Joburg City triathlon gets off to impressive start
The first leg of the Joburg City triathlon took place in Germiston on Sunday, 25 September, with dominant performances from Abrahm Louw and Lucie Zelenkova seeing them to victory in the men’s and women’s races respectively.
Into its sixth year, the race found a new home at the Gauteng Aquatics Club, on Victoria Lake. A fast and spectator friendly route was created, with the run taking place on the internal road, within the lake boundary.
Despite a nippy morning, and cool water temperatures at around 17 degrees, racing got off to an impressive start, with the Sprint (Half Standard) followed by the Mini, and the Main Race (Olympic Distance) going off last at around 10:30am.
A good turnout saw a competitive main race. With the women going off first, Lucie Zelenkova lead through the first lap, and consolidated her advantage to lead Carlyn Fischer out of the water after the two lap swim.
In the men’s race, Abrahm Louw quickly made up time, exiting the water not too long after the leading women, as the second man out of the swim.
Full road closure was obtained for the bike course, thanks to World Class referring from Central Gauteng Triathlon (CGT), and marshaling by Helivac, and it wasn’t long before Louw assumed the lead on the non-draft bike leg. He also progressed past Zelenkova to be first in and out of transition, and onto the predominantly flat and fast run route.
Louw was followed into transition, by Erhard Wolfaardt, while in the ladies race, Riana De Lange was now chasing Zelenkova. Fischer had dropped back, after experiencing bike troubles, which eventually ruled her out of the race.
Zelenkova, who was using the race as a tester, ahead of what is expected to be her last assault on IronMan World Champs in Kona, on 8 October, was in inspired form. She had a substantial lead coming off the bike onto the run.
Louw meanwhile, looked fluid throughout his assault of the four lap run course, adding to the almost one minute lead he enjoyed over Wolfaardt after the bike leg. The Namibian has his sights set on qualification for the London Olympics in 2012, with one guaranteed place on offer for an African Athlete (other than from South Africa). The form showed as Louw easily help off the field on the four lap run course, to win by nearly two minutes from Wolfaardt. Chris Felgate raced through the field, having come off the bike fifth, to claim third. Felgate, who represented Zimbabwe at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, is arguably the greatest challenger to Louw for the African spot in London.
In the Women’s race, Zelenkova proved she is primed for Kona, leading from start to finish, easily maintaining her lead on the run, to win by just under five minutes from De Lange, with Dianne Emery a further minute back in third.
It was the perfect level of quality racing, to end what had been a great days racing in general. With everyone from the elites to the first timers giving it all they had. A special thanks to all the race sponsors and supporters. The next event on 5 February 2012, will form CGT Championships, with the final leg on 1 April 2012. Points accumulated over the three legs, will see an overall champion crowned, as well as the champions across the age groups.
“One sport isn’t enough”, so see you at the next leg!
1. Abrahm Louw 01:47:35
2. Erhard Wolfaardt 01:49:24
3. Chris Felgate 01:52:19
1. Lucie Zelenkova 02:04:12
2. Riana De Langa 02:09:07
3. Dianne Emery 02:10:06