Triathlon winner's perfect race

By Peter White

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Graham O'Grady demolished a strong field to win the 2012 Craigs Investment Partners Tinman Triathlon held at Pilot Bay on Sunday.

The 29-year-old from Hamilton showed the form that gained him the 2011 Port of Tauranga Half Ironmanm, to lead from the front to win in a time of 1.55.29.

He attacked the tricky swim leg in choppy conditions off Pilot Bay to gain an early ascendency and never let up his advantage over the bike leg and the final spectacular run around the Mount base track.

James Bowstead, who won the event in 2008 and missed last year's Tinman through injury, was comfortably home in second place, with the experienced Stephen Sheldrake next home in third.

O'Grady says the race went perfectly to plan and his preparation for the Port Of Tauranga Half in five weeks is just as he would like.

"I felt really strong out there today and got off to a good start in the swim leg which always helps and was able to keep the margin over James throughout the rest of the race," said O'Grady.

"I really enjoy this course and particularly the final leg around the base track of the Mount."

"I think they have done a great job at tidying it up because the surface was way smoother this time than in the past, and it makes it easier for us to be running on undulating, softer surface than pounding the roads like the rest of the course."

Amelia Rose Watkinson from Auckland easily won the women's elite race.

Watkinson was making her Tinman debut and found the swim leg a real challenge in cold, windy conditions.

"I am definitely not a swimmer but I got to the front which was great because it gave me a chance to play with the waves rather than other people's feet."

"I prefer the half and standard distance, as well as hills rather than flat, but I thought I would give it a go and work on my weaknesses which we are told to do."

"I am looking forward to coming back to Mount Maunganui in January for the half."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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