By ITU Admin on 16/04/06 at 12:00 am
Australias Brad Kahlefeldt has continued his golden run, winning the Australian Triathlon Championships in sensational form at Geelong today, with his sparring mate the never say die Peter Robertson second, and 2005 champ, Melbournes Bryce Quirk third.
Kahlefeldt and Robbo were two of 32 cyclists in a huge front pack coming out of the 40km bike leg; but a super fast bike/run transition for both saw Robertson dart out in front, and Kahlefeldt despite dropping his sunglasses on exit catching him within metres.
At times Robbo made his customary surges on the bigger Kahlefeldt, but he could not drop the determined Gold Coaster.
Kahlefeldt was patient and waited till it counted. At 7.5 km into the 10km run, he went into autopilot, put the power down and surged to establish a solid break on crowd favourite Robertson. Never to be overhauled, Kahlefeldt clocked an impressive 10km run split of 30m45s (Robertson - 31m09s run) and crossed the finish line in 1h51.12s, with Robertson second in 1h51.35s and Quirk 11 seconds back in 1h51.46s.
Todays victory is Kahlefledts first national crown, and continues his perfect 2006 which has seen the 26 year old win every race he has entered this year.
His golden year kicked off with a win in the City of Perth Triathlon in early February followed by the ITU Hobart victory later that month, the ITU World Cup race in Doha in the Middle East in early March and then his Commonwealth Games victory on March 18, before todays win at Geelong.
Its great to have the National Title on my resume, and I wanted to have a good crack at winning, said the Wagga born athlete, who now lives on the Gold Coast and trains under National Performance Director, Bill Davoren.
I did not feel that good in the water, and I struggled in the cold with my arms. But I must not have been the only one, because when I came out of the water, I couldnt believe there was only a few guys in front of me.
But once the race got started you regain your focus. I went out with Robbo and he kept surging on me, but I just bided my time. He ran awesome actually, but by the time I got to the run I felt great.
When I go, I want to hold that pace, said Kahlefeldt of his breakaway. I just had to be patient. When I surge, then I keep going. So when I decided to go, I thought well if he comes with me, he comes, and if not hell get second place.
Robbo crossed the finish line, happy with his result, but bewildered at the same time.
I was pretty pleased with my race to be honest. Brads in a league of his own, said the 30 year old Robertson post race. I havent really had a bad race this year. I was pretty pleased with my tactics, we had a big gap on the rest of the field and to be beaten by Brad at the moment, is not too bad.
Hes at another level at the moment. Ive got to go back to the drawing board.
Hes taken running to a new level, and its tough.
On the uphill, I tried to hang in there, but he was pulling away .
He is definitely the fastest runner in the world today, I dont know what time he ran, but I wasnt a match.
Kahlefeldt and Robertsons Commonwealth Games performance for the gold and bronze medals, secured their spots in the national team for Septembers world championships in Lausanne Switzerland. With Kahlefeldt winning today, the third spot on the team will come down to the National Points Table, with the Gold Coasts Courtney Atkinson expected to be announced as the third team member later in the week.
1.Brad KahlefeldtAustralia Wagga Wagga / Gold Coast1h 51.12s
2.Peter Robertson Australia - Melbourne / Perth 1h51.35s
3.Bryce Quirk Australia Melbourne1h51.46s
4.Simon ThompsonAustralia Canberra1h51.53s
6.Craig Alexander Australia - Sydney1h52.28s
7.Mitch Dean Australia 1h52.46s
8.Dan Wilson Australia1h52.49s
9.Matt Hopper Australia 1h52.53s
10.Clark Ellice New Zealand 1h52.58s
Britains Leanda Cave has taken the Australian Triathlon Championship winning at Geelong, with Brisbane mother of two 36 year old and 2004 Olympian, Rina Hill taking second - and as the first Australian home, being awarded the title.
Third was up and coming Aussie, Emma Moffat from Brisbane, registering a career best result for the young 21 year old.
With Commonwealth Games gold medalist Emma Snowsill sitting this race out, and Annabelle Luxford racing in Japan today, it was a chance for some of triathlons emerging flock to show their form.
A pack of nine including young Aussies Erin Densham, Alee Sharp and Kiwi Rebecca Spence led the 40km bike and stuck together to the run transition, where Cave, Hill, Moffat and Britains Liz Blatchford broke away to take the early lead in the 10km run.
Blatchford dropped off the pace with 5km to go, and then Cave, Hill and Moffat raced together before Cave put on the pressure 500 metres from home and broke for a clear run to the finish tape.
Britains Cave who defected from Australian to the mother country in 2000 and won the world championships in 2002, has been training in Brisbane post Com Games. Her year has not been an easy one, having two knee operations in January and only a handful of weeks to prepare for the Commonwealth Games.
I was not really ready for the Games, but I am five weeks further on now, said Cave. But the operations were actually a blessing in disguise, they gave me time to work on my strength and conditioning, which is where I needed improvement.
Cave would not have raced today if it was not for her mate Hill encouraging her to make the trip to Geelong.
Hill no doubt now regrets giving Cave a push along to enter, because while the Aussie gets her title, a second place is not good enough to ensure Hill a spot in the Australian team for the world championships in Lausanne in Switzerland in September.
Oh damm, was Rinas response when explained the selection ruling, post race. I was the one that talked Leanda into coming. I wanted company on the flight!
It is my first Aussie title and am pleased. I felt quite comfortable today, I think my form is coming together much better. I just tried to stay comfortable, not tighten up. Im slowly building up, but I had a lousy swim-bike transition. It took me three attempts to get on my bike!!
I will just have to perform mid year when I race in Minneapolis and Edmonton to get my spot for the worlds, but hopefully I will get some brownie points from today.
Victory was a pre-requisite for selection, and the 2004 Olympian Hill will have to rely on good performances at some mid year World Cups to convince selectors to reinstate her to the Australian team. The new Australian title holder, Hill, certainly showed she was on the comeback trail today though, and well on the way back after the birth of her second daughter last June.
Young Moffats display was also impressive, as was Alee Sharps fourth placed finish and 2004 Olympian Maxine Seears gutsy comeback race after two operations on her hip. Seear finished ninth after tangling her bike in transition and falling, but managed to complete the 10km run with a smile on her face.
1.Leanda Cave Britain 2.05.07s
2.Rina HillAustralia 2.05.13
3.Emma MoffattAustralia 2.05.14
4.Alee SharpAustralia 2.06.24
5.Liz Blatchford Australia 2.06.34
6.Rebecca Spence New Zealand 2.07.40
7.Erin Densham Australia 2.08.19
8.Leesa White Australia 2.08.58
9.Maxine Seear Australia 2.09.41
10.Carmel HanlyNew Zealand2.10.02
Find more details about this event - 2006 Geelong OTU Triathlon Oceania Championships