Matthews wins bigger in Texas

MURWILLUMBAH triathlete Paul Matthews has begun his 2009 US campaign in outstanding style taking out the Buffalo Springs 70.3 Ironman triathlon in Texas on Sunday.

It was Matthews' second 70.3 series win and marked a steady progression for the Murwillumbah athlete in the Texas event after coming second and third in the previous two years.

The gruelling course comprised a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride and a 20km run which Matthews covered in a time of four hours, one minute and 26 seconds.

It was the first time Matthews had broken the winner's tape in a 70.3 event since 2005.

The race started well for Matthews who was first out of the swim leg thanks to a new speed suit.

“I was out with my good mate and training buddy Steve Hackett and we went about trying to stay away from the pack on the bike,” Matthews wrote in an email to the Tweed Daily News.

Matthews said the weather was raining and really windy (just like the Tweed) and it made for a very hard bike leg.

“We got caught at about 40km by Michael Cupid and Leon Griffin (last year's winner and both are Aussies),” Matthews said.

“Michael rode awesomely, I was very impressed. The four of us go off the bikes together and as soon as I started running, I felt pretty good and opened up a little gap.

“At the halfway mark, I still had my lead and tried to push the next couple of kilometres to break Griffo who kept hanging around like a bad smell.

“The last few kilometres hurt like hell but I managed to hold off Griffo with Simon Thompson coming third and Steve Hackett fifth.”

Griffin crossed the line about 90 seconds behind Matthews with third placed Thompson a further three minutes back.

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