Bryan Keane got his 2014 season underway over the weekend at the Elwood ITU Oceania Cup in Melbourne, Australia. The race also doubled as the Australian National Championships, meaning the best Australian talent was in top shape and highly motivated.
While the unseasonably wet and windy conditions would have suited Keane on land it also resulted in high seas and fierce chop. The one meter high surf clearly favoured the super swimmers as surf lifesaving regular, Matt Baker let out of the water in under 10 minutes.
Pre-race favourites Dan Wilson and Ryan Fisher weren’t far behind. Recognising their advantage over the chasing pack they came together and worked hard during the 20km bike to stay ahead.
Keane had a good swim and was just 19 seconds behind and 4th out of the water with a large group in tow. The chasers never really got organiser and the leading trio continued to extend their lead to well over a minute 30 seconds.
Keane lost a further few seconds in T2 before running 15:35 for the final 5km. The eventual winner Ryan Fisher finisher off with a 15:25 split with Dan Wilson 2nd and Matt Baker 3rd.
Bryan Keane didn’t have the magic start he was hoping for and finished down in 12th position. Hours after the race Keane tweeted “Poor opener today in Elwood 12th. Some positives. First race is always ugly for me.”
The Mooloolaba World Cup will be his next test on March 15th which gives another month to dust off the winter cobwebs and sharpen up before the major World Cup and World Series races of the season.