Perfect pacing gives Birtwhistle the cup

LAUNCESTON triathlete Jake Birtwhistle continued his winning form by taking out the ITU Triathlon Oceania Cup at Mooloolaba yesterday.

One of Triathlon Australia's rising stars, Birtwhistle paced himself well during the race before unleashing his powerful running leg on the way to a convincing victory.

The former track and field star   is now a full-time triathlete based in Wollongong under international coach Jamie Turner.

``I was feeling good today and I had to keep reminding myself not to go too hard too early,'' said the Australian Youth Olympic champion and OTU Oceania champion.

 ``I tried to stay away from the front, which is hard for me, but I was able to sit in the pack for a bit and put the pressure on in the second lap.''

Birtwhistle was able to time his run to perfection over the back end of the 1500-metre swim, 40km bike and 10km run and powered away to win it in 1 hour and 52.07 seconds.

Victorian Nathan Buschkuehl finished second  (1:52.26), with Danny Coleman (1:52.35) nine seconds back in third in an all-Australian finish.

The race victory sets Birtwhistle up for his first major international escapade, starting with the Chengdu World Cup in China on March 23.

``This race was   pretty important for me today as I am moving on to the World Cups now,'' he said.

``After Devonport (the Oceania Standard Distance Championships) a few weeks ago I was sore, I didn't pull up very well . . . `` I have only just managed to recover in the past couple of days.''

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