Australian strongman Courtney Atkinson and Switzerland’s star Caroline Steffen took top honors at the prestigious Noosa Triathlon in Queensland, Australia on Saturday.
Atkinson collected his third straight win and Steffen captured her first victory over the 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run non-drafting course.
Seven-time Noosa champ Craig Walton was back racing after a three-year hiatus from the sport and led the men out of the water with a duo of younger Aussies, Bryce McMaster and Josh Amberger. Behind them in the main chase pack were the main contenders including Kris Gemmell, Paul Mathews and Atkinson.
Walton and Mathews surged to the front of the group on the bike but were unable to open up a gap by the time they hit T2. Once they hit the run, Atkinson stamped his seal on the race, erasing Mathew’s small lead, passing the cramping Walton and putting distance between himself and Gemmell.
The Aussie crossed the line in 1:46:54 for the victory. Gemmell finished as the runner-up 12-seconds later and Australian Peter Kerr rounded out the podium in third.
Australian Pete Jacobs emulated his Kona performance from a few weeks earlier to finish 9th and Walton dropped down to 12th.
Only three weeks after her runner-up finish at the Ironman World Championships, Steffen used a powerful bike leg to gap the competition and stayed controlled and strong on the run to capture the win.
“After Ironman I did nothing for one week and then I started to pick things up and have been enjoying the last three weeks and focused on getting ready for this race,” explained Steffen after the race.
Australian youngster Ashleigh Gentle took second nearly catching Steffen in the finishing chute only four seconds off the winning pace. Nicky Samuels rounded out the women’s podium in third.
Over 8000 triathletes took part in the 28th Noosa Triathlon making it the second largest triathlon festival in the world behind the London Triathlon.
1. Courtney Atkinson 1:46:54
2. Kris Gemmell 1:47:06
3. Peter Kerr 1:48:10
4. Samuel Betten 1:48:40
5. James Seear 1:48:49
6. Paul Mathews 1:49:08
7. Dan Wilson 1:49:22
8. Bryce McMaster 1:49:33
9. Pete Jacobs 1:49:45
10. Mark Widmer 1:50:01
1. Caroline Steffen 2:01:18
2. Ashleigh Gentle 2:01:22
3. Nicky Samuels 2:03:30
4. Emma Jackson 2:04:27
5. Melissa Rollison 2:04:47
6. Kirralee Seidel 2:05:37
7. Lisa Marangon 2:07:59
8. Amy Roberts 2:09:17
9. Maxine Seear 2:14:27
10. Tara Prose 2:14:33
For more information, go to Usmevents.com.au