Lewis boosts confidence with a top-five finish in Wales

JOSH LEWIS rose to the demands of Challenge Wales last weekend.

Josh Lewis competing in the Challenge Wales event in which he finished fifth. (30952933)
Josh Lewis competing in the Challenge Wales event in which he finished fifth. (30952933)

The island’s top triathlete finished fifth in the professional-level 70.3 mile race on a windy Saturday, which bodes well for his ambition of soon competing at a world championship for the Half Ironman distance.

Even that position may have sold him somewhat short – he had led off the bike before suffering several narrow overtakes on the run.

But the 29-year-old still saw it as a good confidence-booster heading into next month’s Commonwealth Games.

‘That was the main thing about this race – I wanted to get a bit of a confidence boost after a few mishaps in short-course racing,’ he said.

‘I just have to work on small things in transition and use that in the race when it comes to the Commonwealth Games.’

After struggling to get the best of himself in several early-season sprint events, he headed to the town of Fishguard, Pembrokeshire for a distinct change of pace.

He got stuck into the 1.2-mile swim, leaving the water just 6sec. down on Aaron Royle, the Australian Olympian who would eventually take overall victory.

English Commonwealth Games man Tom Bishop followed 5sec. behind and the trio rode closely in the 56-mile cycle, where Lewis felt controlled and had another gear.

He used that extra gear to break ahead when the chasers closed them down in the final 2km, working up a 15sec. lead by second transition.

But seven triathletes were looming behind him ahead of a hilly 13.1-mile run that did not fully suit him.

Ultimately Lewis crossed the line in 3hrs 53min. 2sec., over a minute down on Royle but considerably closer to his other foils.

In fact, he would have only needed to go 28sec. faster to secure second spot, which eventually went to Jack Hutchens, with Harry Palmer and Bishop also coming past the Guernseyman.

‘I just had a really good race,’ he said.

‘It really shows where my physiology is in terms of my actual fitness.

‘My short course races need intricate skills in transition and if you mess those up, you’re out of the race, so it wasn’t showing my fitness.

‘When you go to longer courses, it’s far more fitness-based, as the transitions are so much smaller in proportion to the race total.’

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