Australia’s Christian Kemp ran away from a world class field to claim his second major victory in 2013 at the URBAN Geelong Long Course this morning. Fellow Australian Melissa Hauschildt also came from behind to claim victory from two time world champion Emma Moffatt over the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.
Moffatt produced an outstanding swim, emerging with the top men to lead out onto the bike from Sydney’s Anna Cleaver and Kiwi Tenille Hoogland. Hauschildt was over two minutes behind after the swim but not an unusual position for the former IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion to find herself in.
In her long course debut Moffatt maintained her lead after the first lap of the bike with Cleaver, but Hauschildt was slowly reducing the deficit.
The pair continued to keep the pace up at the front of the race keeping the fleet footed Hauschildt at bay till late into the second lap when she bridged the gap to lead at the final changeover with a 1.30min buffer.
With Moffatt and Hauschildt both noted runners, the race looked set to come down to the wire but would the Olympic bronze medallist have enough in the tank to go the distance.
The reports back in from the course had the crowd excited as Moffatt continued to breach the 90 second gap down to 15m in the final kilometres.
“It was pretty scary being chased down; usually I am the one chasing people down. I could just see Moffy closing the gap. I was watching every split and she was catching me, and I was just praying that she would blow,” Hauschildt said.
Moffatt just ran out of steam in the end, but was an outstanding performance from the Gold Coast based Olympian.
Hauschildt was just relieved to finish unscathed today after crashing heavily in Auckland.
“I really enjoyed it until about 15-kilometre into the run, and then I questioned what I was doing and I couldn’t wait until my next Olympic Distance,” Moffatt said.
“I was quite excited going in and trying something new but it’s also quite scary not knowing what I am actually doing.
“I knew I had to pace myself throughout the whole event otherwise I would end in pieces.
“The pain kicked in about 15-kilometre on the run. I thought everything was going to fall a little bit apart but it was a good experience and I hope that someday I can do another one.
Moffatt is in currently in a big base training phase for the upcoming season ahead that will see her compete through to September.
“The next Olympics in Rio are definitely a goal but its four years away so it’s long enough to experiment with a few things in between.”
Sydneysider Christian Kemp is fast making a name for himself after his breakthrough win at IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland last month in a star studded field.
After nearly tearing his calf from the bone back in 2011 it has been a hard fought struggle to get back to full fitness for Kemp.
“I am stoked. Two out of two after a couple of terrible years, I am just so happy,” Kemp said.
Kemp was in the second group of eight to emerge from the swim that included James Hodge, Sam Appleton, Brad Kahlefeldt, James Seear and Luke Bell, trailing defending champion Clayton Fettell who lead out.
At the end of the first lap just four remained, Hodge, Fettell, Kemp and Bell. Kahlefeldt was the first to retire with a puncture. Three time world champion Peter Robertson also failed to finish.
“At the start of the bike when we got away with Clayto (Fettell) and James (Hodge) we were just getting further and further away from those behind us, and I just kept telling myself to hang on, the longer you can hang with these boys, the better it will be later,” Kemp said.
Sam Betten moved his way through the field to join the group of five that hit the run course together.
“I felt pretty good on the start of the run; I tried to sting a few of them.
Kemp was full of praise for Bell who pushed him the whole run.
“They had me a bit worried to be honest and then I got a little bit more of a gap and really pushed it, absolutely hurting myself hoping I could get a little bit more break.
“I didn’t feel comfortable until about 100-metres to go, all credit to Bell, he ran really well today.
Bell, like Kemp is in full preparation for Ironman Melbourne and after a disappointing race in Auckland pleased to turn things around today.
“It’s nice to get over here and get things rolling. It has been since about 2006 since I have had to get things going this early in the season. It’s refreshing to be able to tick one off this early and just up the road with family, friends and the crowd here today pretty amazing,” Bell said.
That’s what the sport is about and that is why we love it.”
Amongst the host of long course competitors today were nearly 1000 participants in the SUBARU Olympic Distance Triathlon.
The 1500m swim, 40km ride and 10km run course was tackled by some of the best in the business, with local boy Scott McPherson and UK born Laura Siddall taking the prestigious victories.
With the race doubling as a qualifying race for the Age Group Olympic Distance World Championships in London in September 2013, there were many triathletes putting in their best performance to secure their place in the Australian team.
The URBAN Geelong Long Distance Triathlon and SUBARU Olympic Distance Triathlon, both part of the third annual Geelong Multi Sport Festival have today proved to be a must-do race on the Australian triathlon calendar.
URBAN GEELONG LONG DISTANCE TRIATHLON RESULTS
Top 5 Men
1 Christian KEMP – 03:47:21
2 Luke BELL – 03:47:53
3 James HODGE – 03:49:48
4 Leon GRIFFIN – 03:49:55
5 Clayton FETTELL – 03:50:48
Top 5 Women
1 Melissa HAUSCHILDT – 04:11:20
2 Emma MOFFATT – 04:12:36
3 Anna CLEAVER – 04:24:03
4 Tenille HOOGLAND (CAN) – 04:26:16
5 Michelle WU – 04:27:34
Find out more about the race and get full results at USM Events.
Internationals steal tri sprints show in Geelong
A New Zealander coached by her mum and a Frenchman coached by an Australian have stolen the show at the URBAN Geelong ITU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup events today.
Parisian Gregory Rouault made it back-to-back Geelong wins for France after Olympian Laurent Vidal’s victory in last year’s men’s race while emerging Kiwi star Sophie Corbidge from Auckland was triumphant in the women’s.
A member of the Canberra-based Darren Smith international squad, Rouault waited until the third and final run lap to pounce and he was never going to be headed.
Rouault scooted clear with two-time Kiwi National Sprint champion Tony Dodds and local Geelong boy Peter Kerr trying desperately to hunt him down.
