Auckland's Ryan Sissons went back to back at the Takapuna Contact Tri Series today, racing superbly to defeat Clark Ellice and 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), 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 the world number 13 ranked Moulai (France) leading out and then Taranaki's Ellice as Sissons struggled to find a rhythm.
But by lap two it was the London Olympian in control as the Kiwis shout 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."
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 who finished fourth.
In the women's race that was hit by the late withdrawals of Kate McIlroy (Wellington) and Maddie Dillon (Auckland), it was Simone Ackerman (Whangarei) that came through for a well deserved victory. Penny Hayes, Rebecca Clarke and Simone 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 the crucial one 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 a further 4 seconds back.
Jenkins is a relative newcomer to the sport, a former breast stroke specialist who swam at World Cup level, the 23 year old has already made vast improvements in her first year in the sport as she showed today, posting one of the quickest run splits on the day to earn a spot on the podium.
Earlier in the day sold out fields competed at the stunning waterfront venue on closed roads over the super sprint and shorter distances in an event that continues to rise in popularity on the New Zealand summer schedule of triathlons.
Results: 500m swim, 16km bike, 4.2km run
Elite Men: 1 Ryan Sissons (Auckland), 44:39; 2 Clark Ellice (New Plymouth), 44:44; 3 Tony Moulai (France), 45:03; 4 Cameron Goldsmid (Wellington), 45:28; 5 Juseok Kim (Korea), 45:59
Elite Women: 1 Simone Ackermann (Whangarei), 51:19; 2 Anneke Jenkins (Tauranga), 51:30; 3 Rebecca Clarke (Auckland), 51:34; 4 Penny Hayes (Invercargill), 52:15; 5 Deborah Lynch (Wellington), 52:54