Kiwi Hayden Wilde set a new course record at Noosa Tri’s 40th anniversary this weekend, as the Olympic bronze medalist took down home favourite and short course rival Matt Hauser for the win.
In the women’s race, Ashleigh Gentle took her tenth crown and won her ninth consecutive title, running away from a strong field of rising stars with a dominating performance on the run.
Pro Men – Wilde takes down Hauser
Leading out of the water following a quick but choppy swim, Australian Hauser led the way, with South Africans Jamie Riddle and Henri Schoeman right on his heels, as Brandon Copeland was next in fourth.
One of the favourites for the swim, Hayden Wilde had some questions asked of him by the rest of the field in the swim, as the New Zealander came out of the water +0:42 back, with former winners Charlie Quin and Jake Birtwhistle for company.
Getting to work straight away, Wilde started to reel in the lead pack of four early on, with the Kiwi sharing before the race that he was relishing the chance to get to grips with his time trial bike.
Having made his way to the front, Wilde seemed exasperated at points with the draft zone, which was meant to be 12m, not being followed by the rest of the front pack, as the Kiwi tried to break away.
Succeeding in his bid to get a gap over his main rivals, including Hauser over the final 5km, Wilde entered transition with a small gap over the home favourite, as Hauser opened up a small gap over Schoeman back in third coming into T2.
Through the first 2.5km, Wilde had a +0:06 lead over Hauser, with Schoeman more than a minute back. In fourth and fifth, former champion Birtwhistle and Australian Kurt McDonald were more than three minutes behind.
By the halfway mark, Wilde had grown his lead to +0:15, with Hauser not giving up however in the battle for the win. In third place, Schoeman seemed safe and clear of Birtwhistle, who was slowly closing back in fourth place.
Closing well over the final kilometres, Wilde just about had enough to keep Hauser at bay, as the Kiwi broke the previous course record with a brilliant performance, finishing in 1:41:56, with Hauser taking second and Schoeman in third.
Leading out of the water in the women’s race, Australian Mikayla Messer was the shock leader, with Lotte Wilms next out close to a minute behind ahead of short course star Natalie van Coevorden, who was +1:15 back.
A little further behind, pre-race favourote Ashleigh Gentle was out of the water alongside short course athletes Hanne de Vet and Jaz Hedgeland at +1:30 back. Great Britain’s long course specialist, Fenella Langridge, was also right in contention, heading that group into T2.
After Messer unfortunately punctured, the front group started to come together, with five athletes racing together at the front for the majority of the bike leg, as van Coeverden also succumbed to a puncture late on to fall off the back of the front group.
Gentle led into T2, as the Aussie star set out in pursuit of her tenth Noosa crown, with Wilms, de Vet, Richelle Hill and Sophie Malowiecki for company in transition. Coming in just a little further back, Britain’s Langridge was off the bike in sixth. She had been pushing the pace strongly in the front pack for much of the ride, before a dropped chain in the last 2km saw her lose position and around 90 seconds in the final stages.
Dominating over the run, Gentle showed the prowess that has brought her nine titles over the past ten years, as she broke clear of the rest of the field early on and didn’t look back, opening up a big gap over the first half of the run.
In second place, Sophie Malowiecki had a great race to come in just behind Gentle, with Richelle Hill, whose Mum was a former champion, finished in third and rounded out the podium with an excellent race.
Noosa Triathlon 2023 Results
Sunday November 5, 2023 – Noosa Heads, Queensland
- 1. Hayden Wilde (NZL) – 1:41:56
- 2. Matt Hauser (AUS) – 1:42:09
- 3. Henri Schoeman (RSA) – 1:44:20
- 1. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) – 1:55:13
- 2. Sophie Malowiecki (AUS) – 1:56:49
- 3. Richelle Hill (AUS) – 1:57:14