Rouault was happy to play a waiting game in the 750m (swim), 20km (cycle) and 5km (run) course after Victorian youngster Marcel Walkington tried to steal the race off the front in the early stages of the run.
Walkington and fellow Australians Troy Main and Ben Anderson came together for the final stages of the bike after Walkington powered away in the early laps.
But when it came to the business end of the helter-skelter five kilometre run it was experience that told with the internationals powering away.
Rouault, from Poissy on the outskirts of Paris, admitted he is not a fantastic swimmer but with the pressure on he came out alongside the leaders after the 750m swim.
“I just joined the Darren Smith group in Canberra and we have been working on lots of different things so this race was good to check in and see how everything was going,” said Rouault.
“Obviously the swim is moving forward so I am happy with that and I haven’t worked much on the bike and run so I am excited about that.
“I just sat there on the bike and waited for the run and controlled a bit of the run and picked it up and I knew Tony (Dodds) would be part of the chase group so I pulled back a bit before I made my move.
“Peter (Kerr) was behind too so I had to watch out but I am happy with today’s result.”
In the end it was Rouault in 55 minutes 33 seconds who held on to beat Dodds (55.46) and Kerr (55.54) just holding on down the long Geelong straight to take third and the Australian Championship.
But his floundering legs only just managed to get the popular local boy across the line ahead of fast-finishing fellow Australians, Sydney’s Northern Beaches’ Cameron Good (55.55) and
Launceston’s Jacob Birtwhistle (55.55), who were awarded the silver and bronze medals respectively in the Australian Championships.
“I knew I had to watch out for Gregory (Rouault) – he was the one to beat,” said Dodds.
“I felt really good in the swim and on the bike and I knew what this course was like and you don’t want to be on the back going down those hills and around the corners.
“I just had to go out hard and stick with them and when you have got Peter Kerr behind you and you have people yelling out his name you have to push yourself hard and out of the comfort zone.”
Kerr, who made a stunning break through win in Noosa last November said his result was “testament to the hard work you put in.”
“There has been a real turnaround for me since late last year so it’s something I am aiming at. I would have liked to have won the race overall but the two guys ahead of me are absolute talents so I am wrapped to have come third up against those guys,” said Kerr.
“I guess it’s a payback for hard work, it never tastes sweeter. I am very happy to have the Australian title.
“I was a bit flat in the swim. I probably would have liked to start a bit better but it did roll and got a good position by coming out third of the water.
“My strength is going to be where it wants to be in the running so it’s all about conserving; so to be in that lead group, minus the breakaway, that’s where I wanted to be.
“My race went to plan. I would have liked to have stuck with the leaders for a bit longer but I am happy with my result.”
“Sprint racing is fantastic, it is one of the absolute ultimate’s of the sport. It is an hour of fun and excitement.”
Birtwhistle, 17, the recently crowned Australian Youth Olympic Festival champion, looked to be spent with a lap to go on the run but dug deep to surge home.
“I felt like I was gone with a lap to run and then I found something in the final sprint to the line although I probably went a little too soon, not realising just how long the straight was – but they’re the things you learn,” said Birtwhistle, who was also crowned the Australian under 23 champion.
“But to come here and get on the podium in my first open elite race is pretty awesome,” said Birtwhistle.
Corbidge, who is coached by her mum Dawn in Auckland and has just been named in the New Zealand Development squad for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio was happy to make her move on run after Australia’s Gillian Backhouse led the field off the bike and into the run.
She sat comfortably in the eight-strong chase pack alongside fellow Kiwi Maddie Dillon and Rebecca Clarke, Japan’s Yuko Takahashi and Australian girls Grace Musgrove, AYOF Champion Jaz Hedgeland, Olympian Emma Jackson, swim leader Madison Allen and Sarah Deuble.
And it was obvious why the New Zealand selectors have sleighted Corbidge (1:01.52) for their Rio plans when she charged away with the fastest run of the day (17 minutes 02 secs) to hold off 20-year Musgrove (1:02.03) who finished with the silver with Takahashi (1:02.16) third.
Corbidge said she enjoyed the Geelong course and she was thrilled to take the win across the Tasman, saying “it (the course) was a bit of a mix of everything and quite technical.”
“We got into a good rhythm and worked well together around the corners and the run was awesome,” said Corbidge.
Musgrove, formerly of Mittagong southwest of Sydney and now in Wollongong, joins Birtwhistle as the first members of Australia’s National Talent Academy to take podium finishes in an open elite event.
In only her second year in triathlon and in her first elite open race and the first time in Geelong, the former NSW Age group 5 and 10km open water swimming champion and Under 20 Australian Cross Country champion is one of a group of emerging young Australian stars.
Discovered by NSWIS coach Jamie Turner at the 2010 Australian Day Aquathon in Wollongong she originally turned down Turner’s recruitment but finally joined his talented young quad after finishing her Year 12 Studies.
“People kept telling me I could do it but I am still shocked that I am standing here in my first elite triathlon having won the Australian championship,” said Musgrove.
“After winning those swimming events I turned my attention to running and I always wanted to be as runner and not a triathlete.
“But when I saw Jamie’s squad of Natalie Van Coevorden, Tamsyn Moana-Veale and Ashlee Bailie and Charlotte McShane I went and asked him if I could join and here I am.”
Next stop Devonport in two weeks time when she races her training partners.
Backhouse (1:02.19) ran herself to collapse to finish a spirited fourth and second in the Australian Championship ahead of WA’s reigning Australian junior champion Hedgeland (1:02.25) and Jackson (1:02.31).
Jackson admitted she had no expectations coming into the race and although she felt good in the swim, coming out of the water in fourth place, she had “nothing in the tank” for the rest of the race.