Leading Australian Triathlete, Pete Jacobs, out of Ironman Australia and now Focusing on Roth and Kona

Pete Jacobs's mishap along Pittwater Road on Sydney's northern beaches was poor timing with the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Triathlon one and a half weeks away and Ironman Australia on March 28, 2010. But Jacobs was surprisingly upbeat about the incident and looking forward to an u

We spoke with Pete Jacobs a few days after he fractured his collar bone while training on Sydney’s northern beaches.

Pete Jacobs’s mishap along Pittwater Road on Sydney’s northern beaches was poor timing with the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Triathlon one and a half weeks away and Ironman Australia on March 28, 2010. But Jacobs was surprisingly upbeat about the incident and looking forward to an unexpected, break from training and racing.

The accident happened when Jacobs was riding along Sydney’s Pittwater Road. A parked truck forced him to move out just as another truck was coming from behind. There was not  enough room and Jaocbs’s was forced to brake heavily to avoid getting squashed between the two trucks resulting in his front wheel giving way and the bike and Jacobs flipping over.

His first reaction was to ring his sister, a paramedic, and try to organise someone to pick him up. She ordered him to call for an ambulance before coming down to pick up his bike and make sure he was heading off to hospital.

Luckily this was just a straight forward fracture to the collar bone which did not require surgery. While this sort of injury can be fixed immediately with surgery and a plate allowing the athlete to get back into training quickly, rushing the healing process can cause problems later.

Asked about the reaction from the Abu Dhabi triathlon team management, Jacobs said they haven’t said too much at this stage but they had been hoping for a good result from him at Ironman Australia and had been optimistic about  him placing or winning the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

Whilst on the subject of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon there is the small matter of $US230,000 in prize money that Jacobs did have in the back of his mind. This is now a distant dream and instead he is looking forward to the Roth Challenge in July and Hawaii on October 9. Jacobs was pleased with his top ten placing in 2009 at Kona which automatically guarantees him a start in 2010. If he did not have this in place then missing Ironman Australia could have been a more concerning issue.

Jacobs finished Kona in 8th, 10 minutes behind the winner Craig Alexander with the time difference all being in the run. Alexander’s strength off the bike is what Jacobs is going to be focusing on and he feels that he has more in him and will be able to pull this difference back in 2010.

Apart from wanting to beat Alexander this year in Kona, Jacobs was full of praise for what Alexander has achieved in increasing the awareness of the sport in Australia over recent times. Jacobs said that Craig Alexander winning the 2009 Sports Performer of the Year award was an amazing achievement and triathlon has benefited from it immensely.

Asked what he was going to do differently this year while preparing for Kona Jacobs said that apart from spending more time in the pool, he will be cycling and running as he did last year. Probably the biggest difference is that Jacobs will be based in Sydney while he prepares for Roth and Kona. Last year he was traveling a lot which upset his training more than he had planned. He feels that with another year he will be stronger off the bike and knows he can run faster at Kona.

Most of Jacobs’s training in 2010 will be done around the northern beaches, Akuna Bay, Pacific Highway (up to Brooklyn) and running around the national parks. He is not going to move to a warmer climate on the lead up to Hawaii as he is happier when at home and feels this will provide a more stable training environment surrounded by his fiancé and family.

Jacobs recently took delivery of a new Storck bike and feels that the more aggressive riding position will work better for him. Unfortunately he has not had much time on it yet and will be off it for the next few weeks. The bike comes with new Dura Ace electronic shifters which Pete absolutely loves. He says that shifting with a click is definitely a step forward and a great addition to his new bike. No more levers at the end of the tri bars! Just for the record the bike came out just fine in ‘Pete vs Trucks’.

I took the opportunity to ask Jacobs about his thoughts on the Australian triathlon scene. Jacobs believes the sport needs to have a high profile series. Currently there is a void in NSW & Australia when it comes to Olympic distance and pro series racing, and more races are needed to blood the next generation of world beating triathletes.

Jacobs commented that the upcoming ITU race in April 2010 was the first major Olympic distance race since the 2000 Sydney Olympics. That is a ten year gap in top class triathlon events (outside Ironman). The recent pro series race at Jervis Bay highlighted the talent and exciting potential there could be for a serious series in Australia. A professional series may negate the need for many of our top triathletes to travel the world doing 2-4 Ironman races a season. Australia certainly has the climate and a love of sport to accommodate this sort of series.

Jacobs did comment that with the WTC taking over Ironman in Australia he felt that there would be an increase in the general awareness of the events.