Geelong proves fruitful for Quirk

by World Triathlon Admin on 27 Mar, 2005 12:00

Victorian Bryce Quirk took out his home state race today to win his first national
  title, victorious in the Australian Triathlon Championships in Geelong this
  afternoon over fellow Melbourne born man, Peter Robertson.

After a shocker in the swim/bike transition, where Quirk lost his shoe leaving   the zone, the 26 year old had to claw himself back into the race during the   bike leg. After his fumble in transition, Quirk found himself in the third pack   back and had to put in a massive effort in the first two laps of the ride to   link onto the huge chase pack.

“I was furious when I dropped my shoes. I put rubber bands on my shoes   which prevents that and it still happened. I just had to dig deep and the first   two laps on the bike hurt me. When I caught up I wasn’t so sure how I would   run after riding so hard,” said Quirk of his race.

“It was even more disappointing when the pack from behind caught us because   I thought I could have taken it easy and ridden up with them. But you have to   take your chances and I had to race aggressively, which is what I did.”

Quirk went second into the 40km bike leg with the energetic, brisk footed Robertson   six seconds in front. Robbo kept him at bay, with Quirk narrowing the gap over   the 10km /four lap run. Quirk surged at him three times in the final lap, but   Robbo pulled away ? and it wasn’t till the final 800 metres that Quirk won the   battle, took the lead and sprinted to the finish line.

“I caught Robbo three times and he ran away from me but I knew that was   Robbos game I knew I had to be patient. I knew that when I hit him I had to   hit him with everything but I wasn’t ready to hit him when I first caught him.   So I had to let him go and have the faith that I was going to run back up to   him. After I had rested and he didn’t go straight away, that was when I hit   him. I had a couple of goes on the hill on the last lap and he went with me   once, I had a quick rest and went again and he didn’t come,” said Quirk   of his breakaway.

Quirk finished 17 seconds in front of Robertson, with Wagga’s young star and   2002 junior world champion Brad Kahlefeldt in third after running with Germany   ‘s Maik Petzold for much of the race. .

The win secures for Quirk a place in the Australian team for the world championships   to be held in Japan in September, with Quirk’s eye firmly fixed on a top five   showing at the worlds ? and the first Australian home ? to secure a Commonwealth   Games spot.

He has recently got engaged and moved back to his hometown of Melbourne - desperate   to race in the Commonwealth Games as the hometown boy.

“My goal for this year was to make Worlds here and that was the race that   I targeted and I got it right.

“I have been working with Tony Benson a former Olympic track runner and   we have done a lot of work on the tactics of winning races. Learning how to   beat people when it is really hurting and it is crunch time,” said Quirk.

“A lot of people didn’t think that I was capable of that, but I always   knew I was. I have been the most consistent Australian athlete of the last 12   months. I haven’t done the things that the Thomo’s and Greg Bennett’s have done   but I was only Australian on a world cup podium last year. I knew I had the   form and I raced well at Hobart so I really targeted this race. I want to go   to the Commonwealth Games next year and any good showing in Melbourne or near   Melbourne has to hold me in good stead for that spot.”

Peter Robertson was far from disappointed, happy with his first race back for   the season.

“Without making excuses I would have to say I am a little under done.   Mooloolaba was always my aim but in the last few weeks of training I have really   taken off. So I put a bit more of an effort into my taper and tried to come   up fresh for this race. I aiming for Mooloolaba and with a race under my belt,   I feel like I am in a really good position to have a good crack at Mooloolaba   ,” said Robbo.

“I knew I could never really shake Bryce, more than 20-30 metres and when   that happens I know I am in a little bit of trouble. But I am hardly disappointed.   The first race back is always a good wake up to the system.”

Race favourites, Craig Walton and Simon Thompson both withdrew from the race   ? Waldo in the second bike leg weak from his recent bout of glandular fever;   and Thommo early in the run with a niggling hamstring ? while Olympic silver   mediallist Bevan Docherty finished sixth.

Full race results available on the Triathlon   Australia Website.

Related Event: 2005 Geelong OTU Triathlon Oceania Championships
27 Mar, 2005 • event pageall results
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