Aaron Royle Chance of Victory in Noosa

Commonwealth Games triathlete Aaron Royle is favoured to defend his Noosa Triathlon title against a stacked field. Ashleigh Gentle is also a favourite in the women's.

Aaron Royle Chance of Victory in Noosa
Aaron Royle celebrates his victory in 2013 Credit: Eyes Wide Open Image

Defending Subaru Noosa Triathlon champion Aaron Royle is hell-bent on claiming his second straight title after his debut victory on the Sunshine Coast.

The commonwealth Games representative is the pre-race favourite, a position solidified after his win at last weekend’s Nepean Triathlon over many of the same athletes he’ll face on Sunday.

Meanwhile the 2013 women’s runner-up Ashleigh Gentle, buoyed by recent wins at Nepean and Beijing, will enter the race as an un-backable favourite following the withdrawal of defending champion Emma Moffatt who has failed to overcome a calf strain.

A win in Noosa would be the perfect finish to Royle’s year, a year that saw him make his first Commonwealth Games team and earn a bronze medal to his overflowing trophy cabinet.

“I feel like my form is as good this year as last year. I came off a bigger year than normal. But once I got back from North America I’ve concentrated on some non-drafting training on the time trial bike and I’m in good form,” Royle said.

Royle will take on his Commonwealth teammates Ryan Bailie and Dan Wilson who was second in the recent IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast last month.

In-form Brad Kahlefeldt, second at the recent IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie, will be gunning for his first Noosa title, while 2012 winner Peter Kerr will be in with a chance after a fourth place at the Nepean Triathlon.

Ashleigh Gentle took out the women's and overall handicap win at Nepean Triathlon last weekend Credit: Eyes Wide Open Images
Ashleigh Gentle took out the women’s and overall handicap win at Nepean Triathlon last weekend Credit: Eyes Wide Open Images

Gentle becomes the red hot favourite in the women’s race over two-time IRONMAN 70.3 world champion Melissa Hauschildt, who was third last year.

“I am really happy with my win in Nepean and I am certainly hoping to come away from Noosa with a positive result,” Gentle said. “To win at Noosa means a great deal, it’s an iconic event that is cherished by many Australian triathletes, especially us Queenslanders.”

There are also some outstanding endurance triathletes in the field including Czech Republic star Radka Vodickova, a wire to wire winner at IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie, IRONMAN Asia Pacific champion Caroline Steffen and reigning back to back IRONMAN Cairns champion, Australian Liz Blatchford.