Jared Kohlar won his fourth Australian Multisport Championship in fine style today leaving all other contenders to the throne in his wake after taking the race away from their grasp with a scintillating opening kayak leg. Tasmanian Mark Hinder climbed from third yesterday to finish second after a very consistent race across the two days. After a Saturday to forget Mark Padgett dug deep to rocket up the standings and into third overall after finishing second on todays stage.
The expected weather front that was creating much discussion and debate about Sundays opening 13km kayak leg did not eventuate, with reasonable conditions confronting the 180 paddlers lined up across Richardson’s Beach at dawn. Avanti Plus Launceston’s Sam Norton is in a different class and gave the rest of the field a paddling lesson, breaking the one hour barrier and handing the lead to road cyclist Ben Mather, of whom the same compliments could be said. Further back in the water individual Kohlar was extending his lead, obviously enjoying the conditions better than yesterdays leg around Swanwick Lagoon. Jon Hitchens and Mark Hinder remained seven minutes back and Mark Padgett out by ten.
The road cycle leg was 30km out to the Friendly Beach turnoff and return to Coles Bay. All of the main individual contenders maintained their current positions ready for the showdown on the mountain bike and run that were pivotal in the day one result. Avanti Plus Launcseton’s Ben Mather extended the teams lead, making sure that James Hodge would have plenty of buffer going into the final run. After poor luck on day one Rapid Pantry were in hot pursuit after Matt Dalziel’s paddle and Steven Brown’s fast time on the road. Bike Ride’s Kaine Cannan also kept his team in contention for a place. Other strong riders for the weekend were Liveat Sandwich Bars Steven Rossendell and Alpha Electrics Adam Hartly. Liveat must also be commended for being the best dressed team, with their matching orange kit and jackets.
Mountain biking can always throw a spanner in the works. First priority is to get around the course without injury or mechanical’s. Jon Hitchens could have hoped for neither, but ran into mechanicals and lost valuable time. Mark Padgett continued to push up the overall rankings and was finishing the event well along with Mr Consistent, Mark Hinder. It may have been the seventh leg of the weekend, but Frenchman Jacky Boisset was just starting to warm up, and probably would have prefered a few more days until he hit full steam. In the teams race, Avanti Plus Launceston’s Tom Goddard was the quickest, with other good rides coming from Jordy Davis, Bike Ride’s Stephen Matthews and Team Supernova’s Scott Bowden.
The hardest was saved for last with the 14km run over to Wineglass Bay and return offering some solid hill climbs to contend with. With a good lead, something would have to go terribly wrong for Kohlar to be beaten. Padgett finished the race strongly along with Alex Hunt who had been making good time since stepping out of the kayak. Hinder maintained a good pace, but Luke Haines and Jon Hitchens really started to drop off the pace through to the finish. WHK’s Phil McConnon again had the fastest time along with fast runs from Bike Ride’s Chris Sullivan and Naked man on a horse’s Robbie Hunt. Avanti Plus Launceston predictably won the teams race courtesy of James Hodge.
French woman Myriam Guillot easily took the womens title from Ruth Hutchinson and Meghan Johnston with six women finishing in total which is great for the event. In other results Andrew Flakemore and Peter Barrett of Boral Construction Materials Group won the two person catagory.