T.S. Eliot called April the cruelest month, but triathletes on the verge of an income tax deadline can enjoy accounts of interesting races from Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North America.
Brad Kahlefeldt and Radka Vodickova win Ironman 70.3 Malaysia
Brad Kahlefeldt of Australia and Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic repeated their March men’s and women’s victories at Challenge Batemans Bay by winning Ironman 70.3 Malaysia on a typically hot and humid day in Putrajaya.
Kahlefeldt opened a very short lead over a 5-man pack with a race-best 24:52 swim, then maintained control over a half dozen men during a 4th-best 2:13:14 bike split. Kahlefeldt, showing his immunity to tropical heat, unleashed a race-best 1:15:08 half marathon that was 1:50 better than the run of Denis Chevrot of France – those two were the only men to break 1 hour 20 minutes. Kahlefeldt finished in 3:55:36 with a 2:06 margin of victory over Chevrot and 11:01 over 3rd place finisher John Polson of Australia.
Kahlefeldt, a Commonwealth Games winner, three-time ITU World Championship medalist and Under23 World Champion, continued a successful 2014 season that includes wins at the bcu Coffs Triathlon and Challenge Batemans Bay.
The women’s race was also settled on the run, with a closer finish. Liz Blatchford of Great Britain, the 3rd place finisher at the 2013 Ironman World Championship, posted a race-fastest 26:39 swim which gave her a 3 seconds advantage over Vodickova. Blatchford then exploded to the lead with a race-best 2:24:34 bike split which opened up a 7:04 lead on her Czech Republic rival. But after her bike leg heroics, Blatchford succumbed to the Malaysia heat and could only muster a 1:30:13 run. Vodickova then posted the split of the day, a women’s race-best 1:22:11 that was hotter than the thermometer and brought her past Blatchford in the final kilometer -- and to the finish in 4:23:09 with a 1:08 margin of victory over Blatchford and 15:26 over 3rd-place finisher Dimity-Lee Duke.
“To lead the whole day, and then lose it in the last kilometer, is harsh,” said Blatchford. “I overheated on the run and wasn't moving very fast at all in the last kilometers. At 15k I was struggling and then I heard Radka was catching up. So I lifted my level a little bit. I think that took me over the edge and I sort of exploded. When she passed me, I had nothing left.”
With her two victories in 2014, Vodickova is continuing a 2013 hot streak which included wins at the Los Angeles Triathlon, Pacific Grove and Rev3 Branson.
Ironman 70.3 Malaysia
April 13, 2014
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 3:55:36
2. Denis Chevrot (FRA) 3:57:42
3. John Polson (AUS) 4:06:37
4. Stuart Marais (RSA) 4:08:38
5. Fredrik Croneberg (SWE) 4:09:13
1. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:23:09
2. Liz Blatchford (GBR) 4:24:17
3. Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) 4:38:35
4. Katja Rabe (GER) 4:52:07
5. Matilda Raynolds (AUS) 4:53:21
Josh Amberger and Ashleigh Gentle win Luke Harrop Memorial on Gold Coast
Josh Amberger and Ashleigh Gentle, a dynamic young Queensland couple, dominated their sprint distance races Sunday at the Gold Coast Triathlon – Luke Harrop Memorial.
Amberger and Clayton Fettell led out of the 750 meter swim, then Amberger put in solid bike and run legs to top runner-up Ben Shaw of Ireland by 12 seconds and 3rd-place Australian Mathew Roberts by 36 seconds.
“I’m really happy,” said Amberger. “Short race, fast and tough.”
Gentle was among a close pack of five women including Melinda Vernon, Gillian Backhouse, Courtney Dutton and Courtney Gilfillan who exited the swim together. Gentle, a rising young ITU star at age 22, put together an excellent bike and run to outpace Vernon by 9 seconds at the finish for the win. Gillian Backhouse took 3rd, 14 seconds behind Vernon.
The day’s race was in tribute to Luke Harrop, a respected young Australian triathlete who was training on his bike on the Gold Coast 12 years ago when hit and killed by a motorist who was driving under the influence. Luke’s sister Loretta Harrop was the 1999 ITU World Champion and the 2004 Life Time Fitness $200,000 winner and the 2004 Olympic silver medalist.
Loretta Harrop took part in her brother’s race in a relay event and out in a strong swim leg to lead her team to 3rd place before joining her father Russell presenting checks to the winners. “It's been such a great atmosphere here today,” said Loretta. “I really appreciate everyone getting involved.”
“This is what the event is all about,” said Mr. Harrop. “To support fantastic young athletes.”
In a tribute, some of Luke’s best mates crossed the finish line together as a tribute to their late friend.
