Australian Caleb Noble took the win at Challenge Taiwan, coming up just shy of Jan Frodeno‘s course record, as Kiwi Amelia Watkinson took the win in the women’s race.
As a result, Noble moves into second place in the Challenge Family World Bonus rankings, with Watkinson moving into third place in the women’s standings.
The pair both led right from the start and after some early-season success in the Asia-Pacific region, will undoubtedly be two to watch out for as the racing year progresses.
In the men’s race, Aussies Noble and Jack Sosinski exited the water neck and neck, as the pair went 24:40 for 1.9km to open up a small gap of around 20 seconds back to local triathlon hero Tuan Chang in third.
After riding together for such of the bike leg, Noble dropped his chain with a couple of kilometres to go, but Sosinski couldn’t capitalise on the incident. Noble quickly made up the gap, as the pair entered T2 together.
Out on the run and after such strong swim and bike performances, the pair knew that the course record was within reach, and it was Noble who left Sosinki behind at the 5km marker to just come up short.
Still, to come within 15 seconds of Jan Frodeno’s 2018 course record is some feat, as Noble finished well ahead of Sosinki in the end, with Tuan Chang rounding out the podium, much to the delight of the home crowd.
After the race, Noble shared how much he had enjoyed racing in Taiwan, adding that getting the win meant a lot, especially in such tough running conditions.
“Taiwan’s awesome, everyone is so welcoming, especially the triathlon community here. The bike was awesome but getting off, it was really hot – those run conditions are brutal and I kept saying to myself just hang on, hang on. I’m always getting seconds and thirds so it feels really good to get a win.”
In the women’s race, Watkinson was the class of the field by a country mile as she stayed ahead of the competition throughout the swim, bike and run to take the win by a huge margin.
After opening up a 90-second lead over Dimity-Lee Duke in the swim with a 28:24 clocking, Watkinson extended that gap out to 14 minutes by the time she entered T2, having caught a number of the professional men as she stormed around the bike course.
On the run, Watkinson comfortably got round to finish an astounding 24 minutes clear of second place, with Duke unable to make any further inroads into the Kiwi on either the bike or the run.
With Duke in second, another Australian, Cassie Heaslip rounded out the podium, as she finished a further ten minutes behind Duke to take third.
After the race, Watkinson shared that she loves to race in Asia, and that coming into the race, the goal was to push the last parts of the bike and the run to provide more of a mental stimulus for upcoming races.
“”I really wanted a good hit out and this race was a good opportunity, I love racing in Asia, it’s a great race, really well organised and I had a lot of fun,
“The goal was to push the back third of the bike and the back third of the run and I was really digging deep. Racing alone is a different dynamic – when it’s a solo affair you’ve really got to find something inside and remind yourself what you’re here for and what you want to get out of it.”
Challenge Taiwan 2023 Results
Saturday 22 April 2023 – 1.9km / 90km / 21km
- 1. Caleb Noble (AUS) – 3:45:17
- 2. Jack Sosinki (AUS) – 3:48:31
- 3. Tuan Chang (TW) – 3:53:40
- 1. Amelia Watkinson (NZL) – 4:03:40
- 2. Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) – 4:27:34
- 3. Cassie Heaslip (AUS) – 4:37:30