Katey feel­ing right at home

Multisport Mecca - - 70.3 Sunshine Coast -

IRONMAN 70.3 Sun­shine Coast win­ner Katey Gibb doesn’t like cy­cling near traf­fic and there’s a good rea­son why.

The 30-year-old lost her part­ner in 2014, when he was hit by a drunk driver while rid­ing home from work in Perth.

Brynt McSwain’s death re-ig­nited de­bate about road safety for cy­clists, par­tic­u­larly in West­ern Aus­tralia, and Katey bat­tles demons ev­ery time she gets on her bike for a train­ing ride.

“I have (thought about giv­ing it up) and I still get very ner­vous rid­ing on the roads so I only ride once a week on the road and the rest I do on an in­door bike,” she said.

“I never ride by my­self, I’m al­ways rid­ing with some­one else just be­cause I’m not con­fi­dent. Rid­ing on a race day is dif­fer­ent be­cause the roads are closed, (but) it’s al­ways in the back of my mind.”

Katey moved to Buderim in De­cem­ber, with fi­ance Barry Oelof­sen.

“I didn’t want to be in Perth any more ... mov­ing here was to restart my life a lit­tle bit,” she said.

She said the Sun­shine Coast pro­vided a safer en­vi­ron­ment for her.

“I’m not overly con­fi­dent rid­ing in traf­fic be­cause of my past his­tory with cy­clists and cars so mov­ing here (en­ables me) to be able to train where there’s not much traf­fic and it’s laid-back, which is pretty good,” she said.

“Queens­land’s got that 1m rule which they don’t have in WA and it makes a dif­fer­ence. You get cases where peo­ple cut it a bit close but com­pared to WA, be­cause there is a law in place, it makes it a lit­tle bit bet­ter.”

In April, the State Gov­ern­ment en­forced a law re­quir­ing at least 1m be­tween ve­hi­cles and cy­clists.

Show­ing new-found con­fi­dence on Sun­day, the tal­ented en­durance ath­lete was closely fol­lowed by Michelle Gai­ley through the swim leg of the race, but Katey’s pure pedal power left com­peti­tors in her wake.

Af­ter a solid run, Katey crossed the fin­ish first at Mooloolaba in a time of 4hrs29min­s03secs, more than three min­utes ahead of sec­ond-placed Han­nah Wells from New Zealand.

Katey hadn’t raced since May and achieved the mile­stone af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a knee in­jury.

“I wasn’t too con­fi­dent go­ing in be­cause I haven’t raced in a while but com­ing out with a win you’ve al­ways got to be happy,” she said.

“When you haven’t raced in a while you feel a bit rusty and al­though I’ve been do­ing it a long time you get a bit ner­vous that you might mess up, but it all worked out.”

Katey was pleased to break from the chasers dur­ing the 90km bike leg, but was sur­prised with the gap she had man­aged to achieve.

“Bik­ing used to be my weak­ness and now it’s turned into my strength,” she said,

“When I’m out front like that I start to self doubt a lit­tle bit and when I got to the turn­around and no one was there I thought I’d done some­thing wrong.

“But I’ve started to learn to just fo­cus on my­self and re­ally push on the bike to give me that ad­van­tage on the run and it works out re­ally well.

“I love it (here). You guys don’t re­ally have a win­ter or the win­ter is dry which is per­fect for train­ing and I can do con­sis­tent train­ing for the last 16 weeks with­out be­ing in­ter­rupted by the weather.”

Katey’s coach Cameron Watt was ec­static to see her cross the line with the win.

“She was quite ner­vous com­ing into this,” he said.

“Train­ing was go­ing re­ally well and I think when you’re train­ing re­ally well that ex­pec­ta­tion to ex­e­cute it on race day when it counts mounts.

“She was feel­ing that ex­pec­ta­tion for sure lead­ing into this race but she de­liv­ered ten­fold and she took con­trol of this race re­ally early on the bike and didn’t look back.”

Michelle Gai­ley crossed third with fel­low Buderim ath­lete An­nelise Jef­feries fin­ish­ing fourth.

PHO­TOS: IAIN CURRY

Buderim’s Katey Gibb on her way to win­ning Ironman 70.3 Sun­shine Coast.

Kirra Sei­del had a tough day out among the pro women.

Damien Collins on the run.

PHOTO: KELLY ED­WARDS

Jamie Ison com­pletes the ride

Peter An­drews cools off.

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