Ben De La Porte and Nolan Steele came tie first – the 1st time in the 19yr history of the Tinman Series in a thrilling sprint photo finish for the win at yesterday’s 3rd leg of the Tinman Series presented by Zone 3.
Athletes were greeted to a rather rough looking sea upon arrival yesterday morning at Suncoast Beach and a decision was taken to change the race format to a duathlon instead
Challenge Distance Athletes raced over a 10km run/32km cycle/5km run format and it was the youngsters who shot to the front from the gun. De La Porte and Steele formed a group of 4 at the head of affairs when they were joined by rising development star, Sanele Shange with past winner, Pieter-Jan VD Merwe also in the mix as the athletes made their way around the 2 lap, 10km run course. Trying to stay in touch was another previous winner Rudolf Naude, who along with Casper Moodie and Sbo Shange were playing damage control as the athletes headed out onto the 6 lap bike circuit.
The front 4 soon became three as Shange was detached from the trio of De La Porte, Steel and VD Merwe who were working well together, ensuring that the chasing groups stayed at bay over the fast and flat beachfront-stadium bike circuit.
Once onto the final 5km run, the younger pairing of De La Porte and Steele managed to shake off VD Merwe as they headed for the finish tape side-by-side. De La Porte seems to love sprint finishes as his past 3 to 4 races has seen him have to sprint over the last few metres to claim some podium spots. Steele however was not given him the edge and the two crossed the line side-by-side.
Organisers took the decision to award tie first to both of these superb athletes which was a fitting end to an epic duel between the two young athletes.
A thrilling end to a highly entertaining match-up then saw VD Merwe claiming the final spot on the podium for the male division.
In the ladies section, there was an equally exciting tussle between Jodie Berry who has just returned from a win at the African Cup race in Rwanda and local Desiree Verwey. Berry was first after the 10km run but was reeled in by Verwey on the bike. A change in the rules now allows the ladies to draft off the men and this has certainly mixed up the racing with tactics coming more into play especially over the 32km bike section
Once off the bike, Verwey was in control as Berry only managed to claw back 10 seconds or so over the final 5km run. Verwey was crowned Champion Lady for the day with Berry taking second while Amanda Hawke swooped in to take a well-deserved 3rd spot
In the sprint distance (5km run/20km cycle/2.5k run) it was Amber Schlebusch who dominated the ladies section by mixing it up with the top boys as she edged South African teammate Biddi Theunissen into 2nd place. Veteran Liza Van Rooyen must have felt pretty good to be mixing it up with the youngsters as she claimed 3rd spot all for herself.
In the men’s race, it was Cameron Nel who secured his first major win in the sport with a strong 2nd run to cross the matt as the champion while behind him, Chase Stephens was gunning for 2nd with Christopher Wilkinson taking a third.
The Rookie duathlon for girls was won by Jemimah Gass with Thobani Mkhize taking the win for the boys section
Full Results can be found at http://results.finishtime.co.za/Results.aspx…
For more info on the final leg of the Tinman Series, visit bactive.com for more info