Young gun Jake Montgomery and Melissa Hauschildt win Ironman 70.3 Geelong
For the first time at IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong the men’s race was won by someone other than Craig Alexander, with young gun Jake Montgomery claiming his first IRONMAN 70.3 victory.
Young gun Montgomery leads from the front
Jake Montgomery was twice the bridesmaid last year, passed late on the run at both IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah and IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney.
The 21-year-old joined fellow Australian Josh Amberger, who was fresh from second place at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai, as the pair stamped their authority on the race from the gun, exiting the swim together.
Both rode 2:06-and-change to go under the previous bike record, and this time Montgomery held strong on the run. His 1:19:57 effort on the challenging 21.1km run was more than enough.
His winning time of 3:51:48 was 1:26 clear of fast-finishing Frenchman Cyril Viennot, who ran 1:17 to overtake Amberger late in the run to finish second.
“Josh and I went hard on that bike, it was a really good bike ride, I was happy with that,” says Montgomery of his 2:06:18 bike course record.
“That was a huge relief, I’m so happy to get my first win. I didn’t think I had it until I came up that finish chute. It was awesome. I wanted that win really badly.”
Hauschildt overcomes cramp for win
Chasing three IRONMAN 70.3 titles in a row, following wins at Western Sydney and Ballarat late last year, Australian Annabel Luxford was 10 seconds ahead out of the water from Czech Radka Vodickova leading and first time professional Stephanie Demestichas.
Melissa Hauschildt, making her return after much of last year out with injury, was 2:45 down out of the swim. However, her 2:17 bike was the fastest and the 1:25 run more than enough for a compelling victory by nearly six minutes.
Luxford faded on the run but held on for second ahead of Vodickova. While it looked easy for the two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, it was anything but with cramps almost forcing her to withdraw.
“That was a hard win, I felt average all day, it was almost like I had a cramp from the start of the swim,” says Hauschildt.
“I wanted to quit so many times, but I’m glad I toughed it out. I have a training camp up in Falls Creek and I thought if I won here the training will be so much better.”
More than that, her 4:14:28 was a new course record, and good return after an injury-ravaged 2015.
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