Gen­tly does for tri win num­ber five

Multisport Mecca - - News -

GOLD Coast Com­mon­wealth Games team mem­bers Ash­leigh Gen­tle and Jake Birtwhis­tle used their ex­cep­tional leg speed to shut down all chal­lengers and record stun­ning vic­to­ries in the 35th run­ning of the iconic Noosa Triathlon.

Ash­leigh made it four Noosa ti­tles in a row and five over­all, equalling Emma Snow­ill’s record, while Jake had his break­through race, im­prov­ing on his third and sec­ond places of pre­vi­ous years.

The ‘stacked’ men’s and women’s fields en­sured that the pres­sure was on from the gun and the thou­sands of sup­port­ers lin­ing the course were treated to an amaz­ing dis­play by the cream of Aus­tralia’s triath­letes.

Ash­leigh’s fifth ti­tle in had far more sig­nif­i­cance than her pre­vi­ous wins (fin­ish­ing in 1:59:11) and she ded­i­cated her race to her long time sup­porter and friend, the late Garth Prowd.

“I looked up to the heav­ens be­cause Garth was here with us no doubt and he will still be out there un­til the last per­son crosses the line. Garth will al­ways be a part of Noosa Tri and I am so happy that I was able to race well and race for him as well.”

Mean­while for Jake, who won with a time of 1:46:59, vic­tory was an ex­tra boost of con­fi­dence ahead of his Com­mon­wealth Games berth with a hard-fought vic­tory in Noosa.

“There’s nowhere to go from now so I guess I just have to keep on win­ning, right?,” the 22-year-old said.

Best placed among the lo­cals was Coolum’s Ben Shaw who was sixth in a time of 1:49:40, while Casey Munro of Bud­erim was 12th in 1:55:48.

Among the age groupers, stand out Coast per­for­mances came from Ryan Devlin who was third in the men’s 25-29 age group (2:04:17), Zsolt Dal­los was eighth in men 35-39 (2:06:52), Sean Clancy fin­ished 12th in open men (2:07:03), Dmitri Si­mons was sec­ond men 45-49 (2:09:22), Jacqui was fifth in open women (2:17:16), Lucy Bow­den was fifth women 25-29 (2:19:34), Mau­reen Cum­mings was sec­ond in women 55-59 (2:35:03) and Barry Meek was third men 70-74 (2:48:37).

In Satur­day’s events, a break­away move didn’t quite work out for Lucy Bech­tel in last year’s Women’s Aus­tralian Open Cri­terium but she made the most of it this time around.

The 29-year-old cap­tured one of the big­gest wins of her ca­reer at Noosa Heads on Su­per Satur­day, when she edged Holly Ran­son in a sprint.

In the men’s event, world tour rider Jay McCarthy started his sea­son with a re­mark­able vic­tory ahead of the Tour Down Un­der in Jan­uary.

In the 5km Bolt races, 27-year-old Melissa Dun­can claimed the win in 16min 21sec from Eloise Wellings by 17sec while in the men’s race Jor­dan Wil­liamsz won in 14 min 12 sec from Ste­wart McSweyn.

PHOTO: WAR­REN LYNAM

Ash­leigh Gen­tle pays trib­ute to Garth Prowd.

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