“This race means so much and it’s really important to keep this event going and get the local talent coming through,” said Amberger. “It’s good for the young athletes to come back and race this every year. It’s good for the guys like us as well to set a benchmark and hopefully give them something to look up to.”
Gold Coast Triathlon – Luke Harrop Memorial
Southport, Gold Coast, Australia
April 13, 2014
S 750m / R\B 20k / R 5k
1. Josh Amberger (AUS) 54:19
2. Ben Shaw (IRL) 54:31
3. Matthew Roberts (AUS) 55:35
4. Clayton Fettell (AUS) 55:44
5. Mitchell Kibby (AUS) 56:24
1. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) 1:00:30
2. Melinda Vernon (AUS) 1:01:39
3. Gillian Backhouse (AUS) 1:01:53
4. Annelise Jefferies (AUS) 1:03:11
5. Courtney Gilfillan (AUS) 1:03:41
Viktor Zyemtsev edges Greg Bennett and Caitlin Snow dominates at Florida 70.3
Viktor Zyemtsev of the eastern Ukraine won a battle of the over-40 men with Aussie Greg Bennett and Caitlin Snow ran away from a race-long battle with fellow U.S. competitor Margie Shapiro to earn the men’s and women’s titles at Ironman 70.3 Florida.
Zyemtsev, a 10-time Ironman winner and the 2005 ITU Long Distance World Championship gold medalist, overcame a 5 minute 25 seconds deficit at T2 to Australian Greg Bennett by closing with a race-best 1:13:39 half marathon which outpaced Bennett by 5:47. Zyemtsev thus passed Bennett with a kilometer to go and propelled the Ukrainian 41-year-old to the finish in 3:54:26 with a 28 seconds margin of victory over the 42-year-old Australian. Artem Parienko of Russia closed with a 1:17:54 run to finish 3rd, 24 seconds back of Bennett.
Caitlin Snow, who built a reputation as one of the world’s fastest Ironman women runners and burnished it with a great all-around game that brought her 6th at Kona last October, started her race just 1 minute 3 seconds back of swim leader Laura Bennett. By the end of the quite flat 56-mile bike leg, Snow advanced from 5th to 1st with a 2nd-fastest 2:24:25 bike leg that gave her a 7 seconds lead on Margie Shapiro, 1:08 on Lauren Goss, 1:54 on Bennett and 2:19 on Amber Ferreira.
By the end of the run, Snow’s race-best, 1 hour 22 minutes run left no doubt and no hope in any rival’s heart. Snow crossed the line in 4:13:37 with a 6:36 margin of victory over runner-up Shapiro and 8:07 over 3rd-place finisher Lauren Goss, who closed with a 1:28:55 run.
Ironman 70.3 Florida
Haines City, Florida
April 13, 2014
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 3:54:26
2. Greg Bennett (AUS) 3:54:54
3. Artem Parienko (RUS) 3:55:18
4. Jacob Rhyner (USA) 3:55:37
5. Jens Toft Allerup (DNK) 3:56:05
1. Caitlin Snow (USA) 4:13:37
2. Margie Shapiro (USA) 4:20:13
3. Lauren Goss (USA) 4:21:44
4. Amber Ferreira (USA) 4:23:47
5. Laura Bennett (USA) 4:25:45
Andy Potts and Lauren Barnett win Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Veteran Andy Potts took the men’s crown and second year pro Lauren Barnett scored a breakthrough victory at Ironman 70.3 New Orleans.
A super fish with bike and run to match, Potts jump started his day with a race-best 22:08 swim leg that was 2:02 better than next-fastest Mark Bowstead of New Zealand, 2:37 better than Samuel LeBlanc, 2:43 better than Ben Hoffman and 3:18 better than ever dangerous cyclist Trevor Wurtele.
Wurtele gave it his best shot, a 2:03:29 bike split (the second best anywhere on the day) which took back 3:15 from Potts and left the two men starting the run virtually together with Ben Hoffman chasing 3 minutes back. Having used up all his fuel, Wurtele fell back with a 1:23:50 run that defended his 3rd place but left him out of the conversation for the win. Potts, who allocated his energy with the best balance on the day, ran a 6th-fastest 1:18:37 run that was enough to hold off Hoffman’s race-best 1:16:48 run.
Potts took the win in 3:50:36 with a 1:10 margin of victory over Hoffman and 5:15 over Wurtele.
The race had been marred by a terrible accident 2 days before the race in which one triathlete was killed and another critically injured. Before the race Potts embraced Kimberly Guinn, the wife of the Atlanta fire fighter Frank Guinn who had died in that accident, and promised her to race for him. She then tweeted: @Andy_Potts told me at the start of the race today that he was gonna run hard for Frank Guinn! I told him to win and he did! Thanks Andy!
