Two-time Olympian storms home to win Hervey Bay Triathlon
LAST to enter but first across the line.
In idyllic conditions, two-time Olympian and 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Brad Kahlefeldt left a trail of more than 600 triathletes behind him to add the Hervey Bay Triathlon to his long list of conquests.
Kahlefeldt, who finished 11th in Beijing and 32nd in London, waited until Saturday to sign up to yesterday's Olympic-distance triathlon.
The 33-year-old described Hervey Bay as a special place and was honoured to be the first Olympian since Courtney Atkinson in 2011 to win the title.
"I only decided yesterday (Saturday) to come up so I didn't rest up too much for this race, but I felt solid in all three (legs)," he said.
"I rode strong and I was able to put myself in a good position for the run, which is my strength."
Kahlefeldt's quest to conquer Hervey Bay was built on a well-constructed race plan, which was executed with verve and brilliance.
He was third into the transition area after the bike ride, but it was in the run where he showed his class.
Kahlefeldt's blistering 10km run left his younger rivals gobsmacked as he grabbed the lead halfway into the run and crossed the finish line in 1hr 51min 19sec, one minute and 24 seconds ahead of last year's winner Joseph Lampe.
As for whether Kahlefeldt will be back next year to defend his title?
"It's a long way off but certainly I would like to come back to events and try to defend," he said.
"I had a good time out there with all the age groupers and it's nice to see this event going from strength to strength."
Before Kahlefeldt chose to compete, Lampe was firm favourite to become the first person to make it back-to-back Hervey Bay Triathlon triumphs.
The 24-year-old knew it was going to take a big effort to hold off the hard-charging Kahlefeldt.
"My initial thought was I would have to make my swim and ride as hard as I can (to win)," he said.
"I was hoping I could do more but it is what it is.
"Brad's an awesome athlete and to come second to him is great.
"Even to race in the same field as him is an awesome experience."
Flying the flag for Hervey Bay was Scott Farrell, who was the first age grouper across the line, taking the 30-34 men's race.
1. Brad Kahlefeldt (1:51.19)
2. Joseph Lampe (1:52.43)
3. Nicholas Hull (1:53.05)
1. Gillian Backhouse (2:05.00)
2. Kirra Seidel (2:07.12)
3. Belinda Cooper (2:13.36)