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Spain’s Javier Gomez make it three from three after winning World Triathlon Series at Yokohama

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Three races, three wins. Spain’s Javier Gomez threw-down yet another stellar performance in Yokohama on Saturday, in a race that may have reset the world order in triathlon.

Previously in every WTS race Alistair Brownlee and Jonathan Brownlee had started together, at least one of them had finished in the medals. In Japan, they were pushed off the podium by Spain’s Mario Mola and South Africa’s Richard Murray.

Javier Gomez Murray, Richard & Mario Mola fight it out at Yokohama - Photo Credit: Delly Carr - ITU

Javier Gomez Murray, Richard & Mario Mola fight it out at Yokohama – Photo Credit: Delly Carr – ITU

However it was Gomez who yet again re-affirmed his place at the top of the WTS pecking order in 2014, as he pulled out his most impressive win yet this season. While in Auckland and Cape Town Gomez dropped Jonny Brownlee with a few kilometres to go to assure his win, he didn’t capture the Yokohama victory until the final metre.

With the Brownlee’s falling off the pace halfway through the run, Mola and Gomez dropped Murray with just over a kilometre to go, and entered the blue carpet together. While Mola looked hesitantly over his shoulder twice at Gomez, he wasn’t caught off guard in the throw down. The pair sprinted side by side almost the length of the finishing chute, before Gomez lunged to the finishing tape when it counted. Gomez captured his third consecutive WTS win in 2014, and his first ever in Yokohama, in 1 hour 45 minutes and 31 seconds. His bid to become only the second man to win four ITU World Championships is on track.

“With Mario and Richard, then run pretty fast and I was just about to drop in the second or third lap and somehow I managed to get up. Then I got down to the final few hundred metres, I knew that Mario is pretty fast but I just gave it everything, the third sprint I’ve won in my life, so I’m pretty happy,’ Gomez said. “Third win of the year, I can’t believe it’s going so good.”

When Murray made his move on the second lap, Gomez had to focus behind and up front.

“At this point of the World Championship the main rivals were Alistair and Jonathan, Jonathan has two second places so I was a bit worried about him but when I saw they dropped I focused to try and win the race and Richard and Mario were at the front. I almost dropped when Richard made his move but I managed to keep up and felt a bit better at the end of the race.”

Gomez says he is in the middle of one of the best phases in his career but is not resting on his laurels.

“This has been the best season so far having three wins and this kind of racing at the highest level in the world is just amazing. But I know the job is not done yet, I need another two good results before the Grand Final and the Grand Final is such an important race, if you have a bad day there you are not even on the podium in the Series so I am still focusing, I will train well and see how it goes.”

Mario Mola was pleased to be on the podium behind his countryman.

“I can’t be happier, Javi deserved this race, he sprinted like a beast and I have to congratulate him. I have to also thank Tom Davison who did a great job on the bike, thanks to him we were able to get to the first pack so yeah I am happy with my race and pleased with my second and will keep working for the next one.

“When Richard made the move I definitely thought he could get away. He is a great runner so I knew I had to be close to him to get a win or get a podium. That is what I tried to do. I didn’t feel great on the start of the run, when Alistair started I thought that is a bit too much but I tried to stay there and then found the energy to push at the end of the run that allowed me to get second position so I am very happy with that.”

Murray was delighted with his performance and a return to the podium.

“Its been coming a long time, the last time I was on the podium was just before the Olympic Games, it has been a long time for me, I have had a lot of 5th places which I am currently sick of now and I don’t want to settle for anything less. Tom Davison I give big credit to, I might even throw some cash his way, being the best ‘domestique’ anyone can ask for. I can’t believe my lap splits, we were going well over 50kph on the flat and that is the reason why we closed the gap. There was a crash with two laps to go, I was almost in it, the guy was on my right, there were two crashes and I managed to escape that. I have only run twice now with the Brownlees from the start of the race and I have managed to take both of them so I am real stoked, I think it was a good entertaining race today.”

