If you live in and around Sydney this Sunday is your chance to unselfishly support the sport that you love and participate in. Forget your Sunday bike ride or long run. Get in your car with some of your triathlon buddies and get out to Penrith to witness one of the biggest prize pools in Australian triathlon being fought over by some of Australia’s top triathletes at the Nepean Triathlon.
Gulf Western Oil with the support of Cellarbrations have put up nearly $70,000 in cash (full details here) with the male and female winners taking $14,000 each plus the handicap winner taking an extra $2000. This year the guys are saying the the handicap is too great and the smart money is on the female winner to pocket the extra cash.
The pro fields are huge and you will not get to see a field of this quality very often. The prize money up for grabs is going to make for some seriously good racing. There are too many guns to go through them all one by one so we’ll just have a look at a few to start with. And apologies to everyone who we don’t mention.
Brad Kahlefeldt is naturally one of the main contenders for the win and is one that all the men will be watching very closely. He is the name that most are talking about. Although you would have to be brave to bet against the likes of Royle and Sexton with Reed also a short priced favourite.
Byron Bay based Tim Reed has been looking at this race for a long time. Knowing Tim he will have done all his homework and will have a fairly good idea who he is going to have to beat. Reed knows how to race non drafting. The biggest issues for Reed will be the small draft zone and the time he will concede time in the swim to many in this field. He is going to be chasing hard from the start.. He’ll be wanting to break away and will not want any of the whippets taking it easy with only 7m between bikes. In saying that the technical nature of the bike course is the main issue with plenty of acceleration needed.
2014 Commonwealth Games triathlete Aaron Royle is going to be hard to beat. The word is that he is producing some fairly big wattage on the bike currently and is keen to take out this race. Royle won the Yarrawonga Mulwala Multi Sport Festival last weekend after taking out all three events he raced in with the final race being the Olympic Distance triathlon.
Another who wants this race badly is Brendan Sexton. After an injury stalled the start to his 2013 season he never got the opportunity to prove to the selectors that he should have been in the London team. So Nepean and Noosa will be his opportunity to display what he is capable of.
There are so many great swimmers racing this year that it is going to be very hard for the TOs to police the drafting. This is something we hope they get right as it will take away from the race if it is not kept in check.
James Seear, Peter Kerr, Shane Barrie, Cameron Good, Mitch Robins and many more including some of the guys mentioned above will make up the front swim pack.Â If Robins stays with the front guys he could be dangerous on the bike and we know he can run.
The run is going to be simply ferocious with a time close to 30mins flat needed to win this race.
The women’s race has opened up with Melissa Hauschildt not racing. The field here is world class with Ashleigh Gentle and Emma Moffatt the favourites. They will not have it easy though as world U23 ITU champion Charlotte McShane along with Natalie van Coevorden and Tamsyn Moana-Veale will all be hoping to upset the top guns.
These five women should open up a lead over the rest of the field in the swim then it will come down to who can cycle the fastest in the non drafting format. Something that the younger girls will not have ass much experience in compared to Moffatt.
A sure bet is that one of these women will win the handicap prize money.
Male pro field
Under 19 male
Female Pro field
NATALIE VAN COEVORDEN
ANDREA ORACKI (Forrest)
Under 19 Female