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Posted: January 18, 2009  :

Triathlon: Tissink And Zelenkova Take Victory With New Course Records

By Marieka Barnard

A constantly changing leaderboard, a clean sweep by the leading lady, and two new course records became the hallmarks of an incredibly thrilling Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 South Africa race held in East London on Sunday 18 January 2009.

Defending champion Raynard Tissink (RSA) came back with absolute class to win a well deserved second Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 South Africa title in a new course record of 04:02:04, while Fraser Cartmell (GBR) and Konstantin Bachor (GER) battled it out for second and third place. In the women's race, Lucie Zelenkova (CZE) was the picture of control in an Ironman 70.3 race as she swept the other women off the course with her unique racing style, finishing in a course record of 04:46:40. The Netherland's Heleen bij de Vaate was second, over 10 minutes behind Zelenkova, while Claire Kinsley (RSA) rounded off the podium just over two minutes behind.

From the swim it was clear that the Storm brothers would live up to the expectations that they would dominate in the water. Anton Storm took the early lead, opening a gap of over 20 meters by the halfway point. A large group of PROs followed hot on his heels, made up of Raynard Tissink, Lawrence van Lingen (RSA), Fraser Cartmell, Brad Storm (RSA), Carl Storm (RSA) and Frederick van Lierde (BEL). A strong favourite for the race, Tim Don (GBR) did not let the leaders out of his sight, but it was clear that he was going to have strong competition for the title. Out of the water first was Anton Storm in 00:22:26, followed by Brad Storm in 00:22:34 and Cartmell only two seconds behind.

In the women's race, Zelenkova, despite starting her swim training a mere three weeks ago due to an injury sustained in July, was up with the leading male PROs’ pace finishing her swim in 00:24:22. Zelenkova’s closest opposition on the swim was Sanmari Woithe (RSA) just over two minutes behind her, while Corinne Berg (RSA) was another minute off the pace.

Throughout the cycle, the leaderboard changed almost every five km’s as the top four men, Anton Storm, Cartmell, Bachor and Tissink kept each other in sight.

Never looking like he was pushing on the cycle, Tissink toyed with the competitors by varying his pace and saving his energy for the run. After the race Tissink explained his strategy, saying that it was a tactical race that would be won on the run. "There are so many things you can do to throw your competitors off, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the 21km run. Many people can run strongly over the first 10km, but it’s the second half of the run that counts," Tissink said.

Into the run transition, the top three men, Tissink, Bachor and Cartmell were hot on each other's heels, but after the first loop it was clear that Tissink would be hard to beat. He remained in control of the race for the duration of the run coming over the finish line for a comfortable victory, two minutes ahead of second placed Cartmell, and nearly three minutes over Bachor in third.

Zelenkova had it all her own way on the cycle and the run, and never looked like she could be beaten. Bij de Vaate put in a strong performance on the cycle to move up to second place and maintained the position to the finish. In a surprising third place on the cycle was Kinsley who found herself in the same position on the podium by the end of the race.

1. Raynard Tissink (RSA) 04:02:04 
2. Fraser Cartmell (GBR) 04:04:07 
3. Konstantin Bachor (GER) 04:04:50 
4. Tim Don (GBR) 04:12:50 
5. Kent Horner (RSA) 04:14:31 

1. Lucie Zelenkova (CZE) 04:46:40 
2. Heleen bij de Vaate (NLD) 04:57:00 
3. Claire Kinsley (RSA) 04:59:26 
4. Mariska Kramer-Postma (NLD) 05:02:18 
5. Diana Riesler (GER) 05:08:54 

1. Team Felt 04:16:16 
2. Team Power Bar 04:17:23 
3. Team Felt Bicycles 04:24:31 
4. Team Xerox 04:24:57 
5. Team Blitzen 04:36:21 
Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 South Africa
18 January 2009
1.9km SWIM | 90km CYCLE | 21.1km RUN
50 qualifying slots for the 2009 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, Florida

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