Aaron Royle and Kate McIlroy win ITU Oceania Sprint Championships

New Zealand and Australia shared the honours at the Oceania Triathlon Championships at Kinloch, Lake Taupo today with Kate McIlroy (Wellington) winning the women's elite title and Aaron Royle (Australia) the men's. Brilliant conditions greeted over 900 participants at the latest round of

New Zealand and Australia shared the honours at the Oceania Triathlon Championships at Kinloch, Lake Taupo today with Kate McIlroy (Wellington) winning the women’s elite title and Aaron Royle (Australia) the men’s.

Brilliant conditions greeted over 900 participants at the latest round of the Contact Tri Series at Kinloch. Racing covered everything from the children’s Contact 1:2:1 to the beginners 3:9:3 race, national age group sprint championships and of course the elites who chased not only national titles but Oceania honours as well.

Kate McIlroy won the women’s race in a most impressive first hit out of the season, running away from the ever improving Dutch pair of Rachel Klamer and Danne Boterenbrood with Debbie Tanner running home fourth.

These four plus Nicky Samuels established a strong lead early on the bike after exiting the 750 swim together, with the field trailing behind as the pace went on around the tight and demanding multi-lap 20km bike course.

On to the 5km run it was Samuels who faded first, leaving the two Dutch and two Kiwis to hammer away in front of a huge crowd lining the Kinloch course.

Into the home straight for the final time it was McIlroy who proved strongest, pulling away in a great display of strength and leg speed, especially for so early in the season.

“I’m really happy, it was a really hard race, we pushed the whole way,” said McIlroy. “The bike was aggressive and on the run there was a group of us pushing the whole way. Team tactics didn’t come into it at all; I think we all had a plan of trying to bike really hard and keep the chasing group away from us and maintain that gap.

“Once on the run the pace was on the whole time, Danne went out quickly so there was no time to rest. There were a few surges on the last lap from Rachel, I made sure I stayed with her the whole time and got ready for the sprint, it isn’t the strongest part of my racing but I managed to find enough today.”

The Dutch have spent the summer training in New Zealand under the watchful eye of former NZ Coach John Hellemans, now running the Dutch national programme. That work under the eye of triathlon legend Hellemans is paying dividends with Klamer finishing second to Andrea Hewitt in Wanaka and now a close second to McIlroy and in doing so, taking out the U23 race category.

In the men’s race drama struck favourite and winner at the Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Cup race in Auckland last November when Kris Gemmell retired due to mechanical failure on the bike. Gemmell’s derailleur   broke, bringing his race to an abrupt end.

It was Aaron Royle (AUS) who went one better than his runner up finish at the 2011 Oceania standard distance championships in Wellington, winning comfortably from a chase group that included New Zealand’s Martin van Barneveld.

Royle rode superbly, exiting onto the run alongside Tom Davison (Christchurch) and Edward Rawles (New Plymouth), the two Kiwi youngsters riding superbly in elite company. The 3rd seeded Aussie held on in front of fast finishing Jan Van Berkel (NED) and Jamie Huggett (AUS), with Van Barneveld in fourth in his first race since Beijing last year.

“I came into this race confident, it is my first race for the year and I know I am probably the fittest I have ever been,” said Royle. “I was able to get a good swim and really take it out on the bike; it was really the bike that got me the win today.

“We had a good group, Rawles, Davison and for a while Richard Vargas (Slovakia). I was concerned knowing that there were a few good guys that could bridge the gap on the run if my legs didn’t keep me going but I was able to push through to the end and hold the lead.

“The crowd was awesome, even though they were mostly going for New Zealand. I heard the odd cheer for me, I’m sure they love Australians!”

Van Barneveld took the NZ Championship honours as first Kiwi in fourth place, a result all the more meritorious given it is his first race for almost 5 months.

“I’ve just come back from overseas and this is my first triathlon since Beijing in September last year. I had 5 weeks holiday after Beijing and decided to go to Kenya, working at 2,400m with New Zealand athletes Jake and Zane Robertson to focus on my running. It has gone really well, two weeks ago I ran 8:12for 3,000m on the track so I’m happy with where I am at.

“I am totally committed to triathlon in 2012; my time away was just a focus to do something where I can compete with the best in the sport. The Brownlees are just destroying the run at the moment and even our own Ryan Sissons had a great year running.

“I decided I had to do something about the run if I am going to compete and so went to Kenya to work solely on my running. It has certainly worked, I am probably in shape to run 8:05 for 3k on the track but now I need to make sure I can swim and bike to get myself in contention and in good shape to run those sorts of times.”

Under 23 and under 19 titles were also on the line with strong fields assembled in all races categories.

