WIND gusts might have made for a difficult cycle leg, but Nick North still breezed to victory in the opening long course event of the 2019-20 Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club season.
While adopting a more relaxed approach to the sport this season, North showed late last month his training still stacks up as he won his age group at the Nepean Triathlon.
On Sunday North demonstrated that again as he clocked the fastest splits for all three legs of the long course race and led from the opening lap of the swim leg to the finish line.
Even as the wind gusted up to 30 kilometres an hour during the cycle leg as North rode alone, he was still 43 seconds quicker than any competitor on the day - short or long course - over the 16km.
"It was tough, you just couldn't keep a straight line. It was blowing right to left, left to right, it was definitely one of the toughest bike rides I've had in a while," North said.
Having led out of the pool, clocking a six minutes, 19 seconds split for the 500m, North further increased his advantage on the bike with a 23:26 effort. He was pushing hard as he knew that Josh Stapley was trying to close the gap behind him.
But by the time North headed out of final transition and into the 5km run, he led by 59 seconds. From there he was not going to be caught as he powered through the final leg in 19:44.
He finished with an overall time of 50:22, with Stapley stopping the clock after 52:42.
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"It's definitely good to finish the first race in first. I knew Josh was in good form, but he's in big, hard training at the moment. I knew it was going to be tough and I had to push hard to get the better of him on the day," he said.
North was also impressed by the efforts of young talent and eventual third placegetter Will Kelly (58:30).
It was Kelly who was first out of the water behind North - taking just 13 seconds longer to cover the 500m swim. He also finished his run leg strongly with his second lap of the 2.5km course 18 seconds quicker than his first.
"Will was closing quite quick on the swim, I noticed he just got into a rhythm and was pulling time back on me in that swim. He's going really good," North said.
North is looking forward to more battles with Kelly and Stapley as the season unfolds, with Bathurst club races and the Central West Inter Club Triathlon Series his focus.
"The aim is just to try and do all the local stuff and all the inter club races to get points for Bathurst, that's pretty much the aim for now. That's enough for me at the moment, I'm just ticking along nicely and enjoying the sport," he said.
"It's great to just train without any real aim or goals, just to keep fit and enjoy it."