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Roberts rules in rain

One of our leading triathletes, Kate Roberts, has romped to victory in the rain at the Caloundra triathlon in Golden Beach, Australia.

This will go some way to justifying her choice to spend close on three months training in Canberra.

ÔÇ£It felt really good, especially as I was not expected to win,ÔÇØ enthused Roberts, who represented South Africa at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The Aussie event was not a typical triathlon. It started off with a 300 metre swim, 7km cycle, 1.8km run, that was then followed by another 250m swim, 7km cycle and 1.8km run.

A torrential rainfall throughout the race made it really hard on the athletes. ÔÇ£You had to concentrate the whole time to avoid any crashes, on the bike,” said Roberts.

The 26-year-old made her move in the second-last lap of the final run leg to record a four-second win over Gold Coast athlete Ashleigh Gentle. ÔÇ£I wanted to avoid a sprint finish like I had in the 2009 BSG/Energade Triathlon Series with Andrea Steyn,ÔÇØ said Roberts.

She’s focusing her training on the Australian season and said she was happy to just finish the race in the adverse conditions, let alone come home first.

ÔÇ£It was extremely tight,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£There were a few collisions early in the race. But I made sure I was always up in the front, avoiding the crashes so I was really pleased with how it turned out. The girls are really strong and they raced really strong.ÔÇØ

A lead pack of Roberts, Gentle, Holly Aitken and Felicity Sheedy-Ryan broke away on the second bike leg. The highly-fancied 2009 Noosa Triathlon winner Emma Jackson tried to go with the pack but could not make up any ground.

Roberts not turns her attention to next month’s Mooloolaba Triathlon and the Sydney leg of the World Championship Series in May. ÔÇ£I knew that the first swim would be critical,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£I am in fairly good shape for this early in the season and I know that I still have a bit of work to do before the big races, I am however a lot more confident about the bigger races and my coach is really happy with my progress from last year.ÔÇØ

The BSG athlete is training with Darren Smith and with a number of top international triathletes including Lisa Norden (the world’s No2 ranked triathlete) from Sweden, American Sarah Groff┬á (one of the best swimmers/cyclists on the world triathlon circuit).

Roberts first tried the experiment of training in Australia last year and was happy with the results. However she will be returning home in April before heading off to Davos, Switzerland for the ITU circuit.