Murray said his move on the second lap was a planned effort.

“The legs were feeling good and I didn’t want to be the follower today I want to be the one giving it a go, I don’t want to follow and get broken. I put two moves in on the run and couldn’t get away from them, the Spanish guys their surging skills are very very good. From about halfway through the second lap we were surging each other for the rest of the race. I think after about the 6th surge my hamstring started to go and on the last lap Javi started to go and I just couldn’t respond. I tried to stay with him as long as I can, if you look at the footage I was in the biggest hurt locker ever on the last 2k. They managed to get a small gap but third place I am super super stoked with it.”

Like in the women’s race in Yokohama, the race started with a wetsuit swim which failed to make much of an impact on the make-up of the race. But in this case, it was the efforts of New Zealand’s Tom Davison that ensured it didn’t.

While the usual suspects such as Henri Schoeman, Joe Maloy, Aaron Royle and the big three of Gomez, Brownlee and Brownlee exited near the front, so did around 10 other athletes. After one lap of the bike their lead to the first chase was just over 20 seconds, which was not enough on the technical Yokohama course. Particularly against the force that is Tom Davision in 2014.

After making a name for himself and sealing his place on the 2014 New Zealand Commonwealth Games team in Auckland, where he pulled Ryan Sissons to the lead group, Davison cut through another minute deficit without breaking a sweat. Within just two laps he had moved through the field and collected Mola and Murray on the way, before the halfway point of the 40km bike the lead group swelled to almost 40 athletes.

However unlike the women’s race, where the lead group was so slowed by its size that almost the whole field caught it before T2, Davison, Gomez, the Brownlees, Benjamin Shaw and Royle ensured that no-one else joined that group. While a few small breaks were initiated in the final few laps, nothing stuck and 36 athletes hit T2 together.

It marked the first time in 2014 that two of the fastest runners in the field had actually left T2 in the lead group, and Murray and Mola relished the chance to properly challenge the big three of the Brownlees and Gomez. However it quickly emerged that Yokohama in 2014 was going to be different, as Jonathan Brownlee was the first to fall off the pace. That ended his incredible run of 17 consecutive World Triathlon Series podium places, since the Madrid race in 2010. While in his first race of the 2014 season, Alistair Brownlee held on for longer, he also couldn’t stick with the pace that Gomez, Mola and Murray had set.

While neither Brownlee made the podium, it was a good day for the British team with four athletes in the top ten, including Aaron Harris and Adam Bowden. Alongside Mola and Gomez, Spain also had three with Fernando Alarza running himself into 7th place.

Alistair said he just didn’t have the running in his legs today.

“The swim was real tough, I had to fight my way around a bit and then the bike obviously we tried to push on early doors and then it came together and nothing happened really and then on the run I had no legs at all really. I hope there is more conditioning to come from me but I think I am a fair bit fitter than that to be honest even though I haven’t done the training I would like to, I was practically jogging. But I think hopefully a bit more running, maybe a bit more rest I will be a bit better.”

Javier Gomez’s undefeated start to the 2014 season sees him comfortably atop of the Threadneedle rankings, with Jonathan Brownlee sitting in second.

 

