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Wolfaardt starts favourite

The smart money is on Erhard Wolfaardt at Sunday’s South African National Triathlon Championships.

Wolfaardt has had a superb start to 2010, with victories in the second Troisport JHB Tri Series in Germiston (the very same course being used for the SA Champs) and in the first of the Momentum Health Ifle National Duathlon Series. This coming on the back of his domination in the BSG Energade Sprint Triathlon Series at the end of 2009, means that he is quite clealy the man with the bull’s eye painted on his back.

Wolfaardt won his first national title in 2009 on the back of some superb racing in the BSG Energade Series (2008) and the 11 Global in Sun City. Since then he has been the form man, winning the national title in March in 2009 and the Africa Champs in July. Only in November 2009 was he defeated by the in-form Claude Eksteen at the Africa Cup.

But neither Eksteen nor Hendrik De Villiers are not going to let Wolfaardt have an easy day of it and with the event being a non-drafting cycle leg, De Villiers in particular feels it will not come down to the run as much as is normally the case. The run is arguably Wolfaardt’s biggest asset at the moment.

ÔÇ£I bought myself a time trial bike so I think I will be able to have a much better bike leg. I had a bit of flu at the 11 Global so was not in top shape, but am very hungry to get a national title again,ÔÇØ said De Villiers who won in 2008.

A spanner in the works will be the inclusion of Tim Don, the British Olympian who trains in Stellenbosch every year. Don won the 11 Global in Cape Town on 28 February in convincing style and he might very well be the one to claim overall line honours. But even if he does so he will not be crowned SA Champion, that honour goes to the first South African across the line.

To make it even more interesting, the Under-23’s will be in the same race as the Elite men, so there will be a race within a race and some of the U-23’s are particularly dangerous, such as Richard Murray who literally eats up the ground in both the cycle and run legs.

The race is over the standard Olympic distance. Two laps of 750 metres in Germiston Lake make up the swim, before four laps on an out an back route for the 40km cycle and then another four laps of 2.5km for the 10km run.

The Elite and Under-23 Men start on Sunday at 8.05am.


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