By ITU Admin on 19/02/06 at 12:00 am
Snowsill came to the race looking to blow out some cobwebs in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games triathlon. The world champion blew her opposition away with a measured and well paced swim and bike followed by a devastating run which put the issue beyond doubt.
Following the swim two discrete packs formed with the lead group comprised of 3 New Zealanders and 3 Australians. Snowsill, ITU World Cup Series winner Annabel Luxford and Under 23 triathlete Melissa Trims worked together on the bike with the Kiwis Debbie Tanner, Nikki Samuels and Andrea Hewitt and they were able to build and hold a gap of almost 2 minutes on the chasing pack. The pace of the second group frustrated Lisa Norden. She rode nearly 30 kilometres on her own and got to within 50 seconds of the leaders going into the run. Norden then ran brilliantly to pass Trims take the under 23 elite category and finish a very creditable 6th.
Snowsill never looked in doubt over the final 10 kilometres of the race. Having said that full credit to Debbie Tanner, the young New Zealander caught everyones attention with a very well paced and strong run leg that was good enough to hold Luxford at bay. The large Hobart crowd were generous in their applause as she finished just over 20 seconds behind Snowsill in second place. Nicky Samuels and Andrea Hewitt rounded out the top 5.
Australias Commonwealth Games selectors appeared to gain little from the event following the withdrawal of Loretta Harrop from the team earlier in the week. The fact that those hoping to impress, including Olympian Rina Hill and Pip Taylor, were a not realistic chance after an hours racing added to the dilemma of replacing Harrop rather than clarifying it.
Brad Kahlefeldt showed just why he could be a very good selection for the Australians at the Commonwealth Games after he closed out the mens race with a scintillating run in field that included some of the fastest men in triathlon.
The transition area after the mens swim was a very crowded place with almost an all up field taking to the technically demanding and at times hilly Hobart course. For most of the ride a break away group comprised of Kris Gemmell, Peter Robertson, Paul Tichelaar and Clayton Fettell made every effort to get an advantage over the main bunch which included Kahlefeldt, Courtney Atkinson, Simon Thompson, and Britains Stuart Hayes.
Kris Gemmell punctured a tire, and he lost contact with both the lead group and the main bunch. To his credit he rode alone for last couple of laps and then ran the race right out which left everyone wondering what might have been. Paul Tichelaar also left some unanswered questions, he shared the lead early with Peter Robertson only to withdraw when he looked set to cause an upset.
Robertson ran aggressively however as the race unfolded it was clear those in the second group had the leg speed. Kahlefeldt feet seemed to hardly touch the ground as he moved swiftly and confidently to the lead. Robertson faded as the race drew to a close where as Courtney Atkinson did the opposite. For the second year in a row Atkinson would be runner up to a fellow Australian. In 2005 he was behind Simon Thompson this time it would be Kahlefeldt who showed he has the tactical ability and the leg speed to be a real threat in any company.
Stuart Hayes was very satisfied with his first hard hit out in the lead up to Melbourne. He emerged from the main bunch to stake a claim for a podium finish and held his speed and nerve in the company of athletes like Robertson and Thompson to secure an impressive third place with the defending champion Thompson and world champion Robertson rounding out the top 5.
The second ITU Hobart Triathlon was an outstanding success. This picturesque capital city has embraced the event with huge crowds assembling on the waterfront and within the citys historic centre to give the race a special feeling. This is an event to watch with strong local and state government support there is a real opportunity to grow the status and profile of the race in coming years.
Find more details about this event - 2006 Hobart ITU Triathlon Oceania Cup