Ash Gentle wins emotional 10th Noosa Triathlon title

Murray WenzelAAP
Ashleigh Gentle crosses the finish line for her 10th Noosa Triathlon triumph, and ninth in a row. (HANDOUT/)
Camera IconAshleigh Gentle crosses the finish line for her 10th Noosa Triathlon triumph, and ninth in a row. (HANDOUT/) Credit: AAP

The pressure of a historic 10th Noosa Triathlon title pursuit finally told on Ashleigh Gentle, but not before the champion crossed the line to extend her remarkable streak at the famous race.

Gentle's ninth-straight victory on Sunday was well-earned, the dual Olympian running away from a pack of seven that finished the bike leg together to win in one hour 55:13 and just miss the race record.

She was second in 2013, the 32-year-old's only loss at the race that turned 40 this year.

Gentle has become the face of the event and, after switching to middle-distance racing last year, admitted that had taken a toll this weekend.

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"I felt composed the whole time, it was more just the relief," she said of her tears on the finish line.

"There's definitely a huge build up, a lot of commitments before the race and the 40th anniversary added another layer of emotional fatigue.

"Going over the Garth Prowd Bridge (before the finish line), it was a bit of a 'f*** yes' moment and that summarised the day.

"It was pretty surreal and a big weight of the shoulders, that's for sure.

"10 victories, what else can I do really? It's an incredible feat and I'm incredibly proud that each year no matter what happens I find a way."

She ran away from emerging talent Richelle Hill (1:57.14), who was beaten to second by Sophie Malowiecki (1:56.49), the veteran Gentle then giving the pair a quick tutorial on how to spray a champagne bottle on the podium.

Men's winner Hayden Wilde got lost on the bike-run transition on his race debut but still had the engine to run away from Matt Hauser and shatter the record set by Charlie Quin last year by more than minute.

New Zealand's Olympic bronze medallist in Tokyo powered from 39 seconds behind on the bike leg to win in 1:41.56, 13 seconds ahead of Australian Olympian Hauser.

South African Henri Schoeman (1:44.20) was third, Wilde just the sixth international men's winner.

Wilde said Hauser, who has already booked his spot at the Paris Games next year, was shaping as a genuine medal chance.

"The last two k's (of the run) I was absolutely s***tting myself," he told AAP.

"Matty's just so strong and it's a dangerous feeling late in the run with him lurking.

"The whole of town was cranking, it was so cool."

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