Salthouse and Wilson cap off season with wins at Shepparton
Ellie Salthouse capped off a strong 2016 season that included 70.3 wins at Boulder and Miami and titles at Challenge Melbourne and Rev 3 Knoxville.
Salthouse had to fight off a fierce challenge from fellow Australian Andrea Forrest across all three legs but it was her lightening quick transitions that delivered her the win on a cold Melbourne day.
The event also doubled as an ITU Age Group qualification race for the World Championships in Rotterdam later in the year.
“Couldn't think of a more perfect way to end my 2016 season here at Challenge Shepparton, this year has been beyond anything I could have ever imagined!”
Salthouse finished in 4:19:16 with a 50 seconds’ margin of victory over Forrest and 9:13 over 3rd-place Katey Gibb.
Dan Wilson took no time in turning his talents to 70.3 racing after announcing his retirement at the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Cozumel and what was a disappointing result for him to exit on after a long career on the world series scene.
Wilson has had his fair share of obstacles to overcome in his career from Achilles surgery, stress fracture to swine flu but has certainly found a new form of the sport that will see him be a major contender in. That started earlier with a win at the Aple d’Heuze, second at London Triathlon then a win at Noosa Triathlon.
Wilson trailed Lachlan Kerin and Matt Burton but reeled them in on the run to comfortably win in the end.
1. Ellie Salthouse (AUS) 4:19:16
2. Andrea Forrest (AUS) 4:20:08
3. Katey Gibb (AUS) 4:28:29
1. Dan Wilson (AUS) 3:50:45
2. Matt Burton (AUS) 3:55:04
3. Lachlan Kerin (AUS) 3:56:54
BIRTWHISTLE DEFENDS, VAN COEVORDEN WINS FIRST HAMILTON TITLE
Tasmanian Jake Birtwhistle backed up his win from 2015, taking out the Fujifilm Hamilton Island Triathlon, while Natalie Van Coevorden chalked up her first in the hot and windy hills on ‘Hamo’.
It’s been a successful back end of the year for Birtwhistle, winning Nepean then backing up at Noosa the following weekend for second. This caps off a great end of season racing.
“It's a bit of a relief to come back and do it again," the triathlete said.
"It is a tough course. I think it is the hardest race course I've ever done.
"The hills, heat, it has every aspect to make you race hard. It's a challenging but very rewarding race."
Before her debut Hamilton Island Triathlon over the sprint distance race, Van Coevorden had two second places to her name at the Nepean and Noosa Triathlon’s.
"I was pretty confident after Noosa two weeks ago. I'm pretty stoked now," she said.
"It's a great way to end the season."
Van Coevorden was also enjoying soaking up the scenery in the Whitsundays
"It's my first time here. I'm pretty stunned by how beautiful it is, it’s amazing," she said."
"(The race) was tougher than I expected but it’s all part of the challenge. I loved the beach swim."
1. Natalie Van Coevorden
2. Charlotte McShane
3. Sophie Malowiecki
1. Jake Birtwhistle
2. Jed Boxall
3. Liam Rapley
AMBERGER WINS A THRILLER IN CHINA
Australian Josh Amberger held on when all seemed lost to claim the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Xiamen in China.
Amberger is almost always the hunted, as he scorches off like the proverbial hare in the swim and bike, but has been prey to the fast-running hounds which has seen him forced to settle for lower spots on podiums in Geelong, Putrajaya, and Idaho this year. It seemed like déjà vu as Amberger built a stunning 4:53 lead off the bike but by 10kms mark the hot-running Brit Tim Don had reduced the margin to 1:39 and after two of three laps the margin was just 52 seconds.
But Amberger dug deep and Tim Don (GBR), chasing his third IRONMAN 70.3 title of the season, started to falter.
The Australian matched his times as the kilometers ticked by before Don realized there was no gas in the tank. Amberger went on to win in 3:56:51, with 1:30 buffer to Don on the back of a 1:21:15 run for his second victory this year on top of three second place titles and one third place finish.
Initially, Don, Stuart Hayes (GBR), Justin Metzler (USA), and Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) joined in the chase of Amberger on the bike. Hayes, the London Olympian, made his move early on the run, but when he faded, Metzler found renewed vigour to claim third.
1. Josh Amberger 3:56:51
2. Tim Don 3:58:21
3. Justin Metzler 4:02:47