Win makes champ hungry for more
COURTNEY Atkinson ended his 2009 campaign on a winning note at the Noosa Triathlon, and says he’ll be back next year looking to notch his third title in a row.
On Sunday the Gold Coaster emerged with the lead group after the 1.5km swim leg, alongside James Seear who finished third last year, Josh Amberger and Clayton Fettell.
Fettell then tried to inflict some damage on, and break up, the group during the testing 40km cycle leg.
The morning’s light rain made for slippery conditions, and Atkinson took a tumble just 5km from home, while trying to maintain pace with the leaders.
“The race didn’t pan out exactly how I wanted,” he said later.
“I had a race plan to dominate the bike leg and stamp my authority. But I had a spill on my bike; I pushed too hard and made a stupid mistake.”
The fall cost Atkinson nearly a minute heading into the final 10km run.
But he slowly closed the gap to take the lead from Seear and Amberger just past the halfway mark.
“I bolted out of transition as fast as I could, and the first three kilometres was as good as I’ve done,” Atkinson said.
“When I got to the 7km mark I started to stiffen up but I knew I was home and hosed.
“I’ll be back next year; three in a row would be real nice.”
In the women’s race, it was not Emma Snowsill, or even Emma Moffatt, but Emma Jackson who made history.
Jackson, a member of Australia’s junior elite squad, came from behind for her breakthrough win in just her fourth Olympic distance triathlon and first in the elite category.