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Ben Allen and Helena Erbenova win the 2015 XTERRA Czech Championship

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ALLEN, ERBENOVA WIN XTERRA CZECH

August 8, 2015 (Prachatice, Czech Republic) – Ben Allen of Australia and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic captured the 13th edition of the XTERRA Czech Championship on a hot afternoon in Prachatice.

With the win Erbenova also secured her third XTERRA European Tour (XET) Championship crown in four years (she also won in 2012 and 2013). XTERRA Czech was the ninth of 12 races in the XET and the fifth of seven Gold level events. Elite athletes count their best four Gold and three Silver finishes. In her seven scoring races this year Erbenova won three Gold events (Spain, Italy Czech), two silver events (Greece and Sweden) and was second at France and Portugal for a total of 607 points (625 is max possible).

It’s the former winter Olympians third win in a row on the European Tour and third win in four years at her home country championship race.

For Allen the victory marks his third XTERRA World Tour win this season (16th lifetime) but his first victory in the Czech Republic after five tries.

Ben Allen on the way to a win at  the XTERRA Czech Championship

Ben Allen on the way to a win at the XTERRA Czech Championship

“I’ve raced here many times before, and have always dreamed to take the win,” said Allen, who was making his first appearance on the XTERRA European Tour this season. “I’m so stoked to have accomplished that dream today. It wouldn’t have been possible without the love and support of my team.”

XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in the action and brings us this report…

The posters say 2002 – 2015 and the Czech XTERRA race keeps going. We never saw one like this however. The sun burned most of the day and the temps were in the high 80’s. The organizers were on it and put out lots more water and the local population turned out in droves, and while not exactly legal, houses offered bottles and cups of water to passing runners and bikers.

It was Welcome Back Ben and Jacqui Day with Allen coming out of the swim second, passing Roger Serrano until he finally broke free on the 2nd lap going up the first technical climb.

“Ben pulled me a bit and I forgot where I was” said the soaking wet Serrano. “I got to the steep part and was in the wrong gear and had to unclip and run the bike. After that I never saw him.”

Allen continued to hammer the bike having the fastest time by more than one-minute. He led by nearly three-minutes coming into T2 and ran a smart two, tough laps.

“I knew I had a gap on Roger but did not know where Bradley (Weiss) was” said Allen.

Weiss, the South African who won the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship this year, had rear tire problems on the first lap and had to stop. “There was a small cut that was just in the wrong place and no way I could fix it” he said while watching the race out on the course.

Serrano was worried about Weiss as well. He came by me on a nasty uphill asking “where is Bradley?” Brad was right next to me and when Roger completed the mountain loop the second time and came down the hill Brad ran out yelling “Here I Am.” Everybody laughed in the middle of a very hard race; but that is the XTERRA way isn’t it?

Tomas Kubek had a great day – almost. The man from Slovakia was right on Serrano’s heels coming into T2 after posting the 2d fastest bike. They were together going up the hill on the first lap, but when they came down Tomas was clearly in pain and had dropped back giving 2nd to Serrano by a wide margin.

There is a super fun, tricky, technical part on the bike loop that has a steep up ramp that turns 90 degrees and goes down over a small rock jump and then into a series of bermed esses that is just a joy to watch. Everyone from the best biker to the most tentative rider has to do it and the differences are amazing. Ben came by in the lead, Serrano second, Kubek third, Jan Pyott fourth and then you could hear screeching brakes, crunching tires locking up on the sandy base and four bikes came through so fast and furious I had no idea who was who until I looked back into my photo file. Vaclav Holub led with Lubos Truhlar on his rear wheel followed by Czech champ Jan Kubick and Austrian Michael Szymoniuk.

Things started settling down as the weather and a tough course started taking its toll. Allen had it pretty much his way, Roger was solid in second. Poor young Tomas Kubek had given it all on the bike and was headed backwards. First Jan Pyott passed him and then the battling Szymoniuk and Kubick. These two had dropped the others and ran to a photo finish with the Austrian less than two-seconds ahead. Kubek never gave up and had a grand 5ht place. He’s only 24 and has a lot of years in front of him.

