that gives me confidence.

TZ: Outside of triathlon, is there such a thing? You obviously have a demanding career, do you manage to fit in time for other interests?

Laura: My favourite interest or hobby after triathlon… is the post training coffee and breakfast with everyone! Ha ha! So in terms of life outside of the sport, well I probably don’t really have one if you ask my friends, family and training group. One of the huge benefits of training in a group like Bondifit I think, is that it’s a pretty social group as well. There’s always time for coffee and breakfast after a training session and there’s always something going on at the weekend.

I’m kind of also of the opinion that all those other amazing interests and things to do in life will always be there, my years in triathlon are probably more limited and so why not make the most of that now.

Thanks for your time Laura, we look forward to continuing to watch you climb the ranks in the sport of triathlon, and wish you the very best for the remainder of the 2013 season and beyond.

Thanks and thanks for the support.

 

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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Major League Triathlon Adds 3rd International Team

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Major League Triathlon, the first and only professional triathlon league in North America, has announced a 9th team (3rd International franchise) for the 2018 season. For the first time in the league’s history, a National team from Mexico will participate in MLT.

The new franchise, dubbed, Guardianes de Guadalajara (Guadalajara Guardians), will consist of many of the top Mexican National Team athletes. The team will include:

Pro Men

  • Crisanto Grajales
  • Irving Perez
  • Abraham Rodriguez
  • Aram Peñaflor
  • Leonardo Saucedo

Pro Women

  • Cecilia Perez
  • Vanesa de La Torre
  • Adriana Carreño
  • Andrea Gutierrez
  • Lizeth Rueda

“We are thrilled to welcome this team to Major League Triathlon.” Said Daniel Cassidy, CEO of Major League Triathlon. “Triathlon Mexico and their athletes have established themselves as one of the world’s top federations leading up to Tokyo 2020. We are extremely excited to continue to increase the level of competition and give our athletes the opportunity to race Mixed Team Relay at the highest level possible. “

Major League Triathlon will host nine professional teams and will host many of the World’s best elite triathletes including international teams from Australia, Canada, and Mexico. MLT will host four events, making stops in: Atlantic City, Vail Valley, Tempe and Charlotte. The third year league specializes in the Mixed Team Relay format of racing, which will make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. At every event, each athlete will swim 300 meters, bike four miles and run one mile, one at a time, before tagging their next teammate. The first team to have all four athletes cross the finish line will win.

Guardianes de Guadalajara

Guardianes de Guadalajara is the only Mexican/Latin-American Team competing in Major League Triathlon. They represent the City of Guadalajara. The Guardianes de Guadalajara will feature experienced triathletes like Olympians: Crisanto Grajales (London 2012 and Rio 2016), Irving Pérez (Río 2016), Cecilia Pérez (Río 2016) and the future of the extremely strong Mexican National Team including: Junior and U23 triathletes like Vanesa de la Torre, Abraham Rodriguez and Aram Peñaflor.

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Rudy Project Launches Project Podium for Age Group Athletes

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Rudy Project North America, the exclusive distributor of Italian-made endurance sports gear, and the most worn helmet at Kona 7 times in a row is launching Project Podium, an initiative that rewards North America’s fastest age group triathletes with award-winning performance Rudy Project eyewear and helmets. All age group racers that win their age group in any sanctioned long distance triathlon in the United States and Canada are eligible to receive a free, top-of-the-line Rudy Project Boost 01 road aero helmet and a pair of Tralyx sunglasses. Winners will also be featured on Rudy Project’s website and lauded on social media as the top long-distance age group triathletes on the continent.

“A full-distance, 140 miles plus race is nothing to sneeze at, and attempting one is a feat in of itself,” said Paul Craig, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Rudy Project North America. “To win your age group, to come out on top, is something exceptional, and we want to reward the best, with the best.”

The program is open to all age group triathletes that compete in a sanctioned long distance triathlon race, in Canada or the United States, that is included in Project Podium’s list of eligible races. Athletes must be legal residents of either Canada or the United States in order to be eligible to win. The prize pack being offered is worth up to $625 USD, and triathletes that win their age group can submit their results online for verification at www.rudyprojectna.com/pages/project-podium in order to redeem. Athletes will be able to choose from the entire Boost 01 road aero colour line up, which includes Stealth Black and eye-popping Pink Fluo. Rudy Project’s new road aero helmet is quickly becoming an athlete favourite, following wind tunnel testing by ProCycling Magazine that demonstrated the Boost 01 was faster than any competitor helmet tested. To complement their helmet, athletes can also select a frame from the entire award-winning Tralyx family, including the regular Tralyx, Tralyx XL for additional coverage, or the new Tralyx SLIM, designed specifically for athletes with narrower faces. That, coupled with customer-forward warranties like Rudy Project’s 6 Year Crash Replacement Guarantee and Lifetime Replacement Lens Guarantee, make this an unbeatable prize package for the age grouper at the top of their game.

“Rudy Project is simply the best,” said Paul Craig. “We’re choosing to celebrate athletes who power the sport – the age group athlete and rewarding those that get to the top, the pinnacle of success. It may seem too good to be true, but we’re serious. If you win your age group in one of our listed races, we want to give you a helmet and sunglasses. If that extra push is all it takes to motivate someone to train a little harder, run a little faster down the chute toward the finish line, then we’ve done our job.”

