It was an all-Australian victory at this weekend's inaugural Challenge Forster with Tim Reed and Rebecca Hoschke taking out the titles in 3:44:21 and 4:17:43 respectively in testing weather conditions.
Reed rounded off a stellar season and his race plan was to lead from the start, and that strategy clearly paid off today. Dylan McNeice (NZL) excited the water first but Reed soon overtook the lead bunch on the bike and rode the full 90km solo before continuing to extend his lead on the run.
"It was a really buzz racing in the pouring rain but there were still lots of people out cheering on course and that was pretty impressive from Forster," he said. "I was racing a little bit angry after my bike had a bit of a malfunction when I was racing two weeks ago... I felt really fresh out there, the plan was to see how the legs were and I looked down at the power meter and saw things were going pretty good so I just kept rolling and thankfully it worked out pretty well."
An added incentive was the 30,000 Euro (approx $A25,000) pro prize purse on offer - Challenge Forster has one of the largest pro prize purses in Australia.
David Mainwaring was eight minutes behind in second place, with Lindsay Wall taking the last podium spot in 3:53:09.
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The women's race was much closer with the lead changing a number of times. Annabel Luxford (AUS) was first out the water and continued this lead on the first lap of the bike. However a mechanical at the start of the second lap saw the chase pack catch up and all top three women left T2 together, led by Michelle Bremer (AUS). But it was the ever-smiling Hoschke who had the strongest legs and she took the title four minutes ahead of Bremmer with Luxford coming home in 4:24.
"It means the world to me to win Challenge Forster. I love Challenge Family and I love Forster!" said Hoschke as she crossed the line before thanking the spectators and volunteers for their support in the tough weather conditions.
800 competitors took part in the inaugural Challenge Forster which saw triathlon return to its birthplace in Australia.
Photo credit: Wilkie Productions
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