“Great to be back on the Euro Tour again,” said Allen after the race. “Spending some time away has left me hungry to come back! Roger and I exited the water with a handy lead and we worked together on the bike for 12km before Roger faded and wasn’t able to stay with me. I know the bike course in Czech extremely well having raced here five times before. It’s not easy and if you red line on any of the climbs you will pay for it later in the race. I rode within myself and really enjoyed the race. Loads of the locals came out to support all the athletes on a very hot and humid day! The course in Czech is extremely challenging, steep climbs, rocky descents and encompasses the Czech culture riding/running in and out of the town square. Michal (Pilousek) and his team do an amazing job creating a fun filled weekend for all the participants. The food and beer is cheap and you will always walk away, never forgetting your Czech adventure!”

Pro Men

Pl Name Time Points
1 Ben Allen, AUS 2:40:19 100
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:44:27 90
3 Jan Pyott, SUI 2:45:02 82
4 Michael Szymoniuk, AUT 2:46:08 75
5 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:46:10 69
6 Tomas Kubek, SVK 2:46:21 63
7 Lubos Truhlar, CZE 2:47:17 58
8 Pavel Andreev, RUS 2:47:44 53
9 Vaclav Holub, CZE 2:49:54 49
10 Jan Francke, CZE 2:52:41 45
Also: Veit Honle (41), Markus Benesch (37), Pavel Jindra (34), Malte Plappert (31)

DNF: Brad Weiss, Theo Blignaut, Clement Briere, Christopher Schwab, Lukas Kocar

The women put on an equally, maybe more interesting race. Jacqui Slack won the swim with Brigitta Poor second. Brigitta was wise in taking a few weeks off and missing Italy to recover. She had not missed a race in a very grueling season and showed some fresh legs today. Carina Wasle was 3rd and coming strongly on the bike but it was not to be her day. She flatted and fell far behind.

Up front Jacqui maintained a minute to minute and a half lead over Poor. Czech Champion Helena Erbenova was caught in a gaggle of men and was having problems getting past them. The same problem for Austrian Sandra Koblemueller.

“I am Austrian and my strength is climbing” she Koblemueller. “I was so far back in the swim I would get to a hill I could climb but people in front could not and I had to walk. I need to learn to swim,” she smiled.

 Helena Erbenova takes out the women's race

Helena Erbenova takes out the women’s race

Erbenova is such a racer that she never leaves anything on the table. If she is strong she wins, if not, she still pushes until her body gives up.

“Today was so different” she sighed. “I would be super strong and then my legs would go away. Carina passes me going up the hill and I pass her coming down. And oh, getting by those men was so hard.”

The heat began to get to Slack and while Erbenova had passed Brigitta for second, the Hungarian was not about to give in. Brigitta passed Erbenova to come into T2 with all three leading women together. It became a foot race and this is no pushover run course. Some is flat and some is on pavement but there are two really tough hills and two equally tough, steep, loose downhills. Helena was able to hold off Brigitta, but not by much (just 52 seconds). Jacqui fought a valiant battle against fatigue and came home a wonderful 3rd. As for our slow swimmer Sandra? She ran a fabulous 45-minute run segment beating the second fastest woman by nearly 4 minutes, actually having the 8th fastest run of the day and was able to pass Wasle for 4th.

So XTERRA Czech XIII is in the books. Awards and free beer tonight; a great race from a neat fresh water lake to a tasty, technical bike and run to a postcard perfect Bohemian village. What more could you ask for?
XTERRA Czech Photos

Women

Pl Name Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:07:04 100
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 3:07:56 90
3 Jacqui Slack, GBR 3:12:04 82
4 Sandra Koblmueller, AUT 3:13:59 75
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:19:29 69
6 Verena Eisenbarth, GER 3:23:04 63
7 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 3:27:06 58
8 Elke Innerebner, ITA 3:27:39 53

XTERRA CZECH ALL-TIME PRO WINNERS

Year Men Women
2002 Olivier Marceau Candy Angle
2003 Nicolas Lebrun Jamie Whitmore
2004 Nicolas Lebrun Jamie Whitmore
2005 Olivier Marceau Renata Bucher
2006 Nicolas Lebrun Renata Bucher
2008 Nicolas Lebrun Carina Wasle
2009 Franky Batelier Carina Wasle
2010 Franky Batelier Renata Bucher
2011 Ronny Dietz Marion Lorblanchet
2012 Nicolas Lebrun Helena Erbenova
2013 Felix Schumann Helena Erbenova
2014 Ruben Ruzafa Kathrin Mueller
2015 Ben Allen Helena Erbenova

XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR UPDATE

Erbenova made it mathematically impossible for anyone to catch her after today’s win and Roger Serrano nearly did the same thing with his second-place showing. With three races to go only Francois Carloni and Ruben Ruzafa have a mathematical chance at catching Serrano. For Ruzafa to contend he’d have to do the XTERRA Denmark / XTERRA European Championship double – a tough task as Denmark is on Saturday, August 29th and the European Championship in England is on Sunday, August 30th. Not impossible, but not easy. And while there are a myriad of scenarios where Carloni could catch Serrano all are tough and Serrano does hold his destiny in his own hands. With wins at the last three races (Germany, Denmark, England) nobody could match his final points score. XTERRA European Tour Points Rules Document.

2015 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS

After 9 – 8.8.15

Men

Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT POR ESP GRE SUI FRA SWE ITA CZE
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 526 67 56 82 67 82 DNS DNS 82 90
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 422 47 67 75 61 DNS 82 DNS 90 DNS
3 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 375 DNS 75 100 DNS DNS 100 DNS 100 DNS
4 Jan Pyott, SUI 347 DNS 23 49 DNS 69 DNS 61 63 82
5 Kris Coddens, BEL 232 DNS DNS DNS 75 90 DNS 67 DNS DNS
6 Jan Kubicek, CZE 222 39 DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS 51 DNS 69
7 Albert Soley, ESP 219 43 39 90 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
8 Henry Sleight, GBR 210 DNS 25 DNS 33 58 49 DNS 45 DNS
9 Arthur Forissier, FRA 175 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 75 DNS DNS DNS
10 Markus Benesch, AUT 149 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS 69 37
11 Tomas Kubek, SVK 145 DNS 43 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
12 Yeray Luxem, BEL 136 DNS 61 DNS DNS 75 DNF DNS DNS DNS
13 Martial Schmidt, FRA 132 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 34 DNS 49 DNS
14 Veit Hönle, GER 131 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 37 DNS DNS 41
15 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 122 75 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 118 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNF 58 DNS
17 Xavier Riart, ESP 105 36 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS
18 Tim Van Daele, BEL 103 25 27 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 James Walker, GBR 102 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS 47 34 DNS
20 Malte Plappert, GER 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS 31
21 Ben Allen, AUS 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
22 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 92 56 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Bradley Weiss, RSA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS DNS DNF
24 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS
25 Jim Thijs, BEL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
26 Michael Szymoniuk, AUT 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
27 Lars Van der Eerden, NED 66 21 DNP DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Gonzalo Bernal, ESP 63 DNS DNS 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Damien Guillemet, FRA 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS DNF DNS
30 Brice Daubord, FRA 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Ruben Salmeron, ESP 58 DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
32 Rory Downie, GBR 58 33 DNP DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Damien Derobert, FRA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS
34 Lubos Truhlar, CZE 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58
35 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 57 DNS 30 DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Lars Erik Fricke, GER 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
38 Jose Borrino, ESP 53 DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Tomas Jiranek, CZE 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS
40 Fabio Guidelli, ITA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS
41 Pavel Andreev, RUS 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
42 Clement Briere, FRA 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF
43 Hector Guerra, ESP 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS
44 Vaclav Holub, CZE 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
45 Juan Gracia, ESP 45 DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
46 Florian Luquet, FRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS
47 Jan Francke, CZE 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
48 Christopher Schwab, AUT 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNF
49 Dominique Fernando, ESP 41 DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
50 Antonello Pallotta, ITA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS
51 Juan Marti, ESP 37 DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
52 Marc Pschebizin, GER 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS
53 Marco Spadaccia, ITA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS
54 Grigoris Souvatzoglou, GRE 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
55 Carlos Martinez, ESP 34 DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
56 Pavel Jindra, CZE 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
57 Jens Roth, GER 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS
58 Sergio Espejo, ESP 31 DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
59 Dr. Felix Schumann, GER 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS DNF DNS
60 Javier Oliver, ESP 28 DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
61 Sebastian Veith, GER 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS
62 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS
63 Nicolas Corentin, BEL 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
64 Matt Dewis, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
65 Simone Calamai, ITA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
66 Rob Woestenborghs, BEL 21 DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS

