There was a rookie win in the men but a winning run ended with the women at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
New South Wales athlete David Mainwaring claimed his first victory at the distance while Annabel Luxford stopped Caroline Steffen’s winning streak at IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney in Penrith.
For the second race in a row young gun Jake Montgomery fell just short of recording his first IRONMAN 70.3 win.
In a carbon copy of his day at IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah, Montgomery led until late in the run before the fast-finishing Mainwaring ran him down with Nicholas Kastelein (AUS) in third.
“It feels like a long time coming, having never been on the podium at an IRONMAN 70.3 event to win is amazing. I have been working hard for this for a long time, hopefully, it’s just the start,” says Mainwaring.
In the men’s race, Kastelein was first out of the water with Montgomery and fellow Aussie Casey Munro hot on his heels.
By the end of the bike leg Montgomery and Casey Munro had a lead of over three minutes from Tim van Berkel and a large group including Mainwaring, Kastelein, Mitch Dean (AUS), Mark Bowstead (NZL), Bryan Rhodes (NZL) and Mitchell Kibby (AUS).
“I’m happy again with second, it was the same as Mandurah again. When he caught me in the last 3km I didn’t have another gear,” says Montgomery. “It has been an awesome year, I’m having another crack in Geelong in February so hopefully I can go one better there. I am definitely focused on IRONMAN 70.3 racing from now on.”
Steffen had her sights set on claiming her sixth IRONMAN 70.3 win on the trot after victories at Vietnam, Cairns, Cebu, Sunshine Coast and Mandurah.
During that streak Luxford finished second to Steffen at both Cairns and Sunshine Coast, but today she relied on a strong bike leg to reverse that trend, with Penrith local Andrea Forrest in third.
“I’m very happy with that win, I wasn’t expecting that performance. The course is fantastic, the weather was ideal for me. Great swim, great ride and you can see everyone on the run,” Luxford said.
The women’s race started in identical fashion to Cairns and Sunshine Coast with Steffen and Luxford exiting the water within seconds of each other, on the bike they stayed together until the 45km mark.
It was then Luxford made her move and by end of the bike she was over five minutes in front, before producing the fastest run to ensure she finished on the podium’s top spot.
“It has been a great year, and Annabel raced really strongly today, she’s a great athlete,” says Steffen. “It is a great course, you can’t get lost on the swim and the support on the run was fantastic.”
Third placed Forrest was delighted to make the podium in her home town race.
“That was fantastic. I’ll take that third it feels like a win. Every couple of hundred meters I had someone cheering for me I really enjoyed that today.”
|Top 5 Pro Men|
|4||Tim van Berkel||(AUS)||3:51:36|
|Top 5 Pro Women|