Clayton Fettell and Joey Lampe, who will come face to face today in the Byron Bay Triathlon.
Clayton Fettell and Joey Lampe, who will come face to face today in the Byron Bay Triathlon.

Mates' tri-ing times

THESE boys have been the best of mates for almost 17 years.

But at midday today the friendship goes on hold for about two hours.

Clayton Fettell and Joey Lampe are two of 15 professionals contesting the 15th annual Byron Bay Triathlon.

They are just two young men in a field of more than 1300 – but two who have plenty to swim, ride and run for.

Fettell, of Alstonville, and Lampe, of Lennox Head, lead local hopes in the 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run.

And being good mates, neither wants to cop a year’s ribbing about being beaten in the home-town triathlon.

Fettell may be the race favourite, but Lampe isn’t giving in.

“We race all around the world, but this one is on our doorstep so there is a bit more at stake,” Lampe said.

“Yeah, a year’s worth of bragging rights,” Fettell shot back.

At 23, Fettell is the more experienced of the pair – today will be his fourth Byron Tri and he has a swag of impressive results from around the world.

In 2009 he was 10th in the long-course world championships in Perth – run over twice the distance of today’s event – and earlier this year Fettell finished fifth at the Ishigaki World Cup in Japan, but Byron Bay is something else.

“We race in all conditions around the world, freezing cold water included, so it’s great to come home and race in conditions like these,” he said.

Lampe, 21, will be lining up for his second shot at the Byron Tri – his first has been filed away deep in the memory bank.

“A few things went wrong, I must say,” Lampe said. “My aerobars fell off during the bike leg, which ruined me.”

Lampe knows that he is the underdog but has devised a plan to get past his mate.

“I will attack him on the hills,” he said.

“Where he is soft.”

But Fettell wasn’t copping that. “There is only the one hill near the surf club, so you will have to be good,” he said.

Playing clairvoyant, Fettell went on to predict the result of the race.

“I’ll be first, daylight second and maybe Joey third,” he said.

His rival couldn’t agree.

“I reckon I might get the better of daylight,” Lampe said. “Could be a sprint home at the finish.”

Daylight has had its time in the sun, time to move aside for these two guns to wage what will be one of many future battles.

The race starts at Main Beach at 12 noon.



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