Mooloolaba from the eyes of Laura Siddall. Laura won the open category at Geelong recently and was expected to backup for another win at Mooloolaba but was undone by punctures today. A self confessed triathlon tragic Laura took some time out to send us her overview of today’s female ITU World Cup race.
Words by Laura Siddall
It was a quality field rather than a quantity field for the Elite Females in the ITU World Cup event in Mooloolaba. Just 17 of the world’s top females took to the water including Australia’s own Emma Moffatt. Moffy is coming off the back of her second place in Geelong Long Course, stepping back down to the shorter more familiar distance and style of racing and was out to show her form. The other Aussies included London Olympian Emma Jackson, Natalie van Coevorden, Charlotte McShane and Sarah Deuble. The International field was headed by Anna Hewitt, New Zealand’s top Triathlete who is always guaranteed to be up there in the running, the pocket rocket of Anne Haug (GER) who finished last season with a great win in the Auckland ITU World Championships event, Jodie Stimpson (GBR) fresh of the back of an impressive display in Devonport at the Oceania Sprint Champs and Aileen Reid (Ire), hoping for some Irish luck on St. Patrick’s Day.
Due to some predicted bad surf conditions, and probably more due to the exposed rocks at the swim exit, the swim was moved to the canal. This meant it was going to be a flat and fast one lap course. Not the best for spectators as the course looped round an island, meaning the athletes were out of view for most of the 1.5km swim. However emerging from the other side it was clear there was a good little pack of 8 swimmers with a slight break. Led out the water by Moffatt, but closely followed by Clarke (NZL), Stimpson, van Coevorden, Reid, Hewitt, Haug and Ackermann (NZL). In the chase pack was Emma Jackson, McShane, Maaike Caelers (NED), Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) and Hong (KOR). New Zealand’s Mikayla Nielsen, Australia’s Sarah Deuble and the USA’s Kathy Rakel set out on solo rides having dropped of the pace in the swim.
The bike packs pretty much stayed the same for the whole 40km, with the front pack working well and putting more time in between them and the chasers on each lap. Charlotte McShane pretty much lead the chase pack single handedly around the course and showed she has some great form and grit on the bike. All but for a few semi surges from the likes of Hewitt and Reid, the leaders pretty much rode together, keeping the pressure on the rest of the field.
On a hot day the race was heating up and going to come down to a blistering run.
Into T2 and the 8 quickly became 4. A lightning transition by Haug, saw her fly out of T2 in the lead, but hot on her heels was her training partner Jodie Stimpson, as well as Moffatt and Hewitt. Van Coevorden, then Reid just dropping back of the pack slightly. As the chase pack entered T2, over 3mins down on the leaders it was Charlotte McShane, having done all the work on the bike, now showed her blistering run form and set of to chase the girls in front. Emma Jackson, to be honest looked like she was missing a bit of form and fitness, but hey it’s the start of the season so a long way to go yet.
The front four stayed together for the first 10km, none of the girls giving anything away. Hewitt looked the least comfortable and was yo-yoing on and off the back at times. However you can never write Hewitt off and she’s probably one on the most experienced triathletes on the circuit.
Mooloolaba is known as one of the toughest courses. Although relatively straight it has a pretty decent hill on every lap of the bike and the run, which can really put a sting in your legs. It was Stimpson who made a move first with 2 laps left to go and made good use of the hill to drop Hewitt and Moffatt from the group. It was just now the Darren Smith D-Squad girls, Stimpson and Haug left to battle it out for the top spot. Both girls looked comfortable and strong and were still not giving anything away, Haug just sitting on Stimpson shoulder, nicely tucked in. Utilising the hill again it was Haug this time that picked up the pace on the final lap and within seconds had moved away from Stimpson and was storming back into town. Haug came home to claim the win, with a very happy Stimpson in 2nd. Moffatt was safely in 3rd, with Hewitt in 4th. Van Coevorden, part of the rapidly improving and quality Jamie Turner’s squad in Wollongong, had a fantastic race, proving she can step up to the senior ranks, hanging on in 5th, with Ireland’s Aileen Reid (another D-squader) came home in 6th. McShane (also part of Jamie Turner’s sqad) clawed back a minute on the run to come home in 7th, followed by Caelers. Mazzetti outsprinting Ackermann for 9th and 10th, respectively, Clarke (11th), Jackson (12th) and Hong in 13th
What a great start to the season. Mooloolaba once again put on a great weekend. However, yet again it was the Internationals that stole the show on the Australian soil, with Gomez (ESP) and Chrabot (USA) picking up the mens Gold and Silver. Australia’s Pete Kerr was third and is definitely one to watch for the future.
|Natalie Van Coevorden
|Dan Bi Hong