THE 2XU Triathlon Series got underway in Elwood on Sunday, with a handful of Echuca-Moama triathletes starting with impressive results.
None more so than Brett Sands and Steve Gray who both made the podium in the male 45 to 49 category after a hard-fought battle throughout the day.
Sands finished in second having made up more than a minute on the run leg, Gray having to settle for third.
‘‘Steve and another guy got away from me in the swim by about 45 seconds,’’ Sands said.
‘‘I was chasing them on the bike but they put a bit more time into me and had more than a one-minute lead heading into the run.
‘‘Halfway through the run there’s a turnaround point so I got to see I’d taken a bit of time off them and I ended up catching Steve with about 500m to go. I asked him how far up the leader was and we weren’t going to catch him, so we just cruised and had a little fun with a sprint to the line.’’
The pair finished 90 seconds back from category winner Gavin Stuart in the six-race series’ opening event, which featured a 500-metre swim, 20km bike ride and five-kilometre run.
Jeremy Walker also took a spot on a podium, finishing third in the male 35 to 39 class. He finished just more than one minute back from winner Hamish Cropper.
Harry Shearer was 17th in the boys 15-19 class, an impressive effort in the 57-entrant class as a 15-year-old.
‘‘That’s down a bit on his results from last year but he’s a bottom-ager now going up against some tough 19-year-old guys,’’ Sands said.
‘‘It’s going to harden him up a bit, and it’s probably a good thing going against those guys and having something to chase.’’
Mal McLeod took ninth in the Clydesdale class, with daughter Majella eighth in the Active Feet Fun Tri (150-metre swim, seven-kilometre bike, 1.2km run) female 12 to 13 category.
Coming off second overall in the 2016/17 series, Sands said he and Gray would both be aiming for the podium again.
‘‘At Elwood last year we were first and third so we’ve gone pretty close to that,’’ he said.
‘‘It was beautiful weather with no wind, a cracking day for racing. We were both about a minute quicker on our times from last year too.
‘‘We’re having a crack, Steve was fourth last year but he’ll be pushing for a podium. He’s in a bit better condition this year coming off the World Championships in September - he’s trained all winter and he’s up and about.’’