Not for the first time this weekend, it was a dominant Australian victory on home soil at the inaugural middle-distance 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’s race plan was to lead from the start, and that strategy clearly paid off. 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.”
David Mainwaring was eight minutes behind in second place, with Lindsey Wall taking the last podium spot in 3:53:09.
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.
800 competitors took part in the inaugural Challenge Forster event.
Top Five Men:
Tim Reed 3:44:21
David Mainwaring 3:52.12
Lindsey Wall 3:53:09
Alex Reithmeier 3:55:26
Michael Fox 3:56:07
Top Five Women:
Rebecca Hoschke 4:17:43
Michelle Bremmer 4:21:46
Annabel Luxford 4:24:06
Jessica Simpson 4:35:50
Natalie Silvestro 4:37:33