Gomez and Kahlefeldt jet in Geelong

Javier Gomez used an speedy 1:11 half-marathon split to open his season with an impressive win, while Radka Kahlefeldt ran her way clear of Ellie Salthouse to capture the women's title at Ironman 70.3 Geelong.

| February 17, 2019 | NEWS

Radka Kahlefeldt takes the win at Ironman 70.3 Geelong.

Radka Kahlefeldt takes the win at Ironman 70.3 Geelong.

Photo >Courtesy Ironman

Javier Gomez might have his sights set on the Olympics in 2020, but the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France in September remains an important part of his 2019 race schedule. He opened up his 2019 race season with an impressive 70.3 win in Geelong that nails down his spot in Nice and will allow him to spend the next few months focused on WTS racing and qualifying for Tokyo.

“It was perfect conditions, perfect temperature, no wind and a fast course," Gomez said after his win. "I really enjoyed it out there. I had pretty good swim and was second out of the water and quite comfortable. There was a group of four or five of us at the front and I rode quite conservatively. The first couple of kilometers on the run I didn’t feel very good, so I set a more comfortable pace and gradually increased the speed and was then able to control the race.”

“At the 10km of the run I felt good, I had a decent gap so I knew the race was within my grasp," Gomez continued. "You can slow down a little bit but not much, it is still a race and you never know what is going to happen. In the first race of the year you never know what to expect, you want to save your legs for the run and see how they respond and they responded pretty well. I was a bit conservative because I have a lot of racing coming up but overall it was a very consistent race and I am happy with the win.”

“It is great to be qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship already so I can focus on my next few races and I don’t have to worry about that anymore," the Spaniard said. "I can just prepare and train for that race which is one of the main focuses of the year. Tokyo 2020 is also a big focus and I will see how the first races of the World Triathlon Championship series go and hopefully I can qualify for Tokyo and be competitive there."

Australian Josh Amberger overcame some bike issues to run his way to second place behind Gomez, with countryman Tim van Berkel rounding out the top three by beating Casey Munro to the line by just a few seconds.

Ironman 70.3 Geelong | Men

February 17, 2019 | Geelong, Australia

Name

Country

Overall

1.9 km Swim

90 km Bike

21.1 km Run

1

Javier Gomez

ESP

3:45:22

20:55

2:09:02

1:11:35

2

Josh Amberger

AUS

3:49:37

20:54

2:11:02

1:14:02

3

Tim Van Berkel

AUS

3:49:59

22:21

2:09:40

1:14:15

4

Casey Munro

AUS

3:50:03

21:06

2:09:03

1:16:24

5

Mitchell Kibby

AUS

3:50:48

22:22

2:09:54

1:14:59

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Javier Gomez opens up his 2019 season with a win at Ironman 70.3 Geelong. His next focus will be the WTS season and 2020 Olympic qualifying.

Javier Gomez opens up his 2019 season with a win at Ironman 70.3 Geelong. His next focus will be the WTS season and 2020 Olympic qualifying.

Photo >Delly Carr | Bahrain Endurance 13

Kahlefeldt runs to the win

Super-mom Radka Kahlefeldt burst back onto the tri scene last year just weeks after giving birth to daughter Ruby and hasn't slowed down at all in the year since. She opened her 2019 season with an impressive win, too, thanks to a spirited run that saw her overcome the deficit of a mid-run pit stop to take the women's title.

“I definitely didn’t think this would be easy. I knew I was going against a really good athletes in Caroline (Steffen), Ellie (Salthouse) and Grace (Thek)," Kahlefeldt said. "First race of the season you never know where everyone is there training and how you are going to feel. It is always a big unknown and I am really happy with the race.”

“It was one of the best days we could wish for, the conditions were perfect," she continued. "We had a fast swim and there were four or five of us out of the water together. I don’t like that, I like to ride hard to get a little gap out on the run, but we didn’t really split up. I just pushed the second lap hard with Caroline to drop Grace because I knew she is great runner and I didn’t want to start the run with her straight out of transition.”

“The bike was hard, but I felt great on the run, other than bathroom stop where I lost 40 seconds on Ellie and it took me ten kilometers to catch her again," Kahlefeldt said. "From then on, I was feeling great and just focused on every step. I was chasing Ellie the whole way which I like because it is not boring and the 21km went really quick. It is amazing to start the year with a win, I am super happy.”

Kahlefeldt led a big group out of the water and remained in front through much of the bike. She, Switzerland's Caroline Steffen and Salthouse arrived in T2 together with a lead of over two minutes on Thek. Salthouse quickly moved in front when Kahlefeldt pulled over for her "bathroom stop" which put her 45 seconds behind through the 3.5 km timing point. It took a while, but by the 17 km check point Kahlefeldt was clear and would eventually get to the line a minute ahead of Salthouse. Thek was able to get past Steffen to round out the podium.

Ironman 70.3 Geelong | Women

February 17, 2019 | Geelong, Australia

Name

Country

Overall

1.9 km Swim

90 km Bike

21.1 km Run

1

Radka Kahlefeldt

CZE

4:09:55

23:24

2:20:51

1:21:56

2

Ellie Salthouse

AUS

4:10:54

23:26

2:20:51

1:22:41

3

Grace Thek

AUS

4:12:22

23:29

2:22:53

1:22:02

4

Caroline Steffen

SUI

4:14:15

22:32

2:20:27

1:26:09

5

Beth McKenzie

USA

4:29:01

28:52

2:34:16

1:21:03

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