Barnett, who was undefeated as an amateur in 2012 and took 4th place at Chicago in her pro debut last year, started her day with a 29:09 swim that gave her a hefty 5 minute deficit to defending women’s champion Haley Chura of the U.S. and Anna Cleaver of New Zealand.
Barnett made up 5:44 on Chura and 1:18 on Cleaver after a 3rd-fastest 2:22:39 bike split, arrived 1:47 down to Sarah Piampiano (race-fastest 2:20:52 bike split), a minute back of Hallie Blunck and 3 minutes arrears of Laurel Wassner (25:44 swim and 2:29:23 bike) as she started the run.
Barnett then ran to the top on her way to a 2nd-fastest 1:26:22 half marathon that brought her to the line in 4:21:34 with a 1:01 margin on Sarah Piampiano, who ran 1:28:24, and 1:46 on Hallie Blunck, who ran 1:29:06. Laurel Wassner posted the women’s fastest run split of 1:25:53 to finish 4th, 1:28 behind Blunck.
Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
April 13, 2014
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. /R 13.1 mi.
1. Andy Potts (USA) 3:50:36
2. Ben Hoffman (USA) 3:51:46
3. Trevor Wurtele (CAN) 3:55:51
4. Tom Lowe (GBR) 3:56:56
5. Mark Bowstead (NZL) 3:57:58
1. Lauren Barnett (USA) 4:21:34
2. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 4:22:35
3. Hallie Blunck (USA) 4:23:20
4. Laurel Wassner (USA) 4:24:48
5. Haley Chura (USA) 4:27:17
Rob Woestenborghs and Jennie Schulz win ETU Powerman Duathlon
ITU Duathlon World Champion Rob Woestenborghs of Belgium scored a dominant victory and Jenny Schulz of Germany won her first European Duathlon event at the ETU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon European Championship at Horst aan de Maas in the Netherlands.
Woestenborghs avenged a narrow defeat at this event last year with a fantastic bike ride that brought him to the lead 20 kilometers into the flat and twisty 60km bike leg and gave himself a 90 seconds lead at T2. Woestenborghs stayed on the gas throughout the 7.5km final run leg and crossed the line with a comfortable margin over runner-up Kenneth Vanderdreissche, the Under 23 European champ.
“I have been second twice at the European Championships, so I am happy to erase a blank spot on my CV,” said Woestenborghs.
Schulz finished 3rd at this event last year but redeemed herself with a well-plotted race. Sabrina Monmarteau of France grabbed the lead on the 15 kilometer run, opening a 40 seconds gap on Schulz, Susanna Svendsen of Denmark and Isabelle Ferrer of France. On the first of three laps of the 20 kilometer bike loop, Schulz charged into the lead and built a seemingly secure 4 minutes gap at T2. Schulz was afflicted with cramps and had to walk at various times on the final leg, but managed her troubles well enough to save the win. Monmarteau finished 2nd and Svendsen edged Ferrer for 3rd.
ETU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon European Championship
Horst aan de Maas, Netherlands
April 13, 2014
R 15k / B 60k / R 7.5k
[Times not available]
1. Rob Woestenborghs (BEL)
2. Kenneth Vandendreissche (BEL)
3. Yannick Cadalen (FRA)
4. Benjamin Choquert (BEL)
1. Jenny Schulz (GER)
2. Sabrina Monmarteau (FRA)
3. Susanna Svendsen (DNK)
4. Isabelle Ferrer (FRA)
Hervé Faure and Charlotte Morel win inaugural Cannes International Triathlon
Hervé Faure and Charlotte Morel won close victories at the first Cannes International Triathlon Sunday.
In the swim, Frederik Van Lierde, Frederic Belaubre Robin Shepherd and age grouper Julio Molinari came out first and formed a working pack that led the chasers including Faure, Nicolas Fernandez and Anthony Pannier by 1 minute 10 seconds at 20 kilometers, while Romaine Guillaume was running 8th, 1:27 down.
At 50 kilometers of the 80 kilometer bike leg, Molinari took a 1:30 lead on a pack of 7 that included Frederik Van Lierde, Belaubre, Fernandez, Faure, Pannier and Pasteur. By T2, Faure and Fernandez took the lead, but officials decided the pair had been mistakenly led by race marshals to unintentionally cut the course and decided to assess both men a 3 minute penalty.
By the end of the first of four 4-kilometer run loops, Faure took the lead, followed 1 minute later by Molinari and 1:20 later by Fernandez, who had received an additional 2 minute penalty for a yellow card assessed on the bike. Van Lierde was 4th, 3:30 back, Banti 5th and Belaubre 6th, 5:30 in arrears.
Faure won in 3:36:45, Molinari took 2nd, 30 seconds later with Fernandez 3rd another 10 seconds back.