Pos Athlete Country Time Swim Bike Run
1 Javier Gomez Noya ESP 01:45:31 00:17:29 00:57:08 00:29:32
2 Mario Mola ESP 01:45:31 00:18:00 00:56:44 00:29:25
3 Richard Murray RSA 01:46:00 00:18:21 00:56:18 00:29:55
4 Alistair Brownlee GBR 01:46:27 00:17:32 00:57:01 00:30:27
5 Jonathan Brownlee GBR 01:46:29 00:17:31 00:57:04 00:30:29
6 Aaron Harris GBR 01:46:38 00:18:14 00:56:23 00:30:33
7 Fernando Alarza ESP 01:46:45 00:17:41 00:56:56 00:30:37
8 Hirokatsu Tayama JPN 01:46:52 00:17:35 00:57:00 00:30:47
9 Adam Bowden GBR 01:47:16 00:18:06 00:56:30 00:31:12
10 Andrea Salvisberg SUI 01:47:29 00:17:41 00:56:56 00:31:30
11 Yuichi Hosoda JPN 01:47:30 00:18:10 00:56:25 00:31:29
12 Andrea De Ponti ITA 01:47:32 00:18:20 00:56:18 00:31:29
13 Grant Sheldon GBR 01:47:35 00:17:54 00:56:37 00:31:32
14 Aaron Royle AUS 01:47:44 00:17:43 00:56:57 00:31:41
15 Andrew Yorke CAN 01:47:45 00:18:09 00:56:32 00:31:37
16 Ryan Bailie AUS 01:47:56 00:18:01 00:56:40 00:31:46
17 Danylo Sapunov UKR 01:48:03 00:17:54 00:56:34 00:31:57
18 Cameron Good AUS 01:48:15 00:17:54 00:56:47 00:32:07
19 Joe Maloy USA 01:48:17 00:17:30 00:57:10 00:32:10
20 Jason Pedersen USA 01:48:29 00:18:14 00:56:19 00:32:20
21 Felipe Barraza CHI 01:48:41 00:18:15 00:56:22 00:32:33
22 Benjamin Shaw IRL 01:48:46 00:17:55 00:56:38 00:32:39
23 Alexander Bryukhankov RUS 01:48:50 00:18:21 00:57:58 00:30:54
24 Denis Vasiliev RUS 01:48:51 00:17:35 00:57:05 00:32:37
25 Vicente Hernandez ESP 01:48:58 00:18:18 00:56:21 00:32:49
26 Ryan Fisher AUS 01:49:03 00:17:51 00:56:45 00:32:59
27 Kohei Tsubaki JPN 01:49:06 00:18:11 00:56:25 00:33:04
28 Henri Schoeman RSA 01:49:40 00:17:25 00:57:06 00:33:35
29 Andrea Secchiero ITA 01:49:43 00:18:19 00:58:07 00:31:50
30 Leonardo Chacon CRC 01:49:49 00:17:45 00:56:54 00:33:40
31 Pedro Mendes POR 01:49:55 00:17:37 00:58:49 00:32:02
32 Declan Wilson AUS 01:50:08 00:18:23 00:56:10 00:34:11
33 Yegor Martynenko UKR 01:50:22 00:18:23 00:57:57 00:32:36
34 Ryosuke Yamamoto JPN 01:50:34 00:18:14 00:58:11 00:32:43
35 Thomas Springer AUT 01:50:36 00:18:19 00:58:02 00:32:43
36 Simon De Cuyper BEL 01:50:48 00:18:23 00:57:58 00:32:55
37 Wikus Weber RSA 01:50:54 00:18:12 00:58:10 00:33:02
38 Tony Dodds NZL 01:50:57 00:17:29 00:57:13 00:34:50
39 Andrey Bryukhankov RUS 01:50:59 00:18:15 00:58:01 00:33:05
40 Tom Davison NZL 01:51:05 00:18:24 00:56:12 00:35:06
41 Pierre Le Corre FRA 01:51:15 00:18:21 00:57:58 00:33:30
42 Irving Perez MEX 01:51:56 00:17:58 00:58:27 00:34:02
43 Marco Van Der Stel NED 01:51:57 00:17:39 00:57:10 00:35:41
44 Premysl Svarc CZE 01:52:30 00:18:08 00:58:09 00:34:35
45 Marc Austin GBR 01:52:57 00:17:56 00:58:27 00:35:03
46 Aurelien Raphael FRA 01:53:11 00:17:27 00:57:06 00:37:10
47 Miguel Arraiolos POR 01:55:19 00:18:18 01:01:40 00:33:49
48 Russell White IRL 01:56:04 00:18:20 01:01:46 00:34:31
DNF Gregor Buchholz GER DNF 00:18:15 00:58:13 00:00:00
DNF Uxio Abuin Ares ESP DNF 00:18:04 01:01:53 00:00:00
DNF Andrew Mccartney CAN DNF 00:17:30 01:02:48 00:00:00
DNF Joao Silva POR DNF 00:17:43 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Jumpei Furuya JPN DNF 00:18:10 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Igor Polyanskiy RUS DNF 00:17:37 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Ryan Sissons NZL DNF 00:18:19 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Bruno Matheus BRA LAP 00:18:33 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS DNF 00:17:40 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Jarrod Shoemaker USA DNF 00:18:16 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Artem Parienko RUS DNF 00:18:35 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Dan Wilson AUS DNF 00:18:19 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Valentin Meshcheryakov KAZ DNF 00:18:17 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Conor Murphy IRL DNF 00:18:19 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Kyle Jones CAN DNF 00:18:14 00:00:00 00:00:00
DNF Wian Sullwald RSA DNF 00:17:58 00:00:00 00:00:0+A1:G650

