By Mitch Robins
The 2nd and 3rd Round of the NSW Protour series was held over the weekend at Gunnedah, including the NSW Time Trial Championships on Saturday, a unique event including a 1km swim time trial in the morning, followed by a 20km bike TT at lunch, and finishing with a 5km timed run on the track. These 3 times are then added together to find the overall winner for the day, and the 2nd round of the Protour. The Sunday morning we raced again over the Sprint Distance, and I’m sure everyone who backed up felt the effects of a hard day on Saturday.
Saturday was great fun, with the local Gunnedah Cycling and Triathlon club working overtime to ensure everything ran smoothly at all the venues. The 1km swim at the local pool was freezing cold, and after this first event, superfish Scott Llewellyn held about 1min 30sec lead over myself, breaking the course record in the process. The 20km bike time trial was held out of town on a deceivingly flat course, and was really hot and windy. I rode myself into first place, with help from my slick Giant Trinity Advanced SL1, making up the deficit to Scott and setting a new course record. This set us up for an interesting 5km run, as I was now in the overall lead by 3 seconds. The run was held at a grass running track, and the sun was still high making it very hot and exposed. The group started together and I went out hard and held on for a pretty comfortable lead, breaking the course record again, and winning the overall NSW Time Trial Championships.
Sunday was a sprint distance triathlon (750m swim, 20km ride, 5km run) held in torrential rain, forcing the organisers to make some adjustments to the criterium style bike course to keep it safe for the competitors. As expected, Scott LLewellyn lead out of the water (even after swimming extra), and I found myself about 45seconds behind with the main group. I bridged up to Scott on about lap 2 of 13, and together we keep the pace high, along with 2 others. I tried numerous times to escape on the bike, and although I felt great, it was difficult to get away as the road was just so slippery and dangerous. Onto the run, and Scott set an absolutely red hot pace which put me in serious difficulty. I hung in for about 1km, then decided to put my foot down and open up a gap, which continued to grow to around 30 seconds by the finish.
It was a fantastic weekend, with some very very fast racing from all the guys. I’m very glad to have 2 wins from 2 events this weekend, and now be leading the overall NSW Protour series. This has given me plenty of confidence to take with me into the Science In Sport Port Macquarie Half Ironman this weekend.
Special thanks to John and Donna Hickey and Mick Ludlow, along with the entire Gunnedah Cycling and Triathlon club for making everything happen this weekend. A great event which I would recommend to anyone looking for a challenge.
Hope to see some of you at Port Macquarie this weekend, i’ll be giving it my best shot. Good luck to everyone competing!