Winning athletes can submit their information and race results for verification online. Athletes that won their age group in any 2018 full distance triathlon prior to the announcement of the program are also eligible to redeem retroactively. Full terms and conditions of the initiative can be found online, as well as a full list of eligible races. The program will run until December 2018.

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Taiwan added to XTERRA World Tour on 29-30 September at Kenting National Park

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XTERRA World Tour today announced the inaugural XTERRA Taiwan off-road triathlon and accompanying sports festival to be held September 29-30, 2018 at Kenting National Park.

Events include an XTERRA championship distance event, an “Xticer” beginner distance off-road triathlon, 5, 10 and 21-kilometre trail runs.

“We are thrilled to bring XTERRA to the people of Taiwan and introduce the sport and lifestyle to athletes of all ages and skill levels,” said Brian Wei, Vice President of Marketing. “We also look forward to having XTERRA Tribe members from around the world join us in Taiwan to discover a truly remarkable location in Kenting and the fabulous culture and community that is found here.”

Kenting is on the southern tip of Taiwan and famous for its warm, turquoise water and white-sand beaches that give way to magnificent mountains and natural reserves.

The main event starts with a one-mile swim at Little Bay beach with a short run in between two-laps. The swim-to-bike transition is at the fascinating Kenting Youth Activity Center, which is comprised of 17 different styles of old-world buildings and is a tourist destination all by itself. Then, the 26-kilometer mountain bike course takes competitors from coastal terrain to rocky riverbeds to uncharted territory high atop MenMaLou mountain. And the final test of endurance is a 10-kilometer trail run through the tranquil and “enchanted forest” of Chihniuling, considered one of the eight wonders of Hengchun.

The XTERRA Taiwan Championship event offers an elite prize purse of $15,000 USD split among the top seven men and women and also 49 qualifying spots for amateurs vying to compete at the 2019 XTERRA World Championship race in Maui.

The Xticer tri is a perfect introductory race with a manageable 200m swim, 10km mountain bike and 2km trail run. Relay teams of two-or-three people are encouraged to race in the full distance event.

In addition to the off-road triathlons there is a race for everyone in the family during the 5km, 10km and 21km trail running races. And for the fast runners, a $20,000 NTD (about $700 USD) will be awarded to the top three men and women in the half-marathon distance race.

XTERRA has had a presence in the Asia-Pacific region since 2000 and hosts events in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Tahiti, and New Caledonia, however, this is its first foray into the burgeoning endurance sports market of Taiwan,” said Janet Clark, President of XTERRA World Tour.

Nico Lebrun, the XTERRA European director, helped design the course. He also returned to Taiwan to host local coaching clinics to help leaders in the area teach the various disciplines of XTERRA as well as champion the XTERRA motto to “Live More” through a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle.

“After two trips to Kenting I can tell you it’s a beautiful place, and the perfect location for XTERRA,” said Lebrun, who is also part of the organizing committee producing the event. “If you like hot weather, warm water, fresh local food, and strong culture, you will love it here.”

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Drama and excitement at Challenge Denmark

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Andreas Dreitz and Pernille Thalund each took home a convincing victory in Saturday’s Challenge Herning. After a non-wetsuit swim the athletes had to conquer an unusually hot summer day, which delivered as well drama as excitement.

For a while favourite, Camilla Pedersen (DK) looked like a sure winner. The former elite swimmer came first out of the water after only 25:56 minutes, with two minutes down to fellow dane Pernille Thalund. But almost halfway through the bike course, Thalund took the lead and kept it all the way to the finish line. Laura Siddall (GB) fought her way up from being 9th to second place, well three minutes after Thalund. 18 minutes later Frankie Sanjana (GB) crossed the finish line.

Meanwhile, Camilla Pedersen fought a brave but brutal battle with her stomach which refused to hold anything down in the heat. It goes without saying that it was an unfair match, and halfway through the course, she chose to pull herself out of the race.

Dreitz does it again

Among the men, Swedish favorite Jesper Svensson was first out off the water with Daniel Bækkegaard right behind him. But racing across the Danish heath, the ranks were turned upside down. Ultimately, the former Challenge Denmark winner Andi Dreitz took the lead, after which Danes Matthias Lyngsø Petersen and Kristian Hindkjær succeeded in overtaking Svensson.

Last year’s winner, Anders “Hightower” Christensen finished fifth.

The weather as X factor

One should never complain about the fabulous, Danish summer weather. But in the triathlon context, the heat was grueling.For the pros, the water temperature of 23.1 degrees meant a non wetsuit swim, which was a draw back for the heavier athletes.The vast majority of the age groupers athletes chose to swim in their wetsuits.

The almost non-existent wind made cycling really fast. But as the athletes went out running, the combination of heat, sun and no wind meant an excruciatingly hard run through Herning’s otherwise festive streets.

“The weather is always the x-factor in triathlon. It’s something you can not predict or change – and that can make a huge difference in either direction. But it’s the same for everyone, and that’s something that makes it exciting”, says race director Claus Vesterby.

