Having told 220 last September that she wants to test the waters in triathlon after a spectacular career in cycling, British ex-cyclist Emma Pooley got her 2015 season off to a flying start with gold at the Albany Half Triathlon in Western Australia last weekend.
Olympic silver medallist Pooley, 32, was racing in a field of three elite women – the others being 2014 winner Kira Flanagan (AUS), and Katy Duffield (AUS) who claimed fifth place at Ironman 70.3 Cairns last year. There were 10 athletes racing in the elite male category, including Todd Skipworth (AUS), who won last year’s Alpe d’Huez Triathlon.
Conditions on the day were tough, with the organisers posting this picture of the swim start on their Twitter account:
Kids event a ripper despite some challenging Albany conditions! pic.twitter.com/rBOWsPuoUe
— Albany Half (@albanyhalf) January 9, 2015
Pooley completed the 1.9km sea swim in third place with a split of 30:26, then dominated the 90km bike with a time of 2:29:08 (over 8mins fastest than nearest rival Duffield), then running the 21.1km home with a time of 1:25:38 – giving her a total finish time of 4:27:33. Duffield took silver with a time of 4:34:51, followed by Flanagan in 4:41:27.
In the elite men’s race, Skipworth claimed gold with a time of 3:57:50, followed by Matt Burton (4:00:05) and Thomas Bruins (4:03:59). Full results can be found here.
Last year Pooley finished third at Challenge Philippines in February – just under 8mins behind Australian middle-distance powerhouse Melissa Hauschildt, and won the Duathlon World Championships in Zofingen last September, smashing the previous course record by 16mins.
Did you race in Albany last weekend? Let us know in the comments below!