Australian defector, Britains Leanda Cave has taken out the Australian Triathlon Championship winning at Geelong this afternoon; 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.
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
|Results: Elite Men|