Women

Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT POR ESP GRE SUI FRA SWE ITA CZE
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 607 DNS 67 100 75 x82 90 75 100 100
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 536 75 61 90 67 90 63 x61 DNS 90
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 387 DNS DNS DNS 61 100 DNF 67 90 69
4 Louise Fox, GBR 340 51 51 82 56 63 37 DNS DNS DNS
5 Jessica Roberts, GBR 259 47 DNF DNS 51 53 45 DNS 63 DNS
6 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 211 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS 75
7 Karin Hansen, SUI 197 43 47 DNS DNS 49 DNF DNS 58 DNS
8 Kathrin Mueller, GER 175 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS DNS DNS
9 Morgane Riou, FRA 156 DNS 56 DNS 47 DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS
10 Myriam Guillot, FRA 151 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 82 DNS DQ DNS
11 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 138 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS
12 Maud Golsteyn, NED 136 61 DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 99 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS 58
14 Jacqui Slack, GBR 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
15 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
16 Renata Bucher, SUI 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
17 Olga Parfinenko, RUS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS
18 Verena Eisenbarth, GER 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
19 Ladina Buss, SUI 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Becci Kaltenmeier, GER 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS
21 Sabina Rzepka, POL 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS
22 Elke Innerebner, ITA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
23 Celine Augueux, FRA 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS
24 Genziana Cenni, ITA 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS
25 Sofia Brites, POR 43 DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Deniz Dimaki, GRE 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
Next up: August 15 – XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
The XTERRA Czech Championship was the 28th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship (Francisco Serrano / Lesley Paterson)
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti (Brice Daubord / Sarah Backler)
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion (Brad Weiss / Carla Van Huyssteen)
2-May XTERRA Asian Tour Championship (Brad Weiss / Myriam Guillot)
10-May XTERRA Brazil (Diogo Malagon / Sabrina Gobbo)
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship (Braden Currie / Lesley Paterson)
16-May XTERRA Portugal (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder)
20-Jun XTERRA Greece (Kris Coddens / Helena Erbenova)
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship (Arthur Forissier / Carina Wasle)
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter (Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady)
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest (Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley)
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria (Brent McMahon / Zoe Dawson)
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden (Sam Osborne / Helena Erbenova)
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy)
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound (Sean Bechtel / Heather Pady)
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico (Josiah Middaugh / Fabiola Corona)
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship (Ben Allen / Helena Erbenova)
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers

 

 

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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Noosa: Jake Montgomery Finally Makes His Debut

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Celebrating its 35th birthday the Noosa Triathlon will be in party mode, but the very courageous Gold Coast based professional Jake Montgomery will be the one with the biggest smile, as he finally celebrates his long-awaited debut in Australia’s greatest triathlon.

“I planned on doing Noosa for the past four years, but unfortunately I have never made it to the start line,” Jake said with a casual comment that masks several horror years of extreme courage, immense pain, hardship and the rebuilding of both body and mind.

A handy runner and swimmer at school it was his first swim coach, Mick Maroney that convinced him to have a crack at triathlon. With year 12 behind him, young Jake headed over to Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain with Jamie Turner’s squad to learn about the draft legal world of ITU Continental Cup, before eventually finding long course racing. With the help of Aussie IRONMAN legend Craig Alexander, in 2015 Jake threw himself in the deep end and headed to Boulder to continue his triathlon education on the US circuit.

“I spent three months in the US. I did a lot of training with Crowie, and he taught me the ins and outs of 70.3. He knows every aspect of it, and I was surprised how much he taught me and all the tips and tricks he gave me.”

A fifth at IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie, second in 70.3 Mandurah and Western Sydney proved that the hard work was paying off, but it was IRONMAN 70.3 in Geelong where Jake finally got the result he was looking really.

“I was getting closer, and I was pretty determined to break through, and that is when I raced Geelong in February 2016 and had my first win at the National Championship. With the win at Geelong being at the National titles a lot of the sponsors came onboard, and it got pretty full on.”

