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April 15, 2021


Ellie Salthouse and Max Neumann were both in fine form as they claimed hard-fought victories at CHALLENGESHEPPARTON in Victoria, Australia.

Salthouse, currently #4 in the Team Internationals rankings for the rescheduled Collins Cup, was impressive once again as she added yet another win to her 2021 haul, while Neumann produced a powerful run to clinch his first victory of the year.

Despite Neumann (ranked #12 for Team Internationals) crossing the line almost four minutes clear, he wasn’t the quickest athlete over any of the three legs. Instead his consistent pace throughout the day proved decisive.

Salthouse’s times for the bike and run legs were also eclipsed by athletes further down the finishing order, but she still claimed a dominant success overall.

We have created a ‘Dream Relay’ for both the men’s and women’s races, made up of the quickest athletes in each discipline.



Swim: Ellie Salthouse (27:11)

Coming into the race off the back of victories at Hell of the West, Geelong and Big Husky, Salthouse was a strong favourite at Shepparton.

It was perhaps no surprise then that she emerged from the waters of Victoria Park Lake leading the field – albeit just two seconds clear of Team Internationals #14 Grace Thek.

The duo opened up a lead of well over a minute to the chasing pack, with Salthouse clocking a time of 27:11 for the leg.Dream Relay: CHALLENGESHEPPARTON

Bike: Penny Slater (2:18:13)    

Once on the bike, Ellie was formidable once again as she managed to race clear of Thek, building a 1:15 lead by the halfway point of the 90km leg.

Penny Slater was by then her nearest competitor, with the Australian overhauling Thek as she set a blistering pace to force herself into contention.

After registering a 2:18:13 split – the fastest of any athlete – Slater had Salthouse in her sights heading into T2.

Run: Grace Thek (1:18:34)       

Despite pressure from Slater heading into the early stages of the run, Salthouse was in complete control as she capped an imperious display with another fine leg.

She finished almost four minutes clear of her rival, crossing the line in an excellent time of 4:09:13.

But it was Thek who claimed the fastest time for the run, as she stormed past Team Internationals #22 Renee Kiley into third to earn a spot on the podium, clocking a 1:18:34 for the 21.1km leg.

The women’s ‘Dream Relay’ would have finished 2:30 ahead of race winner Salthouse, in a time of 4:06:43.



Swim: Trent Thorpe (23:15)

Josh Amberger (Team Internationals #21) and Trent Thorpe (Internationals #24) demonstrated their considerable strength through the water as the pair powered into an early lead in Shepparton.

Opening up a gap of over a minute to their rivals, the duo exited the water in close proximity, with Thorpe stopping the clock at 23:15 for the leg.

Unfortunately, after such an imposing start, Thorpe later pulled up on the run and was unable to finish the race.


Bike: Josh Amberger (2:04:14)

Amberger went on to take command of the race on the bike, pulling away from Thorpe in a statement of intent.

Behind him, eventual race winner Neumann made a move for second place, moving to within striking distance of Amberger by the time the leader had reached T2.

Despite Neumann’s resurgent effort, Amberger was still the quickest athlete over the leg, registering a time of 2:04:14, just over half a minute superior to his rival for the win.

Run: Caleb Noble (1:09:57)    

Neumann may have taken the plaudits after romping home to claim victory with a barnstorming run, but it was an athlete further down the field who was fastest of all over the leg.

Caleb Noble earned the accolade of quickest run time for the day as he forced his way into a commendable fifth-place finish.

Neumann averaged an eye-watering 3:20 per km to clock 1:10:23 for the 21.1km course, but such was Noble’s speed that he shaved 26 seconds off the winner’s time for the leg.

The men’s ‘’Dream Relay’ would have been 2:26 quicker than Neumann, finishing in a time of 3:40:11.



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