Erhardt Wolfaardt successfully defended his Africa Triathlon Championship title, and Kate Roberts used her run to great effect to win the women’s race in Durban on Sunday.
Sander Berk was the overall winner in hot and humid conditions, but as he competes for the Netherlands the title of Africa Champion went to Erhardt Wolfaardt who finished second overall.
Berk (Ned), Hendrik De Villiers (SA), Erhardt Wolfaardt (SA), Chris Felgate (Zim), Wikus Weber (SA/U-23) and Morocco’s Medhi Essadiq were out of the water first in the two lap 1,500m swim leg. De Villiers had a slight complication as he was stung by blue bottles in the choppy sea and was worried about a reaction, but thankfully that never materialised.
Once out on the bike (40km divided into five laps of 8km), the six worked together until┬á Felgate had a puncture and fell off the pace, losing three minutes in the process. Behind them Richard Murray was desperately trying to close the gap on the leaders on his own. His swim once again proving to be the chink in his armour. And with no company, he was unable to try and draft back to the leaders who were all working together.
Into T2 and of the six who had come out the water together Felgate and Weber had been dropped. As expected it was the run that proved to be crucial. Essadiq quickly fell off the pace. De Villiers lost touch with Berk and Wolfaardt after 4km. Wolfaardt then put in another attack and opened a gap on Berk, but started to cramp which allowed Berk to come back, close the gap and pass Wolfaardt. Berk crossed the line first in 1:55;13. Wolfaardt was 43sec behind with De Villiers coming home third a further minute down.
In the battle for the U-23 title, Richard Murray came screaming through the bike leg and used his run to take the title ahead of Bernd Burger and Weber.
The women’s race also came down to the run and there Kate Roberts’ work done ÔÇ£down underÔÇØ in Canberra paid off as she opened five minutes on a struggling Mari Rabie. The two were out of the water together and rode well together on the bike, but the many twists and turns on the run, the heat and humidity and sheer pace of Roberts combined saw her open a lead of 5min on the hapless Rabie. ÔÇ£I’m very happy, everything came together perfectly and I won.ÔÇØ