IMPOSING RECORD: Brad Kahlefeldt heads for victory in the 2011 Mooloolaba Triathlon elite men’s race, adding to his successes in 2010 and 2007.
IMPOSING RECORD: Brad Kahlefeldt heads for victory in the 2011 Mooloolaba Triathlon elite men’s race, adding to his successes in 2010 and 2007. Brett Wortman

The bike leg might be Kahlefeldt’s weakness

THREE-TIME Mooloolaba Triathlon winner Brad Kahlefeldt has competed in ironman 70.3 events since only last year, but that is not stopping those in the know from rating him a certain podium finisher in Sunday's Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast.

The Gold Coaster is the man of the moment, his irresistible form including five triathlon victories this year.

Despite the quality of Sunday's field - which includes Clayton Fettell, Courtney Atkinson and former long-distance ironman world champion Pete Jacobs - Atlas Multisports coach Jason Crowther is happy to tip Kahlefeldt, formerly a specialist in Olympic-distance triathlon (1.5km swim, 40kn ride and 10 run) to make the podium.

And with a Commonwealth Games gold medal, five Australian triathlon championships and three ITU world championship medals to Kahlefeldt's name, it is hard to argue with him.

"He's a very good swimmer and runner and comes from an ITU (International Triathlon Union) background and now with the year of the 70.3 racing under his belt he is considered a pretty strong rider as well," he said.

"He's a very talented athlete and it is going to be hard to shake him."

Kahlefeldt has made a stunning transition to the 70.3 half-ironman distance (1.9km swim, 90km ride, 21.1km run) as evidenced in his three 70.3 wins and another six podium finishes for the same distance.

Crowther said the amount of work Kahlefeldt had done to adjust from the Olympic distance and his proven adaptability made him a formidable opponent.

"He comes from a background where you had to swim with a lead and get on the bike, where you could draft, so the cycling part of it wasn't as important as it is now," he said.

"He has worked so hard to not make the bike a weakness, but if they (fellow competitors) want to win they will look to break him on the bike.

"I am assuming he has a good plan for the swim-bike because he is an amazing runner with a strong back end.

"He's one of the most talented athletes you will see."



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