Gentle gunning for historic win
FIVE-time champion Ashleigh Gentle headlines a stellar field at Noosa Triathlon when she attempts to make history.
The 27-year-old will try to become the first female athlete to win six editions of the iconic race, surpassing Emma Frodeno (nee Snowsill).
Another win would also draw her level with the men’s all-time leader Craig Walton.
Gentle won the World Triathlon Series grand final on the Gold Coast last month.
“So she’s in great form to go for that number six win,” Noosa Triathlon head of operations Rebecca van Pooss said.
“I think the course lends itself well to her style of racing. She’s a great runner. We’ve seen during the last couple of years she’s come off the bike a little bit back from the front of the pack but has caught up in the run so the flat, fast run course we’ve got here works in her favour.”
Gentle has won the past four editions of the race.
She will be joined on the start line by the likes of Annabel Luxford and Liz Blatchford, with the latter likely to feature in her last elite race after a stellar career.
The Coast will be represented by Kirra Seidel, while youngster Romy Wolstencroft makes her first appearance at Noosa in the elite ranks.
“They’re really strong men’s and women’s fields,” van Pooss said.
“I think it’s the lure of the Noosa Tri. We’re the world’s largest standard distance triathlon (1.5km swim, 40km ride, 10km run) and we have a fairly decent prize purse for the elites and they love racing at home.
“They really do enjoy coming back here at the end of the European season, to come home and finish off and have a great time while they’re here.”
About 8000 participants are expected to compete in the triathlon, across multiple age groups, on Sunday.
There will be other events during the festival, featuring some of the country’s best swimmers, runners and cyclists. Jay McCarthy is set to attempt a title defence in the men’s Australian Open Criterium.
SET TO RACE: Ashleigh Gentle will attempt to win a sixth Noosa Triathlon.
LOCAL: Romy Wolstencroft.