Nelson triathlete Hayden Squance tops talented field at Tineli Tri
Hayden Squance has been quietly training all winter and showed the first results in Sunday's Tineli Tri at Rabbit Island.
The 17-year-old delivered a master class to some very experienced triathletes as he recorded the fastest time in each of the swim, bike and run sections to canter across the line six minutes clear of Christchurch teen Sam Averill.
The event was run by the Nelson Tri Club on behalf of Triathlon NZ and was the first of several selection races across the country to pick the New Zealand team for the 2016 world championships in Cozumel, Mexico.
Conditions couldn't have been better for the 7.30am start, with high tide and flat water for the swim, which turned out to be more like a kilometre than the prescribed 750m.
Squance was relentless as he eased away from the field, coming out of the water with a two minutes gap back to Jon Linyard, who was in a bunch with Simon Kneebone, Averill and Matt Newberry.
Renee Hunt had a small advantage over Frances Riley in the women's field as they strapped on their helmets for the bike leg.
In keeping with the new international age group format, drafting was legal on the bike, making things far more exciting for the competitors.
Not that it mattered to Squance. With a clear lead, he rode away from the field in an individual time trial, adding another two minutes to the gap back to Linyard, who had the next quickest ride over the 20km. Averill, cycle specialist Roger Matheson, Auckland triathlete Benjamin Eitelberg and Eric Wylde were strong on this section.
Riley was chasing hard, but Hunt rode a smart race, taking advantage of some consistent drafting to open up a gap of more than three minutes as they embarked on the 5km run.
By this time Squance was in a race of his own with Linyard four minutes behind, just a few seconds ahead of Averill.
Battling a calf injury, Linyard wasn't even sure whether he'd complete the run. Taking a cautious approach, he still managed the seventh fastest time on this section, holding on to third place as Averill steamed through to finish second.
Newberry took fourth, followed by Eitelberg, Josh Barber, Kelly Barber, Matheson, Glenn Bathgate and Wylde.
In the women's field, Riley gave it all she had, recording a faster time than all but four of the men but coming up short with Hunt cruising to a win. Michelle Richardson was the third woman to finish.
In the duathlon event, Cameron Jones had a comfortable win over Glenn Lilley and Charlie Squance.
Also on offer were shorter events. In the triathlon, Melanie Chick took the win from Leila Challenger and Lyn Smith. Luke Clatworthy used his 12-year-old legs to advantage in the duathlon, overcoming a bike deficit to beat Wouter De Maat, Paul Hunt and Hunta Sutherland.
Full results at nelsontriclub.co.nz.