Contact Tri Series
Kinloch, Lake Taupo
ITU Oceania Sprint Championships (also NZ Sprint titles for eligible triathletes)
750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run

Elite Women
1                   Kate McIlroy                                                   NZL                               1:03:53
2                   Rachel Klamer (U23)                   NED                             1:03:57
3                   Danne Boterenbrood                   NED                             1:04:03
4                   Debbie Tanner                                         NZL                               1:04:15
5                   Nicky Samuels                                         NZL                               1:04:49

Elite Men
1                   Aaron Royle                                                   AUS                               58:24
2                   Jan van Berkel                                         NED                             58:28
3                   Jamie Huggett                                           AUS                               58:32
4                   Peter Kerr                                                           AUS                               58:40
5                   Martin van Barneveld                   NZL                               58:46

U23 Women
1                   Rachel Klamer                                         NED                             1:03:57
2                   Natalie Van Coevorden           AUS                               1:09:10
3                   Rebecca Kingsford                           NZL                               1:10:54

U23 Men
1                   Sam Franklin                                               NZL                               1:00:24
2                   James Chronis                                         AUS                               1:00:44
3                   Edward Rawles                                       NZL                               1:00:52

U19 Women
1                   Mikayla Nielsen                                     NZL                               1:08:22
2                   Tamsyn Moana-Veale                 AUS                               1:09:31
3                   Maddie Dillon                                             NZL                               1:10:32

U19 Men
1                   Marcel Walkington                             AUS                               59:56
2                   Sam Ward                                                         NZL                               1:00:40
3                   Troy McAlister                                             NZL                               1:02:52

PosName TimeSwimBikeRun
1Aaron RoyleAUS0:58:240:08:510:35:090:14:24
2Jan Van BerkelNED0:58:280:09:130:34:570:14:18
3Jamie HuggettAUS0:58:320:09:250:34:570:14:10
4Peter KerrAUS0:58:390:09:050:35:180:14:17
5Martin Van BarneveldNZL0:58:460:09:070:35:140:14:25
6Chris McCormackAUS0:59:050:09:410:34:430:14:41
7Ryan BailieAUS0:59:170:09:410:34:390:14:54
8Jesse FeatonbyAUS0:59:380:09:410:35:390:14:18
9Richard VargaSVK0:59:390:08:500:35:400:15:09
10Bryce McMasterITU0:59:550:09:060:35:250:15:24
11Marcel WalkingtonAUS0:59:560:09:090:35:220:15:24
12Tom DavisonNZL1:00:020:09:250:34:350:16:02
13James ElveryNZL1:00:180:09:390:35:360:15:04
14Matt FranklinNZL1:00:240:09:200:35:120:15:51
15Marco van der StelNED1:00:320:09:050:35:270:16:00
16Sam WardNZL1:00:400:09:530:35:250:15:22
17James ChronisAUS1:00:430:09:360:35:390:15:28
18Edward RawlesNZL1:00:520:08:520:35:090:16:51
19Kane SimpsonAUS1:00:580:09:280:35:510:15:38
20Sam OsborneNZL1:02:060:09:500:35:260:16:51
21Lachlan DaveyNZL1:02:200:10:050:35:130:17:02
22Nick KasteleinAUS1:02:410:09:380:37:300:15:33
23RODOLPHE ALEXANDRE VON BERGITA1:02:460:10:060:36:540:15:47
24Troy McAlisterNZL1:02:510:10:000:36:470:16:05
25Cameron GoldsmidNZL1:03:060:09:200:37:440:16:02
26Lukas HollausAUT1:03:100:10:310:36:330:16:06
27Tom MclaughlinNZL1:03:210:10:070:36:510:16:23
28Cooper RandNZL1:03:270:10:060:36:520:16:29
29Dylan EvansAUS1:03:490:10:400:37:340:15:35
30Zac BarberNZL1:04:230:10:150:37:550:16:12
31Josh KenyonNZL1:04:280:10:320:36:330:17:23
32Hamish HammondNZL1:04:330:10:040:38:120:16:17
33Nick BerryNZL1:04:430:09:350:38:410:16:28
34Michael PerreeNZL1:04:540:10:020:37:060:17:47
35Owen MillerNZL1:06:240:09:510:39:280:17:05
36Andrew LloydNZL1:07:260:10:120:40:090:17:05
PosName TimeSwimBikeRun
1Kate McIlroyNZL1:03:530:10:090:38:030:15:41
2Rachel KlamerNED1:03:570:10:120:38:010:15:43
3Danne BoterenbroodNED1:04:020:10:070:38:030:15:52
4Debbie TannerNZL1:04:150:10:070:38:040:16:04
5Nicky SamuelsNZL1:04:490:10:050:38:090:16:34
6Maaike CaelersNED1:06:120:10:210:39:540:15:56
7Anne HaugGER1:06:200:10:360:39:390:16:05
8Mikayla NielsenNZL1:08:220:11:000:40:130:17:09
9Natalie Van CoevordenAUS1:09:100:10:120:42:010:16:56
10Tamsyn Moana-VealeAUS1:09:300:10:240:42:040:17:03
11Ashlee BailieAUS1:09:470:10:490:40:300:18:28
12Rebecca ClarkeNZL1:09:500:10:070:41:130:18:30
13Courtney GilfillanAUS1:10:240:10:310:43:040:16:49
14Maddie DillonNZL1:10:320:10:270:42:070:17:57
15Rebecca KingsfordNZL1:10:540:10:370:41:520:18:25
16Laura WoodNZL1:10:570:10:200:42:120:18:25
17Charlotte McShaneAUS1:11:070:10:250:43:070:17:36
18Sarissa De VriesNED1:11:310:10:090:44:510:16:31
19Maddy BruntonNZL1:11:500:11:090:42:240:18:15
20Elise SaltNZL1:11:510:10:280:43:080:18:14
21Steffie HolcroftNZL1:12:460:10:430:40:360:21:27
22Danielle MckenzieNZL1:13:140:10:080:42:260:20:41
23Emily   PearceNZL1:16:450:10:520:46:390:19:14