Rayner rides crowd to blitz Bolt but misses record

Murray WenzelAAP
Jack Rayner has won a second straight Noosa Bolt title. (HANDOUT/KORUPT VISION)
Camera IconJack Rayner has won a second straight Noosa Bolt title. (HANDOUT/KORUPT VISION) Credit: AAP

Jack Rayner has dominated in his Noosa Bolt defence before promising to return and gun for the race record after narrowly missing the mark for the second consecutive year.

The Tokyo Olympic marathoner led from the front over the 5km distance on Saturday to win in 13 minutes 56 seconds.

He was eight seconds clear of Andre Waring and another 10 seconds ahead of Jude Thomas in third.

Rayner started fast but couldn't quite sustain the record pace on a hot afternoon as the race was promoted to the main event, ahead of the Australian Open Criterium cycling titles.

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It was three seconds slower than Rayner's time one year earlier and meant Kenyan Joseph Waweru's 1999 mark of 13:41 remained.

But Rayner has still emerged as the standout star of the Noosa Triathlon's popular Super Saturday.

His name was on the lips of thousands lining the streets as Caitlin Adams (16:00) also defended her title, almost able to hold off Rayner with a two-minute head start before he mowed her down on the final stretch.

"I was aiming to put the pressure on right from the gun," Rayner, who will aim to qualify for either or both of the 5000m or 10,000m at next year's Paris Games next year, told AAP.

"I've come a long way the last few years, getting my name on the scene with a few good wins.

"When you've got the expectation to win, you believe you're going to win, you go and do it.

"If they keep the race on at this later time like this year and if I can find a pacer that will do one or two K (kilometres) it would go a long way.

"I think I can do it."

Ella Simpson couldn't be caught after earning an early lead to win the women's criterium title while Declan Trezice continued a breakout season by prevailing in a crowded men's sprint finish.

On Sunday Matt Hauser will conquer his Noosa Triathlon fears and debut in one of the most stacked race fields in recent history.

The 25-year-old's first appearance in the popular race's 40th staging comes after years of spectating, Hauser even competing in the 5km Bolt and ocean swim side events in the past.

The Australian sits fifth on the World Triathlon rankings and has his sights on the country's first men's Olympic triathlon medal in Paris next year after earning qualification in September.

But the unique non-drafting cycling leg of the Noosa event asks something different of the world's best short-course triathletes, who use time trial (TT) bikes over the 1.5km ocean swim, 40km ride and 10km run journey.

"I've been scared," Hauser smiled of the reason behind his long-awaited Noosa debut.

"I wanted to give the race the respect it deserves.

"Finally getting on a TT bike and getting used to that was a big challenge.

"I think this year I'm finally ready, and the one year I do decide to do it, every man and his dog rocks up."

Hauser will be joined on the start line by defending champion Charlie Quin and two-time winner and fellow Tokyo Olympian Jake Birtwhistle.

The two most recent Olympic bronze medallists Hayden Wilde (New Zealand, 2021) and Henri Schoeman (South Africa, 2016) add serious international punch.

Nine-time women's champion Ashleigh Gentle will race over the Olympic distance for the first time since last year's Noosa race as she looks to extend her historic stranglehold on the event.

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