Despite a hard-fought fifth placing at IRONMAN Western Australia last weekend, Chevrot found enough fuel in the tank to claim the victory at the IRONMAN 70.3 Ballarat triathlon.
“It was a big week, I have never done this before, so I was not sure how it would work out, but it worked much better than I thought. Maybe an IRONMAN the week before is a good way to go,” he said.
For Annabel Luxford it was another walk in the park as she claimed her second IRONMAN 70.3 title in three weeks. The Melbourne based athlete defended her Ballarat title after doing the same in Western Sydney three weeks ago.
“Like last year it’s a fantastic race the support from the volunteers and spectators is great, it was a bit windier and colder than last year, so it took me a bit longer to get going, but I’m super happy with the win,” she said. “I’m looking forward to a break now over Christmas.”
He emerged from the water with the lead group behind Sam Betten and Clayton Fettell and was in the group of eight riders who emerged in the lead on the bike. That whittled down to four off the bike – Tim van Berkel, Betten and Luke Bell.
Betten pushed clear from the Frenchman at 11kms but Chevrot fought back at the 14km mark made a move to open a slight advantage. But while Betten fell away it was Kerr who was gaining ground seemingly at will. With 3kms remaining the gap was 120m and the race seemed to be the Australians for the taking.
But Chevrot picked up the pace and in the end Kerr’s valiant charge fan out of fuel, with the Frenchman winning in 3:49:33. Kerr was second 28s back with Betten third 1:05 behind.
“I don’t think if that was a kilometre longer I would even have made it. That was tough. I’m improving at this distance, I was running out of time and legs, Denis was strong today.”
It built on Chevrot’s success in Australia that began with fifth at IRONMAN Australia in 2014, followed by victory at IRONMAN Western Australia later that year. Last year he was runner-up at Busselton and won IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah and this year has continued that success.
“The course is very nice, I like the bike and the swim even though it was cold, was quite fast. And the run was good with three laps,” Chevrot. “I will be back.”
If the men’s race was a close affair, the women fell victim to another master class from the outstanding Annabel Luxford.
As she did at IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney two weeks ago, she pushed green for go from the gun. She led out of the 1.9km swim in 25:09 by a minute, extending the advantage to over five minutes at the halfway mark of the 90km bike and took a 7:55 buffer onto the run.
Luxford afforded herself the luxury of a 1:25 run to complete the victory in 4:14:21 with Kirralee Seidel kicking clear of a three-way battle for the podium to grab second place 7:19 behind off the day’s best run of 1:24. Andrea Forrest was a further 27 seconds back in third.