Nigel Burgess confirmed that his world championship training is on track as he ticked off one of his stated goals in winning race one of the Nelson Tri Club's spring series at Rabbit Island yesterday.
Burgess had to keep the output high through all sections of the race, as Ed Rimmer and Jon Linyard were seldom more than a few seconds behind.
Because of the large number heading for the October world triathlon championships, a road course was added as an option to the normal mountainbike course through the forest, with about half of the 80-strong field taking each option.
The mass start put the whole field on to a 2.5-kilometre run course through the forest. The first kilometre of soft sand had many breathing deeply as their calfs stretched with the effort of getting traction.
Burgess led into the transition area in a touch over nine minutes, followed closely by Ian Courtenay, the leading competitor in the mountainbike event.
As the road cyclists got underway, Rimmer, Alan Bryson and Linyard were in the minor places, with Susie Wood holding a half minute lead over Pogo Mcauley and Tracey Perry.
Scott Barr and Sophie Hart set off in pursuit of Courtenay as the mountainbikers went back into the forest, Hart recording the fastest bike split over the 10km ride.
It wasn't enough, as Courtenay held his lead, increasing it over the final 2.5km run leg to win in 44min 9sec, a minute ahead of Hart, with Scott Barr half a minute back for third and Keith Anderson in fourth.
On the road course, Burgess held his lead back into the second transition, with Rimmer and Linyard leading Danial Bremner and Bryson. Rimmer and Linyard held on for second and third while Bryson ran a fast split to take fourth, ahead of Bremner.
Wood was the dominant woman, taking eighth overall, four minutes ahead of Mcauley, with a similar gap back to Perry.
Digby Kynaston was untroubled to win the walk section ahead of Wendy De Maat.
Full results available at nelsontriclub.co.nz
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