IT WAS a gun mountain bike rider who won the Tannum Sands Triathlon yesterday.

In his first triathlon in 10 years, Michael England survived a scare from Rockhampton's promising 16-year-old Mason Hebbard (1:02:53) in the swimming stage during which he led by more than a minute before England regained the ascendancy in his favourite category.

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England turned the deficit into a lead of more than 90 seconds and from there he was never headed off in claiming his fifth Tannum Triathlon title, in 1hr and 53 seconds.

"During the swim and bike, I had to go as hard as possible," England said of the tactic used in the long version of the triathlon.

"The conditions were perfect for a swim and there was no wind and the run was flat."

England added he was wary during the hardest part of the run where competitors generally tend to be prey to fatigue and struggle.

"It was probably the last quarter of the run where you can potentially slump and lose your form and that's where the mental aspect comes in," England explained.

However, it was in a certain part of the track that he knew that he had it all covered.

"Heading into the last U turn, I knew they couldn't catch me," England said.

He used yesterday's event as a part of his six-month mountain bike preseason.

"It's basically base training and swimming is also perfect for that," England said.

Fellow Gladstone athlete Ally Ware was second in the female short course.

"I'm just new to this and definitely prefer the individual triathlon over team triathlons," Ally, 15, said.



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