Atkinson wins again despite cycle crash
NOT even a heavy cycle crash could stop Courtney Atkinson from successfully defending his Noosa Triathlon crown yesterday.
Atkinson fell off his bike in the wet conditions at the halfway mark of the cycle leg and lost nearly two minutes on his rivals in the process.
But the Gold Coast bolter easily made up the ground on his opponents in the run leg, blitzing the field in 1:47.03 to claim his second consecutive Noosa title.
A jubilant Atkinson said he was his own worst enemy after trying to break away from the lead pack during the 40km cycle.
“It was quite wet coming back into town and I just pushed it a little too hard and I went down,” he said.
“It was probably the worst time I could have gone down because coming back into town the guys can work together. I really had to bide my time and hope I could run them down.
“I knew I’d have a good run in me, the one thing I was a bit unsure of was how hard I had actually landed on my hip.
“It felt really good until about 7k but by then it was kind of all done and dusted.
“Once you get into the crowd here it’s home and hosed because they bring you in.”
Atkinson set an early pace, cruising through the 1500m swim leg in under 20 minutes.
Sunshine Coast hopeful and 2008 runner-up David Dellow was close behind him along with Clayton Fettell, James Seear and Josh Amberger.
Fettell, Seear and Amberger entered the 10km run with a one-minute lead over Atkinson but the eventual champion fought his way back through his strongest leg to finish ahead of Seear (1:48.14) and Amberger (1:48.53).
Atkinson said the crash gave him extra motivation to catch the pack sooner rather than later.
“The first thought when you crash is anger,” he said.
“It happens but in that type of situation I didn’t need to be pushing that hard with my run leg coming up which was my strongest.
“I was quite angry and I bolted out as hard as I could and ran really well for the first three or four k’s.
“From there it was a matter of holding on, staying strong and hoping my legs held up.”
After enjoying one of his most successful seasons to date, including victory at the Mooloolaba Triathlon, Atkinson said he would be returning for a shot at the Noosa hat-trick.
“I’m hoping to come back next year, three in a row would be very nice,” he said. “It’s nice going into your break in really good form.
“I’ll enjoy my time off.”