Australia’s Aaron Royle too strong in 2012 Men’s Under23 ITU World Championship

By Merryn Sherwood | 20 Oct, 2012

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Highlights of the 2012 Auckland U23 Men Race

An all-round strong performance across the three disciplines carried Australia’s Aaron Royle to his first ITU World Championship, and broke a 10-year drought for Australian men in the Under23 category in Auckland on Saturday.

Royle was in the lead group across the swim, bike and run and out-sprinted Spain’s Fernando Alarza and Great Britain’s Thomas Bishop in a frenetic finishing chute finale to win in 1 hour 57 minutes and 17 seconds, just three seconds ahead of Alarza.

Royle said his strategy to hold back until the end paid off, as he became the first Australian man since Brad Kahlefeldt in 2002 to win the category and the first Australian man to win a world title since 2005.

“I had to stay relaxed during that run. I just wanted to watch from the back and see how everyone is looking, my plan was to wait until that very last minute and try and hold on for the sprint,” Royle said. “It’s sometimes hard to do that because you can get a little bit anxious but I just stayed patient and it worked out for me today.”

In a race where the contenders were decided early, Royle was one of the leaders out of the water beside teammates Ryan Fisher and Joshua Amberger, and South Africa’s Henri Schoeman and Russia’s Igor Polyanskiy.

But with the first 31 men out of the water within 20 seconds of the leaders, a large lead group of just over 20 athletes started to form on the first lap of the bike. However Amberger, Bishop and New Zealand’s Tom Davison made sure they didn’t hang around long, setting a blistering pace at the front on the hilly bike course. Within two laps, the lead group had dwindled to nine athletes, including the three Australians, Davison, Bishop, Polyanskiy, Alarza and Frenchmen Pierre Le Corre and Anthony Pujades.

Apart from Jason Wilson (BAR) bridging up solo at the halfway mark, that’s how the lead group stayed for the 40km bike as they continued to increase their lead on the chase group.

While those ten entered T2 together, they started to peel away soon after as Fisher set the pace up front. While Le Corre tried to make a move in the third lap of the run, he was reeled back in by Bishop. On the final run lap Fisher dropped, leaving a four-man race for the title between Le Corre, Royle, Bishop and Alarza.

But with a few hundred metres to go, it was clear it was Royle’s race as he played out his plan to perfection and powered away from Alarza. Bishop finished just one second behind the Spaniard to claim his second consecutive ITU Under23 World Championship bronze medal. He said he deliberately hammered the bike to try and fend off his competition, but it didn’t quite work.

“The bike course is awesome, I wish more races were like that,” Bishop said. “I tried my hardest to hurt the legs of the guys and take the kick out of them but I didn’t quite do it and I got third again, but I tried my hardest and I’m content with that, getting a medal at a world championships is pretty good.”

The 2011 Under23 World Champion Matthew Sharp had a tough race after missing out on the lead bike group, but did post the equal fastest run split of the day of 31:04 to run through the field and finish sixth, while the USA’s Gregory Billington and Australia’s Ryan Bailie also made up significant time in the run to put themselves into the top ten.

Related Event: 2012 Barfoot and Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final Auckland
20 - Oct, 2012 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Javier Gomez Noya ESP 02:00:29
2. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 02:00:31
3. Sven Riederer SUI 02:01:18
4. Steffen Justus GER 02:01:40
5. Gregor Buchholz GER 02:01:46
6. Kyle Jones CAN 02:01:48
7. Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS 02:01:50
8. Ivan Raña Fuentes ESP 02:01:56
9. Richard Murray RSA 02:02:00
10. David Mcnamee GBR 02:02:06
Results: Elite Women
1. Anne Haug GER 02:10:48
2. Gwen Jorgensen USA 02:11:00
3. Barbara Riveros CHI 02:11:01
4. Lisa Norden SWE 02:11:03
5. Jodie Stimpson GBR 02:11:03
6. Rachel Klamer NED 02:11:09
7. Andrea Hewitt NZL 02:11:10
8. Kate Mcilroy NZL 02:11:12
9. Sarah True USA 02:11:20
10. Juri Ide JPN 02:11:21
Results: U23 Men
1. Aaron Royle AUS 01:57:17
2. Fernando Alarza ESP 01:57:20
3. Thomas Bishop GBR 01:57:21
4. Pierre Le Corre FRA 01:57:29
5. Ryan Fisher AUS 01:57:51
6. Matthew Sharp GBR 01:58:49
7. Jason Wilson BAR 01:59:15
8. Gregory Billington USA 01:59:32
9. Igor Polyanskiy RUS 01:59:40
10. Ryan Bailie AUS 01:59:50
Results: U23 Women
1. Non Stanford GBR 02:13:06
2. Sarissa De Vries NED 02:13:15
3. Joanna Brown CAN 02:14:12
4. Claudia Rivas MEX 02:14:26
5. Natalie Van Coevorden AUS 02:14:28
6. Sara Vilic AUT 02:15:06
7. Ashlee Bailie AUS 02:15:09
8. Lucy Hall GBR 02:15:11
9. Simone Ackermann RSA 02:15:24
10. Maaike Caelers NED 02:15:41
Results: Junior Men
1. Wian Sullwald RSA 01:01:44
2. Simon Viain FRA 01:01:58
3. Constantine Doherty IRL 01:01:59
4. Kristian Blummenfelt NOR 01:02:31
5. Gordon Benson GBR 01:02:45
6. Marcel Walkington AUS 01:02:58
7. Ryousuke Maeda JPN 01:02:59
8. Jorik Van Egdom NED 01:02:59
9. Eduardo Moreno Castañeda MEX 01:03:04
10. Dorian Coninx FRA 01:03:06
Results: Junior Women
1. Fumika Matsumoto JPN 01:08:33
2. Leonie Periault FRA 01:08:36
3. Tamara Gorman USA 01:08:39
4. Sarah Wilm GER 01:08:44
5. Maddie Dillon NZL 01:08:50
6. Amelie Kretz CAN 01:09:02
7. Sumire Ohara JPN 01:09:02
8. Elise Salt NZL 01:09:04
9. Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR 01:09:35
10. Luisa Condeço POR 01:09:40
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