 

 

A cyclist and tech geek at heart with a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of Australia's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.

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Apply to Join the Amateur Specialized Zwift Academy Triathlon Team

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Zwift, the virtual turbo trainer cycling tool that doubles as a massively multiplayer online game, has partnered with Specialized to create a new elite amateur triathlon team. The recruiting focus is on amateur age-group triathletes, and they plan to make the new team “the best supported amateur team in the sport.” Four finalists will compete in Kona during the 2018 Ironman World Championship. Applications to join the Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team are due by 18th March.

Zwift, and Zwift Academy have recently been focusing more attention on triathlon. Zwift created the brand new Zwift Run with triathletes in mind, and Zwift Academy is now scouting to identify the next generation of world-class triathletes.

The two companies are offering some amazing perks to the four finalists who make the team.

Perks for Tri Team Members Include:

  • Pro level outdoor and Zwift virtual training with the 2017 women’s Kona runner-up Lucy Charles and world record holder Tim Don
  • Free smart trainer & treadmill
  • Specialized bike, shoes and gear
  • Wind tunnel optimization & Retul fitting sessions at the Specialized Headquarters in California
  • $1,500 USD toward expenses for a 2018 Ironman qualifying event
  • Flights, lodging and entry fees for the 2018 Ironman World Championship

To apply for the Tri Team, you must be in Zwift cycling level 10 or higher. Final selections will be announced on 5th April. The online application is available at http://www.zwift.com/academy.

Have you heard of the new Zwift Run yet? If not, read Trizone’s recent article, Zwift Set to Revolutionise Indoor Running.

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USA Triathlon Announces 2018 Splash & Dash Youth Aquathlon Series Calendar

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USA Triathlon today announced that its Splash & Dash Youth Aquathlon Series is set to return for the seventh consecutive year, with more than 55 swim-run events planned in cities across the United States this season.

The series, launched in 2012 with 30 events, is designed to introduce youth athletes between the ages of 7 and 15 to the multisport lifestyle through the fast-growing discipline of aquathlon. With a focus on participation and fun, rather than competition, many of the events are not timed.

At all Splash & Dash events, participants ages 7-10 will complete a 100-meter pool swim and a 1-kilometre run, while athletes ages 11-15 will complete a 200m pool swim and a 2k run. All participants receive a t-shirt, custom finisher’s medal and giveaways from the Boy Scouts of America and the USA Swimming Foundation, both partners of the series.

The 2018 season kicks off in mid-March and runs through October, with events hosted in each of USA Triathlon’s six Regions. USA Triathlon partnered with race directors, community centres, coaches, clubs, and parks and recreation departments to solidify the slate of more than 55 events, a record high for the series. USA Triathlon staff will also host the annual Colorado Springs, Colorado, event, which is presented by SafeSplash Swim School, on Aug. 19.