Only Slowing Jake Down

Two weeks later Jake’s world was flipped upside down when he was hit by a garbage truck only 500m from home while riding back from the pool. His bike and right foot went underneath the rear wheels, and he ruptured two ligaments in his right ankle. With the pain, Jake thought he had broken his shin and that it was snapped in half and remembers picking up his leg to see if it was still straight.

Four weeks in a hospital, two weeks in a boot and Jake was given the okay to start back again…slowly. Following the doctor’s orders to the letter by May 2016, he was again headed Stateside and trying to make up lost ground in his quest to race the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships on the Sunshine Coast. Returning to Australia Jake was in the form of his life, but in a cruel twist of fate, only 16 hours before the event his world was again thrown into chaos.

“I was doing the final spin to see that the bike was ready to race in the morning. I remember every minute of the morning, lunch and getting the bike ready and then rolling out over Alexandra Headland and that is about it. I remember the first minutes of the ride, and then I got hit by the car and things flipped upside down. I have a month missing after that. It wasn’t until weeks later that I looked at my Garmin to see that the incident happened about 20 minutes into the ride. When I went from 40kmh to zero km/h.”

“I don’t have any recollection of hospital time, and when I got back home, I was just sitting in the lounge. It was all I was doing through the day. I had a fractured sternum and shoulder and several muscle tears through the neck and shoulders, and there was also brain bleeding and swelling in three different spots. The fractures are a six-week heal, but the Neurologist said he didn’t think I would be running again. He said we would give it four months, and you can try if you are desperate, but he wasn’t recommending that I try again. That wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else at that stage of my life, so I was going to try my hardest to get back to running or at least give it a go.”

“I was seeing speech therapists and occupational therapists and all the doctors. In the first session with the speech therapist, she came in, and she was quite shocked. She said, ‘Oh, you can talk.’ My speech wasn’t great, and my sentences were really jumbled and stop-start for the first couple of months. She said from what I have read happened to your brain, on paper, you shouldn’t be able to talk. So that was pretty scary to hear that I got that lucky.”

“I went through some pretty dark spots early on, where going to the kitchen was the most I could do all day. Going from 25 hours of training a week to zero was a bit of a shock and knowing that running might never happen again, I was pretty depressed at that stage and had pretty bad thoughts. I was lucky that I had my parents by my side the whole time, looking after me and helping me through it all. Without them, things would have been a lot different.”

For eight weeks Jake did nothing but then he embarked on another program to rebuild his body and confidence in the hope that he would one day get back to competing in the sport that he loved. Initially, it was the hydro pool to rebuild his strength, then a five-minute walk became a two and a half hour walk and eventually he was on a stationary trainer building up week by week. Four months after the incident his training miraculously started in earnest when he was able to run, ride and swim properly again.

Back racing in Geelong

IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong in February 2017 was his comeback race, and a fifth place in a strong field was the boost he needed. Similar results at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder and Santa Cruz have helped rebuild his confidence and reboot his career and now Jake is determined to use the Noosa Triathlon as final hit out before IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney Asia Pacific Championships in November.

“After Santa Cruz, I made it to Vegas for a sponsorship commitment for Cervelo then took two weeks recovery and let the body reset. As soon as I got home, I got back into training and now have my eyes set on Noosa. I am looking forward to the draft free bike. Racing for half the time as a 70.3 I will be able to push 100 percent and see how long the body can last for. It will be a bit of fun.”

“Noosa is probably the most stacked race in Australia and the organisers put up a good prizemoney, so it encourages all the professionals in Australia to toe the line and have a crack. It is only a two and half hour drive for me so that is just nice and no plane flight required which is a bonus. Noosa will be a nice hit out and the perfect opportunity to use a bit of speed and see how the body comes down from the altitude.”

“I have spoken to plenty of people who have done it before and they love the race and the whole atmosphere of the weekend. I have heard that it is crazy busy but pretty good at the same time. So, I am looking forward to getting up there and getting amongst it,” he said with anticipation.

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Noosa Triathlon: The Big Guns Will Be In Town To Celebrate

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The 35th Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with the who’s who of Australian sport and some of the nation’s most recognisable faces heading to the Sunshine Coast to join in the birthday celebrations.

