Miller Thriller and the Obligatory Kiwi-Aussie showdown in Devonport
Queenslander Joanne Miller has reignited her career with a come from behind win today at the 2019 Devonport OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup and Oceania Championships.
“I’ve just been in hiding . . . last year really wasn’t my year just mentally I wasn’t really into it and I had a few things go on” said Miller.
“I switched coaches a few times and I am now with Matt Bury. We had a sit-down, made a good plan and I started training hard and I’ve managed to get two Conti Cup podiums. Matt has really had a positive effect on me.”
Miller was in the chase group on the bike that included New Zealand’s Ainsley Thorpe and Sophie Corbidge chasing the lead group that included fellow Kiwis Ari Graham and Nicole Van Der Kaay.
It was Graham who led back into transition with a 25-second buffer as she hit the pavement for the five km run.
“I was on the bike with a great group of girls so when I came out onto that run I knew I just had to go really hard because if I was off the pace I would just get popped straight off the back,” said Miller.
Miller headed the charge and set her sights on Graham, catching her in the first two km, Tamsyn Moana-Veale ran her way up to a clear second by the end of the first lap, with Thorpe in third.
On the final lap, Thorpe moved into second closing quickly on race leader Miller but paid for the effort. Miller kicked into another gear to win, Moana-Veale recorded the fastest run of the day running past Thorpe who faded to third.
“I kept going and when I turned on that second lap with 1.25 km to go and was still in the lead I knew I just had to keep going. I didn’t think I was going to make it over that line, to be honest, my legs were a bit like jelly but I was just happy to take the win” said Miller.
In the men’s race, it was New Zealand’s Under 23 World Champion Tayler Reid who produced a winning kick to outsprint Australia’s Matt Roberts to take out the OTU Oceania Sprint Triathlon Championship.
“I just got up on my toes and I was just thinking about my form all the way to the finish line once I could see that finish line, I was like right, let’s go and just gave it everything,” said Reid.
Reid was part of the leading group all day that included Roberts, Trent Thorpe (NZL), Aussies Max Stapley and Kurt Wesley and Felipe Barraza (CHL). They had done enough on the bike to keep clear of the chase pack and it was clear the medals would be decided amongst them.
In the end, it came down to a sprint on the blue carpet that thrilled the Devonport crowds that just couldn’t lift Roberts over the line for the win.
“Not much was going through my mind but crossing that line, to be honest, but I’m stoked with second and coming second to Tayler Under 23 world champion,” said Roberts.
“It’s always a good result to be within a minute of him, and today I was coming in a few metres back so it gives me something to work on to try and get in front of him, but I’m stoked,” added Roberts.
Thorpe couldn’t go with the speed duo up front, but he was good enough to get the bronze.
Earlier today our youngest stars were in action in the Youth races with Toby Powers and Rhianna Hepburn taking line honours.
Our Juniors were the final race on what was a jam-packed day of action in Devonport.
New Zealander’s took four of the six podium places in the Junior race with Dylan McCullough and Lachlan Haycock taking the double in the men’s race. Australian Oscar Dart was the spoiler taking the bronze in a race that was a selection race for World Championships for our Juniors. Dart secured this being the first Australian home in the top three.
Hannah Knighton continued the Kiwi domination with a win in the female race with a flawless run that relegated the Australian duo of Charlotte Derbyshire, Australian Youth Olympic representative to second and Ellie Hoitink third, but was good enough to earn Derbyshire automatic selection to the Junior World Championship team.
2019 Devonport OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Championship
Tayler Reid (NZL) 55:46
Matthew Roberts (AUS) 55:49
Trent Thorpe (NZL) 56:01
Joanne Miller (AUS) 1:03:51
Tamsyn Moana-Veale (AUS) 1:03:54
Ainsley Thorpe (NZ) 1:03:39
2019 Devonport OTU Sprint Triathlon Junior Oceania Championship