“With the seventh iteration of the USA Triathlon Splash & Dash Youth Aquathlon Series, we will introduce more kids than ever to multisport in a single season,” said Brian D’Amico, USA Triathlon Director of Events. “Increasing youth participation is a major focus not only for USA Triathlon but for the industry as a whole through the recently-launched Time to Tri initiative. We look forward to working with each of the hosts on this year’s Splash & Dash calendar to make the 2018 series the most successful yet.”

The Splash & Dash series saw record participation in 2017, with 2,250 youth athletes competing in 50 events nationwide.

Visit usatriathlon.org/splashanddash for the latest calendar and complete information on the series. The series calendar and locations are subject to change.

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St. Anthony’s Triathlon Announced as 2018 USAT Regional Championship

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USA Triathlon (USAT) has selected St. Anthony’s Triathlon as a 2018 Regional Championship Race. The 35th annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon will take place on April 29, 2018 with approximately 3,000 athlete participants competing over the race weekend.

As a USAT Regional Championship site, registered USAT athletes can qualify from the St. Anthony’s Triathlon for the 2018 Olympic-Distance National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio to be held on August 11, 2018. In order to qualify for the National Championships, competitors must finish in the top 33 percent or top five (whichever is greater) competitors per their respective age groups. In addition, this year’s St. Anthony’s Triathlon will also serve as the USAT Southeastern Regional Championship.

“We are proud to have been selected again as a USAT Regional Championship race,” said Susan Daniels, race director for St. Anthony’s Triathlon. “This event hosts some of the best athletes in the world, and we are honoured to offer triathletes the opportunity to qualify for the USAT National Championship on our St. Petersburg course.”

The St. Anthony’s Triathlon is also making some exciting changes to the event by extending the Sports and Fitness Expo from a two-day to three-day event and holding all Triathlon events in one park instead of two. The Sports and Fitness Expo will take place from April 27-29 St. Petersburg’s waterfront Vinoy Park. “Extending our sports and fitness expo gives our competitors more opportunities to check out the latest race gear and moving to one location, makes it more convenient for them,” said Daniels.

For kids and novice adults, the Meek & Mighty Triathlon occurs on April 28, and the main Triathlon, for both Olympic and Sprint distance races, runs on April 29.

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Ironman 70.3 Geelong: Sam Appelton Too Strong and Nina Derron Wins in a Thriller

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IRONMAN’s 40th Anniversary was celebrated in grand style and the gods were smiling with IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong replicating some of the sport’s greatest drama with a sprint, fall, stumble, lunge finish between Nina Derron (SUI) and Melbourne rookie Grace Thek. The men’s race also lived up to the excellence of the preceding decades with a stunning performance by defending champion Sam Appleton.

Spectators had been enthralled by the epic battle between Appleton, Josh Amberger, Jake Montgomery and Ryan Fisher but just when they thought they had seen a thrilling race, the guys were upstaged by the emotional and physical roller coaster that was the women’s event.

Barwon Heads local Claire Davis was the first female to reach dry land (26:07) with Kirralee Seidel, Nina Derron (SUI) and Grace Thek in touch and eager to get onto the 90km bike leg. Derron was looking to control the race and at 45km she had extended her lead to 3:30 over Davis, Thek and the charging Laura Dennis. Seidel picked up a penalty and lost touch completely, finding herself nine minutes down. At three quarter distance Dennis managed to ride herself into second place with Thek and Davis in a tight battle for third and fourth place.

With Swiss precision, Derron lead into T2 by five minutes over the chasing pair of Dennis and Thek, with the local hope a further minute down. In the second half of the 21km run things started to change radically. Derron started to feel the pinch and Thek literally found her feet and charged through the field to find herself leading her very first IRONMAN 70.3. Thek was heading for a 70.3 victory on debut and with the finish line in sight, the former US college runner started to pay the penalty for her early over-exuberance.

