Fired-up Poole works back to win­ning form

The Courier-Mail - - SPORT - AMANDA LULHAM

FOR­MER cham­pion Matt Poole hopes a brief so­journ be­hind the scenes as a race di­rec­tor will help him re­claim cen­tre stage in this year’s Nutri-Grain Iron­man se­ries.

Poole, pre­par­ing for to­day’s sec­ond round of the se­ries at Coolum, and house­mate Matt Bevilac­qua were the brains and brawn be­hind the in­au­gu­ral world Iron­man se­ries event in Bali this year.

The 2016-17 Nutri-Grain cham­pion said the ex­pe­ri­ence helped with life skills he has been able to ap­ply to his train­ing and rac­ing while re­mind­ing him how much he still loves the com­pe­ti­tion side of the sport.

“It taught me a lot about pa­tience and re­silience and be­ing able to adapt quickly, think on your feet, all things that are im­por­tant when you are in a spot in­volv­ing mother na­ture,’’ said Poole, who also raced the event.

“Last sea­son was 10 years chas­ing a dream with lots of highs and lows, and I re­alise now it took a real men­tal toll on me. “I was just ex­hausted. “Last year I wasn’t do­ing all the work I should have been do­ing and I didn’t get the re­sults.

“I just turned up on race day and couldn't get mo­ti­vated.

“I re­alised later how much I missed win­ning.

“It re­ally peed me off and gave me a fire for this year.’’

The 30-year-old failed to win a ma­jor race last sea­son – the first time he has gone win­less for six sea­sons.

But he proved in Round 1 of the iron­man se­ries a fort­night ago he is not far off a vic­tory, just pipped for the open­ing round hon­ours in a sprint by James Lacey.

Also keen to make their mark on the Sun­shine Coast will be Coolan­gatta Gold cham­pion Ali Day and de­fend­ing se­ries cham­pion Bevilac­qua.

Both bombed in Round 1. Day fin­ished 11th and Bevilac­qua 14th – their most dis­ap­point­ing re­sults in re­cent years.

First-round win­ner Maddy Dunn will start favourite in the women’s rac­ing, along with Coolan­gatta Gold win­ner Ge­or­gia Miller.

CHAS­ING A DREAM: For­mer Iron­man cham­pion Matt Poole is gun­ning for glory in Round 2 of this year’s Nutri-Grain se­ries in Coolum to­day; and (be­low) fel­low ti­tle hope­ful and Coolan­gatta Gold cham­pion Ali Day will be out to bounce back from his slow start.

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