Former world champ admits preparation for Kona comes first
TRIATHLON: After a career-best training phase, former world champion Pete Jacobs is rejuvenated ahead of the Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast and the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
The 32-year-old Noosa Heads triathlete will defend his Sunshine Coast crown next month as part of his preparation for Kona in October.
The good news for Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast officials is that he is feeling better than a year ago. In the 2013 edition he crossed the line seven minutes ahead of runner-up Clayton Fettell.
Jacobs, the 2012 world champion, then had a disastrous turnout at Kona.
This time around he is feeling revitalised thanks to a Thailand training camp with fellow Coast triathletes Casey Munro and Caroline Steffen.
The trio - expected to compete in Mooloolaba on September 14 - trained under Sydney triathlete Chris McCormack, a two-time world championship winner in Kona, the last time in 2010.
Jacobs said: "Those two weeks in Thailand were the best I've ever trained.
"I was able to train in a different way without going too hard and overdoing it. I'm learning all the time.
"CAROLINE just trains so hard and Casey is very smart with his training. Then Chris was there to lighten the mood and give us all this good advice."
The camp has given Jacobs confidence he can bounce back from fatigue problems that have hampered his performances this year.
The former champion's times have been slower this year, with his performance in Switzerland leading to World Ironman Corporation chief executive Andrew Messick's accusation that Jacobs had intentionally underperformed.
Jacobs, however, is feeling 100% ahead of the only event he cares about.
"All my eggs are in the basket for Hawaii and I sorted out all those issues, but at the end of the day Hawaii is the race that matters on the calendar," he said.
"It's so much more important than any other race in terms of sponsorship, in terms of prestige and in terms of profile.
"It's head and shoulders above every other race, so I'm just focusing on doing well there."
The Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast should include an all-star cast, with Courtney Atkinson, Brad Kahlefeldt and Mooloolaba's Dave Dellow set to compete in the men's race, along with 2013 runner-up Clayton Fettell.
Defending women's champ, New Zealand's Gina Crawford, headlines a field that includes Czech Radka Vodickova.