“I was hoping to do four-minute pace but for the first three km I found myself doing 3:30 and I really paid for it on the last lap. I was about four and a half minutes down off the bike and I didn’t know if that was achievable. When I was two minutes down with a lap to go I thought it was possible but the end was just devastating. When I passed Nina I just wanted enough room so that it didn’t come down to a sprint finish. I was really suffering with my legs over the last 6km and I was just trying to get forward momentum. I was getting all sorts of splits from people on the course, so I really didn’t know.”

“When I came into the finish chute I was thinking I am almost there, just stay in the game but I started sprinting which was a big mistake on my part because I knew that my legs were already suffering pretty badly. Then I fell the first time when my quads locked up. When I fell to the ground I saw Nina and she wasn’t as close as everyone had made out. So I quickly got up and started running and two metres before the line I fell over again. I was all over the place and got a bit of a nudge which didn’t help.”

“In hindsight, the sprint was not a good idea. It is a lesson learned, don’t listen to anyone except for my coach and people I trust. I don’t condone looking back in a race but looking for myself might have been a good move here. These are the things I can take into the next race. It is disappointing to be that close and not come away with the win but coming in, I had no expectations. It is my first 70.3 and has been a positive day, so I am eager for more now,” Grace said.

Derron’s win was her first over the IRONMAN 70.3 distance and while ecstatic with the result, she had great sympathy for Thek.

“I really struggled on the second lap of the run. I just had to stay focused because I knew that Grace was flying and I just tried to hold on to the lead for as long as possible. There were huge mind games going on in my head and people were telling me to go get her. She was 50m in front with only a 100m to go but I knew I couldn’t out sprint her. I saw her starting to stumble and then she fell and all I saw was the finish line and I accelerated and came past her.”

“It was a really strange finish to a really crazy day. I am happy for my win but I am also sad for Grace that it happened. It was her first 70.3 race so she did a really good job. It was another lesson I learned, that it is not over until it is over. Never give up, it is really true,” Nina declared.

In the men’s race, it was Aussie Olympian Ryan Fisher who took the swim honours (22:34), narrowly nudging out Josh Amberger over the glassy 1.9km course. As the pair headed to T1, they were hotly pursued by a bunch of three, defending champion Sam Appleton, Jack Tierney and Matt Franklin with the second chase pack that included Jake Montgomery almost a minute off the pace.

Appleton was keen to make up the swim deficit and in no time at all the lead duo became a trio, with the defending champion in touch and pushing the early pace. Only seconds separated the leaders at half distance with Jake Montgomery 20s further behind and riding himself into contention. The final kilometres of the ride saw some big moves from Lachlan Kerin, Montgomery and Jack Tierney. Off the bike, it was a bunch of six who entered T2 ready to celebrate the IRONMAN Anniversary by flogging each other senselessly over the super quick 21km coastal course.

Slick transitions had Appleton, Amberger and Fisher on the road first with Tierney, Montgomery and Kieran hoping to match pace over the opening kilometres. It was Appleton who was intent on inflicting some hurt and tearing up the tarmac and while the first small gaps started to appear it was only early days. At 10km Appleton looking strong and a minute to Fisher, with Amberger and Montgomery running shoulder to shoulder, with Tierney and Kieran in their own battle for fifth and sixth.

The defending champ knew what he had to do and despite suffering over the second half of the run he was able to pull it all together.

“It is the first race of the year and you don’t really know what to expect. I knew if I was fit, I just didn’t know if I was race fit. I gave it my best shot and fortunately, I was able to come away with the win. The guys kept me honest all day and it was really tough. There were six of us going into transition and that second pack rode really well. We rode really firm on the first lap and I didn’t expect to hit the U-turn and see them right there. You never want to go into the run with six guys, I would prefer there were less but I just had to back myself. I laid it out in the beginning and got a gap and then it was about holding on from there.”

