The Nutri-Grain Ironman final will go down to the wire after round five upsets today on the Gold Coast shakes up the leaderboard ahead of tomorrow’s decider.

Ironwoman Georgia Miller meanwhile continued her strong form to win her fourth consecutive round, putting her in the strongest possible position for tomorrow’s final round.

The Ironman competition was thrown on its head just two hours before racing when defending Nutri-Grain Series champion Ali Day withdrew from the race due to a virus.

Ben Carberry has been “mister consistent” all season and had a solid seven point lead over third place Matt Bevilacqua coming into today’s race.  But one bad day at the office saw him miss a podium finish for the first time this season, finishing in 10th place.

Bevilacqua’s third place finish today on the other hand, means he and Carberry will head into tomorrow’s deciding round tied on top of the leaderboard with 86 points, just three ahead of New Zealand Ironman and round five winner Joe Collins.

While all eyes will be on tomorrow’s final, there was no taking away from young gun Joe Collins’ race win today.

“It’s massive, that’s what we aim for in this sport…to come away with my first win is awesome and I’m pretty stoked to be here,” said Collins.

“I really enjoy running, and to be honest they pushed that run to the limits. It was super long, but I was loving it…everyone else was complaining about their legs.

“There’s probably no better podium I could have, I actually thought about it when I was racing how cool it would be to have three Northcliffe athletes on the podium.

“To have those two guys on there is really special for my first win, they’re both massive influences in my life and I wouldn’t be where I am right now without them,” he said.

While Bevilacqua was stoked for his clubmate, his focus remains on the opportunity that lies ahead for him tomorrow.

“I’m still fighting for a Series title against anyone, it doesn’t matter who, and I’ve got a big day coming tomorrow,” Bevilacqua said.

“It would mean the world…I’ve fought so hard over the years to get these Series titles and been second and third a few times, and I’ve won one too.

“I just want to make sure I do everything in my career, and make the most of every opportunity, so tomorrow is an opportunity and I’ve got to go out and take it,” he said.

Miller is on the cusp of another Nutri-Grain IronWoman Series victory, after another strong day of racing from the red hot field.

After consistently placing in the first four races of the day, Miller went into the final race in second position, managing to put together the perfect Ironwoman to cross the line in first ahead of fellow Gold Coast Ironwomen Lucy Derbyshire (Surfers Paradise) and Naomi Scott (Northcliffe).

It was a closely fought final race, but Miller’s expertise in navigating the surf saw her break away in the final ski leg and power home to clinch the win.

“That win is huge! I just wanted to come out today and enjoy myself, and just take it one race at a time…I just tried to focus on that.

“Things definitely didn’t go my way in a few of the races, but I just knew for that final iron I just had to be close and work my way through it.

“The girls are just on fire, it’s awesome to be a part of this Nutri-Grain IronWoman Series.

“This is one of my favourites (formats). I’ve never been beaten in that format before…this is my fourth win in a row over the years. I’m so stoked, I didn’t think that was going to happen today in these conditions. I’m just going to enjoy this one and get ready for tomorrow to go again.

“It would be a dream come true to win another Series. They are so incredibly hard to win…I’ve been second for quite a few years now. But this year, I just wanted to come out and enjoy myself and then hope results followed, and they have,” she said.

Miller now sits comfortably atop of the overall leaderboard on 98 points, 13 points clear of NSW Ironwoman Lizzie Welborn (Newport) in second, and Derbyshire in third on 80 points.

The final round of the Nutri-Grain Ironman and Ironwoman Series will be held tomorrow at Kurrawa Beach on the Gold Coast from 12-2pm AEST, live on SBS, Fox Sports and Sky NZ.

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