Charlotte Morel led the elite women through the swim in a time of 30:22, followed by Margie Santamaria (31:11), Jennie Fletcher (33:26) and Tine Deckers (34:24). While the race was close all the way, Morel held on to win in 4:09:06, just 8 seconds ahead of runner-up Céline Bousserez.
Cannes International Triathlon
April 13, 2014
S 2k / B 80k / R 16k
1. Hervé Faure (FRA) 3:36:45
2. Julio Molinari (ITA) 3:37:15 *age grouper
3. Nicolas Fernandez (FRA) 3:37:25
1. Charlotte Morel (FRA 4:09:06
2. Celine Bousserez (FRA) 4:09:14
3. Martina Dogana (ITA) N/A
Josiah Middaugh and Flora Duffy win XTERRA West
Josiah Middaugh of Vail, Colorado and Flora Duffy of Bermuda won the XTERRA West Championship in the Nevada desert terrain of Lake Las Vegas.
Middaugh overcame his usual 2 minutes deficit in the swim with a dominating mountain bike leg and a 2nd-fastest run to win his third XTERRA West title in four years by 2 minutes 1 second over Bradley Weiss of South Africa and a 2:53 margin over young Mexican sensation Mauricio Mendez.
Duffy, an ITU pavement triathlon star and 2012 Olympian who broke through in off-road triathlon with a 3rd at the XTERRA World Championship last October, combined race-fastest swim, bike and run legs for an 11 minute 18 seconds margin of victory in the 2014 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series opener.
Mendez, last year’s amateur XTERRA World Champion, led the swim with a race-best 19:28 split that gave him a 7 seconds lead on Dan Hugo of South Africa and Tennessee’s Craig Evans. Top contenders Branden Rakita (19:48), Weiss (20:06) and Middaugh (21:59) trailed by their usual margins.
Hugo, who started this season with wins at XTERRA South Africa, Philippines and Guam, broke away fast on the rugged mountain bike section and had a 1 minute lead on Mendez on the first of 2 bike laps and seemed ready to grab his fourth win of the year – until bad fortune struck and he flatted twice.
“It was a nightmare,” said Hugo. “Never had that happen before, but it’s part of the game.”
Middaugh meanwhile calmly went about erasing his swim deficit and passed 10 of the 11 men ahead of him halfway through the ride and passed Hugo when he was coping with his flats. Hugo soldiered on and finished 7th.
“Certainly wish Dan would have had a mechanical-free days we could have had a clean race, but it was still a good race and good day for me,” said Middaugh, who has won five of the last six XTERRA U.S. Pro Series races since 2012.
Hugo’s fellow South African Brad Weiss, however, had a stellar day and once Middaugh rode past him, Weiss upped his pace and hung on for dear life, arriving in T2 right on the Coloradan’s heels.
“Today, for the first time, when he caught me I was really aggressive and I wasn’t going to let him go,” said Weiss. “I sat on his wheel most of the second lap, and he’s riding a step above what I’m capable of, so I was really hurting by the end there.”
Weiss hung close to Middaugh for the first 4k of the run, but on some of the steep descents the mountain goat in Middaugh came out and Weiss had to settle for second.
Mendez led the swim, gave ground grudgingly on the bike and held on to 3rd place with a race-fastest 37:32 run split that was 15 seconds better than Middaugh.
“When I finished the bike, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh I have nothing left.’ But I gave all I had on the run and it was a very good result. It’s my dream to follow this path.”
After placing a breakthrough third at the XTERRA Worlds in Maui last year, Flora Duffy went to South Africa over the northern hemisphere winter and spent a lot of time honing her mountain bike skills and won the XTERRA South Africa Championship. The work paid off handsomely Sunday as Duffy posted the fastest swim, bike and run splits and finished in 2:25:48 with an 11:18 margin of victory over runner-up Emma Garrard of Park City, Utah and 12:11 over former XTERRA World champion Shonny Vanlandingham of Durango, Colorado.
“I rode my mountain bike all winter, so I think that's showing,” said Duffy. “I feel more comfortable on it and I can go through things faster which makes a huge difference… Some sections were so rutted and dry it was hectic out there.”
XTERRA West Championship
April 13, 2014
1. Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2:10:07
2. Bradley Weiss (RSA) 2:12:08
3. Mauricio Mendez (MEX) 2:13:00
4. Branden Rakita (USA) 2:15:11
5. Craig Evans (USA) 2:15:40
1. Flora Duffy (BER) 2:25:48
2. Emma Garrard (USA) 2:37:06
3. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2:37:59
4. Suzie Snyder (USA) 2:38:24
5. Chantell Widney (CAN) 2:39:14