“It is crazy that this sport only started 40 years and look at the evolution. Every year it changes and is getting faster and harder. I am proud to be part of the generation that is helping that evolution. I am honoured to be here in Geelong and be able to back up and defend my title. It is a great course here in Geelong, I love it. It is beautiful and one of my favourite races. It is really challenging on the run. The course profile doesn’t show it but it is really hard run. It has a bit of everything. I can’t wait to come back, I love opening up the season here,” he said.

Women’s results

1          Nina DERRON (#26)               04:26:11

2          Grace THEK (#31)                  04:26:18

3          Laura DENNIS (#25)               04:29:38

4          Kirralee SEIDEL (#22)             04:33:36

5          Melanie BURKE (#23)             04:34:46

 

Men’s results

1          Sam APPLETON (#1)             03:45:52

2          Josh AMBERGER (#2)           03:47:21

3          Ryan FISHER (#5)                  03:49:09

4          Jake MONTGOMERY (#3)     03:49:57

5          Jack TIERNEY (#16)               03:52:18

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Bill Chaffey Throws Caution to the Wind in Commonwealth Games Countdown

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Five-time World Champion Bill Chaffey will go into April’s Commonwealth Games in the best shape of his life after using all his experience to master today’s windswept conditions in the inaugural ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in Devonport.
 
The 42-year-old Gold Coaster made a spectacular return to elite racing for the first time since last May to defeat fellow Rio Paralympian Nic Beveridge (QLD), Germany’s Benjamin Lenatz, and Australian pair, former wheelchair basketballer Scott Crowley (SA) and Australian para cycling star Alex Welsh (Victoria).

And it came on a day which also saw reigning 26-year-old PTWC world champion Emily Tapp (QLD) dig deeper than she has ever done before, both mentally as well as physically to take out the women’s ITU World Cup title ahead of 29-year-old former Ironman triathlete Lauren Parker (NSW) in only her second major event, Japanese legend Wakato Tsuchida and the gritty Gold Coaster Sara Tait (QLD).

All competitors in the various paratriathlon categories, featuring the cream of Australia’s best and top flight internationals from Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, Canada and Germany showed amazing skill sets to handle the at times brutal head winds that circled through the Mersey Bluff in and around the Devonport Surf Club precinct.

For the wheelchair athletes, today’s results come in the countdown to the official announcement next Sunday of the Australian paratriathlete team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and for Chaffey and Tapp it has been a long time coming following their automatic nominations last April.

Chaffey has been the poster boy for Australia’s glowing Paralympic program which has seen him lead the team onto the world stage as one of the stand-out nations in world triathlon.

“I’m absolutely over the moon with that performance – to come back to Devonport and chalk up a win in probably some of the toughest conditions I’ve raced in is really pleasing,” said Chaffey.

“That wind was hard to handle even though we are close to the ground on our cycles – it’s still tough going.

“But I couldn’t be happier with my fitness – I’m in the best shape of my life and really looking forward to the Games in April.”

Tapp came into today’s race feeling a little under the weather and said her support team really played a major hand in getting her through.

“It hasn’t been the best of week’s health wise but it doesn’t matter come race day, it’s race day, “said Tapp, who qualified for the 2016 Paralympic team athletics team but was forced to withdraw when she accidentally burnt herself.

“Today was a big mental feat, when your body just isn’t there and able to give like it normally (does). We had smooth transitions and we executed our race plans so we’re happy.”

Parker, who was an outstanding open water swimmer and Ironman triathlete before an horrific training accident last April in Newcastle left her a paraplegic, and today was another major step in a road she never thought she would have to tread.

“Today didn’t go according to plan when I lost the band I put around my legs in the swim so it felt like I was swimming with a 10km weight on the end of my legs but we got through it and I know I have to work on my transitions but that will come,” said Parker, who will join the paratriathlete group on the Gold Coast next weekend for the Luke Harrop Memorial Race.

