SHE may not have enjoyed the cycle leg as much as usual, but it was Jess Richards’ work on the bike which saw her as the female long course winner in Sunday’s Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club race.
The Orange triathlete clocked a 25 minutes, 14 seconds split for the 16.5 kilometre cycle, an effort which was four minutes faster than any of her rivals managed.
That gave Richards the lead heading into the run leg and she did not surrender her advantage.
Richards finished in a time of 1:02.30 to comfortably beat home Bathurst’s Brianna Adams (1:08.00). Third belonged to another Orange competitor in Kate Thornton (1:09.30).
“It was very hot. I actually found the bike really hard today, it’s my favourite leg, but I found it really challenging, I’m not sure why,” she said.
“I’ve dropped the training, I’ve only been doing short stuff the last month or so, so this is probably the distance that I can handle at the moment.
“I had a off season over winter, so I’ll just do short races all year and local races. You’ve got to keep some racing in you.
“It’s really nice to have extra races over here to get some stuff in our legs, racing under our belts.”
It was teenager Adams, making her long course debut, who was first out of the water on Sunday as she clocked an 8.12 split for the 500 metres swim. She was followed by Margaret Duguid (8.42).
Richards was third quickest (9.09), but not long into the cycle leg had moved into the lead of the female contingent. By the time she headed into final transition, she was a tick over seven minutes clear of her nearest rival.
She finished with a strong run leg – only Adams (24.52) going quicker – yet Richards admitted she could have pushed harder over the final five kilometres.
“It got slower and slower. I think it’s a little bit of a disadvantage not to have someone very close because I was looking over my shoulder and although I shouldn’t, I took a bit of a breather because it was so hot,” she said.
“It's challenging doing the two laps, it’s a mental test to pass the finish then come back out again for a second lap.”