Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne | Page 3 | Liveblog live blogging


Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne

  • At 40 km mark going through the Eastlink tunnel we have Clayton Fettell maintaining a 3:07 lead as the two men's groups combine behind him, powered by Craig Alexander who has bridged the gap left by his swim.
  • In the days before the race, Melbourne-based pro Luke Bell predicted the top cyclists to reach speeds of up to 100km per hour. That's fast!
  • Live video broadcast: Part two of today's broadcast will commence at 9.35am AEST.
  • The Top 10 Professional Women's Swim Times:

    JOYCE, Rachel 00:52:34
    CRAWFORD, Gina 00:53:11
    VESTERBY, Michelle 00:53:23
    KEAT, Rebekah 00:53:24
    MURPHY, Kate 00:53:24
    CARFRAE, Mirinda 00:53:29
    STEFFEN, Caroline 00:53:29
    GRANGER, Belinda 00:53:30
    LAWN, Joanna 00:53:32
    LESTER, Carrie 00:55:22
  • Australian Courtney Ogden is 6:40 minutes behind the men's leader.
  • The bike course

  • The women are now in the Eastlink Tunnel at the 40 km mark: Caroline Steffen and Rachel Joyce have increased their lead to 5 minutes over Michelle Vesterby and Rebekah Keat.
  • At 6:40 back we have 2010 Ironman Australia Champion Carrie Lester, and Gina Crawford.
  • At 9:40 back, Aussies Mirinda Carfrae (the 2010 Ironman world champion and 2011 runner-up) and Belinda Granger, a multiple Ironman winner herself.
  • At the 64 km mark, Fettell has a 3:40 lead over the next pack. Frederick Van Lierde is putting the pressure on, who appears to have created a small break.
  • It's 18 degrees out on the bike course, and our spotters report that the lead women (Joyce and Steffen) are cruising along at about 40 km/hour.
  • 64 km into the bike, Clayton Fettell continues to increase his lead by 3:40 on the world-class field assembled here in Melbourne. This year's race in Busselton was his first Ironman, and he's making a strong statement here today.
  • The final age-groupers are exiting the water, the last with 7 seconds to spare for the 2:20 swim cut-off.
  • 1,600 competitors are racing the Asia-Pacific Championship today. Most of them are headed out now onto the bike course, a two-lap course, taking place mainly along the Eastlink Tollway. The road surface is extremely smooth and the course is anticipated to be fast, and they will negotiate the Eastlink Tunnel twice at a steep gradient of 12 percent. The cut-off time for the bike is 10:30.
  • Here's a shot of our competitors, prepping their bikes in the dark this morning. Now most of them are well past here and onto the bike.

  • Women's bike update:

    1-Rachel Joyce
    2-Caroline Steffen

    7:30 back:

    3-Joanna Lawn
    4-Rebekah Keat
    5-Michelle Vesterby

    10:00 back:

    6-Gina Crawford
    7-Carrie Lester

    11:30 back:

    8-Mirinda Carfrae
    9-Belinda Granger
  • Frederick Van Lierde is back in the main group of men while Australia's Joe Gambles, winner of the 2011 Ironman Wisconsin, tries to create a gap. At 80 k, he's pushing the pace from 150 m at the head of the group.
  • Australian favorite, Luke McKenzie exiting the swim.

  • The men just passed the turn-around in Frankston with Clayton Fettell at a 3:55 lead over Joe Gambles and Frederick Van Lierde, who are leading up the group.
  • In the main men's group we have Luke McKenzie, Luke Bell, Craig Alexander, Greg Bennett, Eneko Llanos, David Dellow, Paul Matthews, and Matty White.
  • It's great to see the "Ironman virgin" (and another Aussie pro) Greg Bennett in this main group of such strong cyclists.
  • The crowd is going wild at the bike turn-around in Frankston.
  • Anthony Rule, one of our lead age-groupers, just passed the 90km mark.
  • Here's shot of the turn-around in Frankston.

  • Caroline Steffen and Rachel Joyce are putting in some serious work on the bike...
  • Rinny just came through the tunaround

  • Spectators at the turnaround

  • Jessica Jacobs, one of the only American pros, just came though the turnaround. She ran a 2:53 marathon at Ironman Florida last year, so we know this woman has some legs on her. She's about 10 minutes behind Mirinda Carfrae, so would have to put a significant dent in that gap in order to pose a threat to the Aussie race favorite.
  • Announcers are calling this the energy zone, because it's one of the spots on the bike course where friends and family can get up close to their loved ones competing.
  • Ricky Jeffs, of presenting sponsor Urban Hotel Group, just passed the turnaround. He's a huge supporter of the sport in this country, and we're all enjoying his hotel's hospitality immensely.
  • From our vantage point on the pavement, you can smell hot rubber as the athletes brake hard around the tight corner.
  • Age-groupers piling through town

  • Felicity Lloyd is our first age-group woman through the turnaround. She's from Australia, and is 29 years old.
  • This inaugural event sold out in 5 minutes and 5 seconds, the fastest sell-out for an Ironman event in history. With such a throng of people witnessing the excitement of race day for the first time, it will be interesting to see how fast it sells out next time around.
  • It's not only a new race, but close to 400 new Ironmen will be crowned today.
  • Speaking of new, here's a shot of Crowie from the swim, wearing the new TYR Freak of Nature wetsuit

  • And out on the bike course, the UK's Rachel Joyce is riding her new Cervelo P5, where she's giving it a spectacular first run.
  • Race fact: There are 75 Kona age group qualifying slots on offer today. There will be a lot of happy people at the finish line later this evening.
  • Update from our spotters: Steffen and Joyce had a 16 minute lead at 3:51 into the race.
  • Live video broadcast: Part three of today's broadcast will commence in twenty minutes.
  • Ironman Live's video broadcast of the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne - Presented by Urban Hotel Group - has resumed on the Video/Audio tab.
  • Caroline Steffen is riding in the second pack of pro men
  • Our solo rider for 150 km, Clayton Fettell has been caught by the chase group.
  • Van Lierde, McKenzie, Crowie, Bell, and Cam Brown are in the lead pack.
  • Also Josh Rix and Paul Matthews.
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