All about the experience

It is a very proud and happy race director, Claus Vesterby, who can close and shut Challenge Herning this evening: “We had a phenomenal pro field with some amazing athletes and personalities. It’s amazing to notice how the Challenge Family spirit influenced the day among both pro and age group athletes. All the amateur athletes at all levels who struggled to exceed their own expectations and have a party with their sport, never seize to amaze me. They are just as important to us as the professionals, and it’s fascinating to see the breadth of our sport. I am proud of that,” says Claus Vesterby:

“Everyone is here to do their best, but first and foremost they come to get a great experience. And there’s no doubt they’ve got that today – and so have I.It’s a pleasure to feel how the city of Herning has taken the Challenge in and really backs us up and creates a party around the athletes. That means so unbelievably much. So we are already looking forward to making an even more amazing event next year.”

RESULTS

Men

  1. Andreas Dreiz, D, 3:47:12
  2. Matthias Lyngsø Petersen, DK, 3:51:54
  3. Kristian Hindkjær, DK, 3:57:31

Women

  1. Pernille Thalund, DK, 4:20:55
  2. Laura Siddall, GB 4:24:00 PM
  3. Frankie Sanjana, GB, 4:42:00 PM

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Mark Allen is Final Surge’s New Partner, Spokesperson, and Advisor for Triathlon

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Mark Allen, 6-time IRONMAN® Triathlon World Champion and “The Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time” according to ESPN, has teamed up with FinalSurge, the Best Online Training Log according to Triathlete magazine’s June 2018 Issue, to produce a special edition “Mark Allen Coaching” branded training program for triathlon. Allen will also serve as a spokesperson and advisor for Final Surge triathlon projects.

“His accomplishments as an endurance athlete are legendary, but we were even more blown away with his depth of knowledge, experience, and innovations in coaching,” said Bob Butler, IRONMAN Certified Coach and COO of Final Surge. “Having Mark Allen on the team represents an extraordinary opportunity for us to use his unparalleled athletic experience and coaching insights to build on our recent honor as “Best Online Training Log.”

“When the opportunity arose to work with Final Surge I recognized that the technology created by their team had finally reached a level of sophistication and ease of use that would be a perfect match for my coaching theories,” said Allen. “Final Surge has developed the best mobile applications for online coaches in all endurance sports, and I am proud to be a part of their team as they continue to innovate and grow.”

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Rio Olympian Ryan Bailie moves to 6th on the WTS World Rankings

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It was a case of survival of the fittest in yesterday’s energy-sapping World Triathlon Series Leeds round with Australia’s Rio Olympian, “Mr Consistent” Ryan Bailie the best of the Aussies, moving up the ITU WTS World Rankings to sixth after his 10th place finish.

His Olympic teammate Aaron Royle, after his sterling performance to put Australia in the medal hunt in Thursday’s WTS World Triathlon Mixed Relay, faded on the 10km run to finish 13th.

The tough Olympic distance Leeds course, with its immediate hill climb off the 1500m swim and then the 12.5km ride into the city before the tight technical street laps over 27.5km, proved unforgiving for some.

There were some casualties on the bike and then more on the run – including the likes of Leeds local hero and two-time Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jake Birtwhistle, third on the rankings going into Leeds, has dropped to seventh after his 22nd placing in a race which also saw his Commonwealth Games teammate Luke Willian 32nd and Marcel Walkington 36th.

“But there were some positives up until that point and in recent times they have been few and far between so I’ll take it. Bit of ‘R&R’ for a few days and then back into it.”

Royle has jumped four places on the WTS rankings to 17th to 13 to give Australia three in the top 15 after the first five events of a season that will culminate in the 2018 Grand Finale on the Gold Coast (September 12-16).

The next stop will be Hamburg on July 14 and 15; Edmonton (July 27-29) and Montreal (August 25-26) before the Gold Coast final stop.

Defending champion Mario Mola sits on top of the rankings ladder after his second-place finish behind South African Richard Murray yesterday which saw Frenchman Vincent Luis third.

But things didn’t go all Mola’s way as Murray scooted away to South Africa’s first-ever Olympic distance WTS gold.

“I had a beginner’s mistake today,” said Mario Mola. “I jumped on my bike and when I hit the pedal it hit the floor so I had to get down and fix it. Luckily I had a very good swim so I was able to get in the second pack. From then, I just kept working and today the effort paid off. Congratulations to Richard, he was really strong today. I really liked the course, it’s tough but I liked it.”

The Australian women had a frustrating day in the office with Ashleigh Gentle, Natalie Van Coevorden, Charlotte McShane and Gillian Backhouse all falling by the wayside recording DNFs through the 40km bike leg.

Gentle wrote on Twitter: “Out of Leeds after my pre-race swim yesterday. Things went south.

“Stomach bug or food poisoning flattened me. I lined up to give it a go but unfortunately, I felt incredibly weak and couldn’t hardly push any power.”

The race eventually went to local Vicky Holland in a GBR quinella with youngster Georgia Taylor-Brown taking silver and Katie Zaferes (USA) third.

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