Ryan Sissons went back to back at the Takapuna Contact Tri Series yesterday, racing superbly to defeat New Plymouth's Clark Ellice and France's Tony Moulai to win in sweltering conditions on Auckland's North Shore.
All three were in business out of the water and set to work on the bike over the 16km circuit, with Aaron Barclay (Gore), Cameron Goldsmid (Wellington), Ju Seok Kim (Korea) and Cameron Todd (Taupo) taking their share of the work as this group established a 30-second lead going into the run.
Once on foot, the race quickly came down to three, with first world No 13 Moulai leading out and then Ellice as Sissons struggled to find a rhythm. But by lap two it was the London Olympian in control as the Kiwis shut out the Frenchman on the run home in front of a large and noisy home crowd.
Sissons was pleased with the win, one that comes in the middle of some high mileage in training.
"That hurt the whole way. I had a good swim and that is key for me at the moment, I came out right in touch and rode really hard on the first lap and then the group got away. It was a solid group with a few other boys working hard and we managed to stay away," he said.
"The run really hurt, I'm doing a lot of base miles at the moment so trying to run that fast straight off the bike is really hard. I struggled on the first lap behind Tony and Clark but then I came right and decided I had to go from a long way out, that's what I did and managed to hold off Clark.
"The first lap I was being dictated to the whole time, I didn't enjoy that, I thought if I am going to win this I have to go from the front, that is what I did and it started hurting straight away but I managed to hold out until the end."
Ellice was pleased with his hit out, ahead of the opening ITU world triathlon series race in Auckland on April 7.
"I am racing a bit angry this year and have a point to prove, it is really hard to come off half ironman to super sprint but Ryan is class over this distance. I am trying to work on my explosiveness, I have been doing a lot of work at the velodrome which paid off today, I was dictating a lot of the pace on the bike. I have a month and a half now to work on my leg speed, but this is a tell tale as to where training is at to come in 10 seconds behind Ryan, but he is a gun over this distance, he is a class act."
Moulai couldn't foot it with the Kiwis over the closing lap of the 4.2km run and came in third, just ahead of a highly impressive performance from Wellington's Cameron Goldsmid in fourth.
In the women's race that was hit by the late withdrawals of Kate McIlroy (Wellington) and Maddie Dillon (Auckland), Simone Ackermann (Whangarei) came through for a well- deserved victory.
Penny Hayes, Rebecca Clarke and Ackermann led the race out of the water and on to the tight and technical bike course.
The leaders extended their lead, sharing the workload throughout the 20km bike until Ackermann made her break on the final of the 10 laps and established a vital lead of a few seconds. It was a break that proved crucial as she maintained that margin throughout the 5km run to win by 11 seconds from a fast-finishing Anneka Jenkins (Tauranga), with Clarke finishing third another 4sec back.
- Taranaki Daily News
How will the Hurricanes do in 2015?Related story: Supporting players light up Hurricanes bright start to Super Rugby season
Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates