Jake Birtwhistle attributed a break at home in Launceston to a timely second Noosa Triathlon victory.
In front of national selectors leading into an Olympic year, the Tasmanian produced an eye-catching performance in the Queensland sun on Sunday to cap off a mixed season.
In the week he was nominated as one of six finalists for the Tasmanian Athlete of the Year, Birtwhistle won in 1:43:39, surging away from Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman (1:44:01), the South African who pipped him to Commonwealth Games gold last year.
"It is a long season and takes a lot out of the body to be here and ready," the 24-year-old said.
"I came to Noosa last year without taking time off and just did not really have anything left. The motivation was high to race but it was a long grind to get here.
"I took that into consideration and took time to mentally and physically refresh, get my motivation high and be ready for the last month of training."
The former junior world champion has enjoyed returning to his familiar West Tamar training routes since finishing the 2019 World Triathlon Series in a disappointing sixth place but with two victories to his name.
Birtwhistle said his second Noosa title could not have come at a better time as national selectors finalise the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympics.
Congratulations to the six Tasmanian athletes announced as finalists for the 2019 Tasmanian Athlete of the Year including:— TIS (@tassiesport) November 1, 2019
Georgia Baker – cycling (track)
Jake Birtwhistle – triathlon
Amy Cure – cycling (track)
Sarah Hawe – rowing
Eddie Ockenden – hockey
Ariarne Titmus – swimming pic.twitter.com/XEb1MGDZ3p
"It's great to be here and be the first Australian, it's just a big positive to end the season on such a high note and be able to start training for 2020 as the current Noosa champion.
"Noosa is always a tough race to win. Everyone shows up to this so it always means a lot."
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