The five-day festival (1-5 November) features an ocean swim, a fun run, the Charity Golf Day and elite cycling and running events and culminates on Sunday 5 November with the Noosa Triathlon hosting more than 8,500 competitors, making it the world’s largest standard distance triathlon.

Headlining the Noosa Triathlon are key athletes from Australia’s Commonwealth Games triathlon team for 2018, Ashleigh Gentle and Jake Birtwhistle, defending champion Dan Wilson, plus Commonwealth Games hopefuls Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie, Gillian Backhouse and Luke Willian.

The long-distance world is also well represented with Sarah Crowley fresh from her podium at the IRONMAN World Championships, IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Champion Josh Amberger, Jake Montgomery making his long-awaited Noosa debut, Liz Blatchford in her first race back as a new mum and two time World Duathlon Champion Felicity Sheedy-Ryan mixing it up with a swim.

Defending champ Ashleigh Gentle is shooting for Noosa title #5, and Dan Wilson is hoping to go back to back this year, but they are fully aware of the strength of the field assembled for the 35th anniversary year.

Four-time champ, Ashleigh Gentle has developed a real affinity with the Noosa over many years, and she can’t wait to get back this year.

“I’ve raced six times, and been up a couple more on top of that to watch and be part of the festival. I love the atmosphere. I love Queensland, and it is very special to come back to the race each year after spending so much time abroad. I love seeing familiar faces and being surrounded by so many other people who love triathlon. Noosa has always been really important to me. It’s the one I look forward to the most. I obviously want to do well, but there is a lot less pressure than the intensity of World Series races.”

“I would love to defend my title. I’m sure as always it will be a competitive field, but I’m looking forward to getting out there and going hard. Noosa Triathlon has been a big part of my career, and I am thrilled I can be a part of this milestone, although it only feels like yesterday we were celebrating the 30th year of Noosa,” she recalled.

Dan Wilson is a Noosa veteran, and he is hoping he can revisit the form that saw him dominate in 2016 and go out on a high note.

“I think this is around my 10th Noosa. I first came here in 2003 as a little junior. I’ve missed a few through injuries along the way, but always come back when I’m able. It is a bastion of Australia triathlon, and it is a ripping location, it is one of the ‘funnest’ races on tour. What more could you need?”

“I would obviously love to repeat last year’s result, but it also looks like it will probably be the best field we’ve ever seen at Noosa, so it’s going to be a tough ask. Noosa is always a special race, it is usually at or near the end of the season, so everyone is looking to finish the season strong at a fun race.”

“This year, Noosa will be even more special, I’m hanging up the suit at the end of this year, so it’ll be the last chance to go round at Noosa, and one of my last races ever, so I’m looking forward to really savouring the weekend,” Wilson said.

Aussie Olympian and two time Noosa champ Aaron Royle is pumped up and glad to back in Noosa looking attempting to keep his perfect Noosa record intact.

“I’ve raced Noosa twice and had two good wins there, which has been fantastic for myself in my career. I guess because of that, and the expectation to go there and win is greater with each year. I want to win again to make it three from three races, but that is always easier said than done. I’m sure there will be a handful of others saying that they also want to win.”

“I knew of the Noosa triathlon before I knew what triathlon really was, and certainly before I followed the sport. I think it was Channel 7 showing it back in the day and I remember thinking this looks pretty cool (before I even contemplated doing one myself).”

“For me, Noosa always signifies the end of my racing season, but with a race of this significances, I’ve never struggled to find motivation for this race. It’s the biggest domestic race on the calendar with so many legendary winners that have gone before, so it is easy to see why so many top-level athletes turn up each year,” Aaron said.

IRONMAN 70.3 specialist Jake Montgomery might be a Noosa debutante this year, but he is well aware of Noosa’s legendary status.

“I’ve been meaning to race Noosa for a few year’s now but have never been able to toe the line. I went there once a few years back for surfing but have never experienced the triathlon weekend.”

“Noosa is definitely the pinnacle race in Australia and one that everyone loves to put on their calendar. Not necessarily just the race but the whole weekend of event and atmosphere make it a must for many. Having not raced anything shorter than a 70.3 for the past three years it will be interesting to see how my body handles the faster racing and pushing myself over the shorter distance. I am mostly looking forward to the swim, any race with a beach start and ocean swim is a must for me.”