It was a successful return to top class racing for Paralympic gold medallist from Rio, Katie Kelly and new domestic guide Briarna Silk with Kelly admitting the race was “a real grind” given the windy conditions.

“But it was a great way to kick start the season that will hope fully culminate in the ITU World Championships on the Gold Coast in September and continues in Yokohama in a couple of weeks.”

Fellow two-time world champion Sally Pilbeam (WA) kept her impressive record in tact against fellow Australian world championship medallist Kerryn Harvey while Jonathan Goerlach win the Vision Impaired men’s event from fellow Australian Gerrard Gosens and Italy’s Maurizio Romeo.

Another stand out performance came from  Queensland’s PTS5 athlete Josh Kassulke who was the first competitor across the line in another impressive performance he hopes will take him to the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020 in an all Aussie podium with Dale Grat second and Tony Scoleri third.

WA’s Rio Paralympian Brant Garvey (PTS2) also turned in a brilliant showing as did Albury Wodonga’s “Mr Fearless” Justin Godfrey in the in the PTS3.

Godfrey is the reigning World Cross Tri champion for his category and is a classic example of the kind of grit determination that spurs on Australia’s band of paratriathletes.

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USA Paratriathlon National Championships to Return to Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, in June

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The 2018 USA Triathlon Paratriathlon National Championships will be held in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, as part of the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon for the second consecutive year, USA Triathlon announced today. The race will take place on June 24 at Prairie Springs Park and the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex.

National titles will be up for grabs in six sports classes as athletes complete a 750-meter swim in Lake Andrea, a 20-kilometre bike through Pleasant Prairie and neighbouring Kenosha, and a 5-kilometre run course finishing in the park. The Pleasant Prairie Triathlon is put on by Race Day Events, LLC, which specializes in event production and equipment rental throughout the Midwest.

“With the support of a strong local paratriathlon community, the organizers of the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon have celebrated athletes of all abilities for many years,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, Paratriathlon Program Senior Manager at USA Triathlon. “We look forward to returning to the beautiful venue of Prairie Springs Park this summer and once again enjoying the positive atmosphere that surrounds this race.”

“Race Day Events is very excited to be producing another National Championship event in Pleasant Prairie,” said Ryan Griessmeyer, President of Race Day Events and Race Director for the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon. “Pairing industry-leading event production with the Village of Pleasant Prairie’s world-class venue, participants are sure to have an unparalleled experience.”

“Pleasant Prairie is pleased to host the USA Paratriathlon National Championships for the second consecutive year as part of the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon,” said Sandy Wiedmeyer, Fitness Manager at the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex. “This is such an inspirational event to be a part of. Watching these exceptional athletes brings so much to the event and is the highlight of the weekend for many. We are grateful to be able to host such amazing talent again this year, and we look forward to making 2018 successful for all of the athletes.”

In addition to chasing national titles, athletes competing at Paratriathlon Nationals also have the opportunity to qualify for the USA Paratriathlon Development Team Program, which is designed to identify and develop athletic potential leading toward the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. More information on the USA Paratriathlon Development Team Program is available by clicking here.

The Pleasant Prairie Triathlon has included paratriathlon competition since its inception, but last year was its first time hosting the Paratriathlon National Championships. In 2017, 30 athletes competed for national titles while an additional 19 competed in the paratriathlon open division.

Athletes wishing to compete at Paratriathlon Nationals in 2018 must be officially classified in a paratriathlon sports class and must have completed a USA Triathlon or ITU Sanctioned Event that meets distance and time standards between May 1 and June 3, 2018. Athletes who are not classified or who do not meet the time standards may choose to race in the PC Open Division. A National Classification opportunity will be offered in Pleasant Prairie prior to the event. Complete details on qualification standards, as well as the link to register, are available at usatriathlon.org.

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