Rising NSW triathletes Natalie Van Coevorden and James Davy have both finished third at the IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney at the Sydney International Regatta Centre at Penrith.
It was just the second time van Coevorden, who trains under Jamie Turner in Wollongong, had competed in a 70.3 event.
Van Coevorden’s third place flowed on from a terrific month of racing where she came second in the Nepean Triathlon and second in the Noosa Triathlon.
Olympic-distance talent Van Coevorden exited the 1.9km swim alongside fellow Australian and defending champion Annabel Luxford, over two minutes ahead of the chase pack.
Midway through the bike, Luxford had stretched van Coevorden and worked her way off the front as the likes of six-time IRONMAN 70.3 winner Melanie McQuaid (CAN), Australian Kira Seidel and fellow NSW triathlete, Glenbrook’s Andrea Forrest, bit into the lead.
Luxford proved to be in another class though, with her strong bike leg sufficient to open a winning break and leaving her to cruise through a 1:26 half marathon for an emphatic victory in 4:08:39 (0:25:26, 2:14:32, 1:26:34).
Van Coevorden (0:25:24, 2:19:13, 1:28:43 = 4:15:28) could not hold off the late charge from Seidel (0:27:27, 2:20:13, 1:24:46 = 4:14:37) who edged her for second on the back of the best of the day.
After a tough day at the office Van Coevorden said on her Instagram page that she was ready for a break.
“Led out of the swim and second off the bike but the last bit of the run was tough in the heat!
“It’s been a great two months of racing and I am excited to relax before 2017 season starts!”
Forrest ended up finishing fourth at her local venue.
In the men’s field, Wagga Wagga’s Davy was pipped by Olympic distance specialists Dan Wilson and Ryan Fisher, both of whom are from Queensland.
By 20kms on the bike the Wilson and Fisher had pushed their lead to a one-minute advantage over Todd Skipworth – himself a former Olympic rower – and Davy.
Fisher, in his first IRONMAN 70.3 excursion, managed to hold on with Wilson, with the pair taking a 2:17 buffer onto the run.
By mid-run, Wilson had pushed to a one-minute advantage over Fisher, and from there he eased into his work with the day’s best run of 1:13:13 enough for his victory in 3:45:23.
Fisher impressed with second place 1:40 back with Davy prevailing in the battle with Skipworth for the final spot on the podium.
TOP MALE PROS
1 Dan WILSON AUS 0:23:41 2:06:34 1:13:13 3:45:23
2 Ryan FISHER AUS 0:23:43 2:06:32 1:14:52 3:47:04
3 James DAVY AUS 0:23:52 2:09:25 1:16:16 3:51:34
4 Daniel STEIN AUS 0:26:10 2:07:04 1:17:24 3:52:41
5 Todd SKIPWORTH AUS 0:23:50 2:08:50 1:18:57 3:53:37
TOP FEMALE PROS
1 Annabel LUXFORD AUS 0:25:26 2:14:32 1:26:34 4:08:39
2 Kirralee SEIDEL AUS 0:27:27 2:20:13 1:24:46 4:14:37
3 Nat VAN COEVORDEN AUS 0:25:24 2:19:13 1:28:43 4:15:28
4 Andrea FORREST AUS 0:27:27 2:20:07 1:28:36 4:18:22
5 Katy DUFFIELD AUS 0:31:20 2:24:25 1:27:37 4:25:48