“Nearing the end of a hard year it will be a good hit out to finish off. While it’s still a competitive race, it will also be a lot of fun catching up with friends, sponsors and watching the other events before the triathlon. Being one of Australia’s oldest triathlons, it is now also the biggest in the country with sold out entries and days of multisport events. It attracts some of the best athletes in the world and organisers of the event have the weekend dialled in,” Jake said.

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Ironman World Championship: Europeans Dominate and Records Fall

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Daniela Ryf of Switzerland celebrates after winning the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

European dominance of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona has continued but not as the pre-race script had been written.

While Switzerland’s “Angry Bird” Daniela Ryf made it three Kona victories, it was not defending champion Jan Frodeno’s day, with the men’s championship title transferring to fellow countryman Patrick Lange.

Coming from a nine-minute deficit off the bike, Lange revelled in near perfect conditions to write himself into the IRONMAN history books to destroy the course record set in 2011 by Australian Craig Alexander, with a 2:39:59 marathon that helped deliver a total race time of 8:01:40.

In a record-breaking day, Aussie Cameron Wurf won the battle of the bikers taking control of the race at the 110km mark and leading into the bike/run transition to set a new bike course record of 4:12:54, more than five minutes faster than Normann Stadler’s 2006 record.

Wurf surrendered his lead early on in the run, as Lionel Sanders (CAN and Sebastian Kienle (GER) made their presence felt, but very quickly all eyes turned to a charging Patrick Lange who had moved into third at 21km of the marathon intent on reducing the six-minute deficit to the leading Sanders.

Lange was on a mission and keen to improve on his third place last year and with 5km to go on the run he flew past Sanders, heading for town and the adoring crowd lining the run course and the finish line on Ali’i Drive.

“It’s everything I ever dreamed of. Oh, my god, I cannot believe it,” Lange said. “I always, always, always since I was a child dreamed of having this crown. From time to time you think someone is hitting with a baseball beneath your knees and you just want to drop out. I had to fight, I had to fight so hard,” Lange said at the finish line.

A fading Sanders managed to hold off the hard-charging David McNamee (GBR) for second with Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) crossing the finish to take fourth and fifth.

Swiss miss Daniela Ryf joined an exclusive club at the IRONMAN World Championships, recording her third win in Kona with a very skilful and strategic victory that while remarkably effective, lacked her usual flair and total dominance.

Ryf didn’t have it all her way, with Lucy Charles dominating the swim and majority of the bike before Ryf decided that enough was enough. Ryf wrestled the lead off the Brit and charged home with the fastest run of the day, putting a nine-minute gap to her chasers by the end of the 42.2km run.

“It was the hardest I had to ever fight for the win. I’m so happy to turn it around today,” a more emotional than usual Ryf said at the finish line.

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Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Smashes Course Record and Daniela Ryf Earns Third Straight Win

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Daniela Ryf of Switzerland celebrates after winning the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange (DEU) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) earned championship titles with momentous performances today at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Lange passed Lionel Sanders (CAN) in the final three miles, clocking in at 8:01:40 and establishing a new course record (formerly 8:03:56 by Craig Alexander, 2011). Ryf earned her third consecutive crown with a time of 8:50:47, joining an exclusive “three-peat” winners’ circle alongside the newest IRONMAN Hall of Fame inductee Chrissie Wellington and Natascha Badmann, Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser and Mark Allen. Over 2,350 athletes from 66 countries, regions and territories on six continents started the IRONMAN World Championship race on the Island of Hawai`i in the toughest one-day endurance event in the world.

Patrick Lange of Germany putting the hurt on as he runs to victory and a new course record during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lange, who raced in only his fourth IRONMAN to-date, had an incredible ascension after having been 17th out of the swim in today’s race. Shortly after the swim, a pack of strong cyclists including Sanders, Sebastian Kienle (GER) and Cameron Wurf (AUS) broke away from the group. Wurf would sail into T2, shattering the 2006 bike course record held by Normann Stadler (4:18:23) with a 4:12:54 split. Sanders and Kienle also smashed the record with 4:14:19 and 4:14:57 split times, respectively. On the run, Sanders took a quick lead as Kienle fell into second. Meanwhile, Lange moved from 11th place to a steady third-place position by the half-marathon marker. Lange then made a decisive pass at mile 23 on the run, as he moved ahead of Sanders to take a hold of the lead, finishing strong in first place. With a 2:39:59 run split, he was only 14 seconds away from breaking the run course record he set last year (2:39:45).

