Racing

Currie banks the golden ticket to Ironman World 70.3 Champs 2020 with Sunshine Coast 70.3 win

By September 8, 2019 No Comments

Press Release: 8th of September, 2019

Author: Cat Pattison

Photo: Sally Currie

Red Bull athlete Braden Currie has gained not only an emphatic confidence-boost for the upcoming Ironman World Championship in Hawaii next month, he’s also booked a slot to the 2020 World Ironman 70.3 Championship in Taupo, by winning the Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast today.

The current Asia-Pacific Ironman champion – after defending his 2019 title at Cairns – Currie’s 70.3 success has previously been on home territory, including two Taupo victories and a win in California at Santa Cruz. That changed today when he stamped his Trans-Tasman mark with a debut win over this distance in Australia.

The flying Kiwi never faltered over the 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run at Australia’s Mooloolaba-based race, finishing in 3hours:44mins:48secs. The location was only 30 minutes away from the Wanaka athlete’s winter training base in Noosa and the warm weather obviously agreed with Currie as he clocked a PB run in an incredibly swift 1hour:10min.

“It was a good day and I’m stoked to get the win here. It was a beautiful day for racing and a beautiful course,” Currie says.

He elected not to do the long-haul travel to Nice, France, for the World Ironman 70.3 Championships, which is also held today, concentrating instead on qualifying for Taupo next year and cementing his build-up to Kona, Hawaii.

“My body feels pretty good to be honest. The big focus for me is in five weeks’ time in Kona and although I’m happy to win this race, I won’t be celebrating for too long. Training will start back next week with my last build phase towards racing in Hawaii.”

Currie described the swim as “one of the best in the world” especially today, which dawned picture-perfect bluebird skies. The water was a balmy 21.6degC for the wetsuit-optional, one-lap swim and Currie was fourth out of the water in 22min:32secs, only 4secs down on leader Australian Clayton Fettell.

Photo: Sally Currie

He headed out on the two-lap ride in a pack of seven in cool conditions with an initial tailwind. At the 20km mark Australian athlete Pete Jacobs lead from Currie, Fettell and another Australian  Steven Mckenna.

By the halfway point of the bike, the wind started to be a factor – gusting up to 20-30kph – and by the 65km mark, the bunch of super seven riders remained locked together, flying along at 44kph. Currie dropped the hammer as he surged towards his first win on the Sunshine Coast, taking over the lead from Fettell as they approached T2 and clocking 2hour:08min for the bike stage.

Photo: Sally Currie

For the first 7km of the run, Currie was locked in duel with McKenna, before stretching out a 20m lead at the halfway point. The Kiwi enjoyed the Mooloolaba atmosphere as the locals urged him on over the Alexandra Headland.

Photo: Sally Currie

“First lap over the hill things were all pretty tight and I was nervous there for a bit. I knew that if I had Ironman legs and kept strong maybe the other boys would crack and they did and I got to enjoy it,” Currie says.

Continuing to set a blistering pace, Currie left McKenna well behind, eventually crossing the finish line 2mins:01sec ahead of the Australian.