Maloy leaves touch of calamity in his dust as he pow­ers to vic­tory

The Courier-Mail - - SPORT - GREG DAVIS

US triath­lete Joe Maloy was more “Cap­tain Calamity’’ than “Cap­tain Amer­ica’’ be­fore yes­ter­day’s Noosa Triathlon.

But the glo­be­trot­ting 30year-old per­formed when it mat­tered most to be­come the first Amer­i­can to win the iconic event.

Maloy ac­ci­den­tally nom­i­nated for the wrong cat­e­gory be­fore head­ing to Aus­tralia for the race and ar­rived at the start line at Noosa’s Main Beach with­out his all-im­por­tant tim­ing chip.

A quick dash to re­cover the tim­ing chip was the heart­start­ing warm-up be­fore he ex­ploded on the bike leg to set up a 49 sec­ond vic­tory over Queens­lan­der Ryan Fisher and pre-race favourite Jake Birtwhis­tle.

“There’s al­ways some­thing with me. I’m pretty ab­sent­minded. I for­got my tim­ing chip in my bag,’’ he said.

“I asked the guys, is that a big deal … they said, ‘you’ve got seven min­utes to go get it’.

“(And) when I orig­i­nally signed up for the race I put my­self in the wrong cat­e­gory.

“I was in the age group race. When I got here, I said, ‘oh no, I need to pay for this plane ticket. I need to get in the pro divi­sion’. A cou­ple of backand-forths with the or­gan­is­ers and we got it sorted.’’

Maloy cer­tainly sorted out his ri­vals on the 40km bike leg when he opened up a 60 sec­ond lead on the field go­ing into the 10km run.

His pre-race plan was to set a crack­ing pace to put his more fan­cied com­peti­tors un­der pres­sure and he ex­e­cuted it to per­fec­tion. “I wanted to go hard. I wanted to make it an hon­est race for the guys. I knew a hard race suited me so I just did what I could to make it that way,’’ he said.

“I took one pedal, it felt good. I took an­other one and it felt bet­ter and I just went with it and took my chance.

“I think it also worked to my ad­van­tage be­ing a lit­tle bit un­fa­mil­iar to most of th­ese guys. Maybe there was a sense of, ‘let him go, he’ll come back’.’’

Af­ter rac­ing in 18 coun­tries on six con­ti­nents in his ca­reer, Maloy rated his “huge’’ Noosa win as “right at the top’’.

He will now fo­cus on the ITU event in Yoko­hama, in May, which is the fi­nal qual­i­fi­ca­tion race for the Rio Olympics for US triath­letes.

STAR TURN: Former league and rugby union star Mat Rogers dur­ing the run leg.

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