Sanders hung on for second place, ultimately concluding his race with a time of 8:04:07. David McNamee (GBR), Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) rounded out the top five.

McNamee had the second fastest run split of the race with 2:45:30, helping him clinch a third-place podium finish by more than two minutes ahead of Kienle.

Defending champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Jan Frodeno dug deep after back spasms slowed him first to a complete stop and then run/walk pace, mustering enough strength to finish the race.

Lucy Charles (GBR) led the professional women out of the water with a 48:48 split, missing the course record by only five seconds. After a speedy transition, Charles took the lead on the bike and had an approximately a five-and-a-half-minute lead over defending champ Daniela Ryf (CHE), Sarah Crowley (AUS) and Annabel Luxford (AUS). This pace remained consistent down the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway until Ryf attacked, making up over five minutes over the final 25 miles of the bike, which positioned her at the front of the pack. Ryf then greatly extended her lead on the run, with Charles, Crowley and Heather Jackson (USA), fighting for the remaining podium positions.

Lucy Charles of Great Britain cools down during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Ryf took first at 8:50:47, almost exactly four minutes off of her own 2016 course record time of 8:46:46. Calling on her epic running abilities, the Swiss star claimed her third successive IRONMAN World Championship victory.

Charles, a Kona rookie, maintained her second-place position throughout most of the run and ultimately to the finish. Crowley rounded out the top three in her second-ever appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship, finishing her race exactly two minutes behind Charles. Jackson and Kaisa Sali (FIN) rounded out the top five women.

 

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Ironman World Championship: The Best Run Images from Kona 2017

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It’s never an easy day out when racing any Ironman race let alone the World Championship. Then add in some hot and humid weather and you really have a very tough set of conditions.

Here are some of the amazing images that were captured during today’s race.

Lucy Charles trying to remain as cool as possible during the run leg. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lionel Sanders of Canada runs through an aid station and takes on extra fluids and also trying to cool himself. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange of Germany celebrates before crossing the finish line to win the IRONMAN World Championship and setting a course record of 8:01.39 beating Craig Alexander’s 2011 record of 8:03.56. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Age group athletes out on the run course. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

John Joseph McGowan of the United States showing us his guns and ink work. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Unfortunately Jan Frodeno of Germany wasn’t able to really defend his title today due to an injury. He eventually finishes 35th. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

The sun sets on Kailua Kona, Hawaii and competitors continue their journey for their personal success. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Daniela Ryf nearly the final few kilometres during the Ironman World Championship 2017, (Photo: Jesper Gronnemark/Red Bull Content Pool)

Kaisa Sali of Finland celebrates in the finish chute after finishing fifth during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange of Germany putting the hurt on as he runs to victory and a new course record during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Runners compete as the sun sets in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lucy Charles of Great Britain runs through the barren landscape and eventually to coming 2nd. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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Ironman World Championship: The Best Bike Images from Kona 2017

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With the backdrop of the most infamous course in the world, the Ironman World Championship bike course never misses by the providing the most amazing landscapes for the bike course. This year was nothing short of spectacular.

Igor Amorelli of Brazil on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Martin Fredriksson of Sweden leads a pack on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Michael Weiss of Austria feeling the hurt during the bike leg. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Jocelyn Mccauley of the United States competes on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

A cyclist leaves the transition area with her bike during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

KAILUA KONA, HI – OCTOBER 14: A cyclist competes during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lucy Charles of Great Britain showed how strong her bike leg was during today’s Ironman World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Thomas Gentry McGrath of the United States cools down with water during today’s World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Michelle Alexander from Denver holds up an ‘IRONMAN are sexy’ sign as athletes cycle past. She certainly brought some smiles. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Cameron Wurf of Australia cycles ahead of Lionel Sanders of Canada during the bike leg of today’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Cameron would go on to set a new bike course record. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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