Chilli’s Barbara Riveros and Canberra’s Jesse Featonby both celebrated victory at the Seven Sunshine Coast Enduro Triathlon at Caloundra in challenging conditions over the unique Enduro format.
The tough Enduro race saw the elite competitors tackle a 400m swim, 7km cycle and 1.8km, followed by another 200m swim, 7km cycle and 1.8km run in warm, steamy conditions.
In the women’s event a strong international field was hard to separate with a pack of four leaders entering the first swim to bike transition together.
The group stayed closely together in the 5-lap cycle course with Riveros, Great Britain’s Liz Blatchford, Canadian team mates Lauren Campbell and Kirsten Sweetland looking to establish themselves in the lead group.
Blatchford held the lead into the first run leg, closely followed by Campbell and Riveros, however it was the second half of the race where Riveros shadowed Blatchford, making her break in the last 3 laps of the final run leg to take out first place.
“Victory was great because it was quite close,” said Riveros.
“It was four of us for almost the whole race and I felt pretty good. I had an issue with my transition in the first round so I had to catch up to ensure I could stay with the girls for the second round.
“Even though the run is my strongest form, I didn’t know at half point that I had a good chance of winning. I have an injured leg from a previous crash in training so it was quite sore racing,” she said.
Following the win, Riveros, who trains in Canberra under the guidance of Darren Smith, is now looking forward to the start of the international triathlon season.
“My ambitions from here are to race Mooloolaba and then I would like to do all the World Championship series before I head back to Europe.
Following Riveros over the finish line were Blatchford and Campbell. The Gold Coast’s Ashleigh Gentle couldn’t hold the pace of the international athletes after missing the lead group in the opening swim leg forcing the junior world champion to play catch up all day. Gentle eventually crossing the line in fifth position.
The men’s event was a hotly contested affair with a quality field tightly bunched after the opening swim leg and into the first 2 laps of the cycle course.
By lap 3 of the cycle, Alstonville’s Clayton Fettell made the break and held off the 11 strong chase group.
Fettell maintained his lead in the second swim leg followed by Bryce McMaster and Scott Llewellyn. Featonby steadily gained time on the bike and stuck to his race plan.
“The first swim was pretty hectic and I came out towards the back. After my first run I knew that my run leg was the strongest, once I had a good look around and felt really comfortable excited so went faster and faster,” said Featonby.
“I’ve always wanted to do this style of racing and thought that this was a great chance to try it out. I wanted to do it last year, but didn’t get a chance (due to injury) so it was great to be able to do it and get a win,” he said.
“The win shows that I’m doing something right in my training, this is by biggest win so far so it’s really going to help with my career,” he added.
Featonby’s next major race will be the Australian Sprint Championships in Geelong later this month.
“I want to try to do Mooloolaba and after that I have a few other world cup events before I head to Paris.”
Earlier in the day, 15-year old Sunshine Coaster, Brigitte Fischer and Brisbane’s Matt Brown took out the open women’s and men’s Gatorade Queensland Tri Series event in warm but wet conditions.
Fischer handled the 400m swim, 15km cycle and 4km run skilfully, taking the lead in the swim ahead of the Gold Coast’s Brittany Forster and Brisbane’s Maddison Allen. Fischer and Allen broke away on the bike leg and entered the bike/run transition together, followed by another local young gun, Chloe Turner.
Fischer established a 6 second lead on the run and could not be caught by Allen who placed 2nd and Brisbane’s Margo Mackintosh who had the fastest run split, crossing the line in third place.
Forster, who started the cycle in first position lost time on the bike/run transition and could not recover on the run leg.
In the men’s event, 19-year old Brown finished ahead of Southport’s John Polson and Western Australia’s Kenji Nener.
Brown exited the swim in 10th position and made up time on laps 2 and 3 of the bike leg, heading out into the run amongst a group of 10 competitors.
Brown broke away from the pack during the 4km run to finish 13 seconds ahead of Polson and Nener who claimed 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
For the age-groupers, Caloundra once again proved to be a popular venue with just over 1900 competitors turning out to take part in the only Gatorade QTS event on the Sunshine Coast.
The day also included the Enticer Triathlon which continues to be a popular choice those just keen on keeping fit and having some fun. The increasingly popular Courier-Mail Kool Kids Triathlon, for children 7-11 years of age, again recorded good numbers with eager kids participating in the 100m swim, 2km cycle and 400m run.
Race 6 in the series will return to Raby Bay on 27th February.
Seven Sunshine Coast Enduro Triathlon Results
1. Jesse Featonby Lavington 42:39
2. Clayton Fettell Alstonville 42:48
3. Bryce McMaster Daisy Hill 42:52
4. Scott LLewellyn Belmont North 42:58
5. Ben Shaw Mt Coolum 43:09
1. Barbara Riveros Chile 47:04
2. Liz Blatchford Great Britain 47:09
3. Lauren Campbell Canada 47:12
4. Kitsten Sweetland Canada 47:22
5. Ashley Gentle Robina 48:10
Gatorade Queensland Triathlon Series Open Category Results
1. Matt Brown Murrumba Downs 43:06
2. John Polson Southport 43:19
3. Kenji Nener Shenton Park 43:37
1. Brigitte Fischer Yaroomba 48:18
2. Maddison Allen Paddington 48:24
3. Margo Mackintosh Camp Hill 49:11
Race 6 Raby Bay Sunday 27 February 2011
Race 7 Gold Coast Sunday 1 May 2011 (SERIES GRAND FINAL- Gold Coast Tri, Luke Harrop Memorial)