Betts hopes to return to form and clinch TreX series crown
Current women’s TreX cross triathlon series leader Louise Betts (QLD) is hoping she can return to her race winning form from the Australian summer at the TreX Queensland Championships this weekend (May 2-3).
The 27-year-old elite cyclist and champion triathlete swept the Queensland Back2Back in January when she came from behind to claim both days of off-road triathlon consisting of a 500m swim, 14km mountain bike and 7km trail each.
The clean sweep solidified her spot atop the TreX series standings, where she holds a 17-point lead over rival Renata Bucher (SUI) and 19 points over Xterra champion Jacqui Slack (GBR), with one race to go.
“I am stoked to be leading the TreX series,” said Betts, who followed her Back2Back clean sweep by winning the Giant Odyssey Shorty 50km Mountain Bike Marathon in March. “To win the overall title would be very exciting.
“The In2Adventure team have done a great job in securing some very generous prize money which would enable me to do some other mountain bike races later in the year, or perhaps an Ironman triathlon.”
The Queensland Championships mark the final race of the season and will be hosted in the same venue Betts did the double four months earlier. However, according to the Chermside native, there are no guarantees of an encore performance at Ewen Maddock Dam in Landsborough on Saturday.
“I've had some issues with my health and took a few weeks off to have a holiday in Vietnam,” Betts told In2Adventure. “I am not carrying the same level of form that I did over the summer so I am curious to see how hard my body is willing to go.
“I have been doing lots of road racing with my Campos Cycling Team teammates to get some fitness as quickly as possible.”
The women’s field is loaded, including fellow Queenslanders Connie Silvestri and Kim Beckinsale who sit four and five in the overall standings and still within striking distance.
“It’s not a guarantee that both Louise Betts and the men’s leader Max Neumann will take out the series, as a non start, injury, mechanical or strong performance from the competition could see a change in leaders,” said race director Simon Lazenby.
“Max withdrew from the B2B through sickness, when Brodie won back in January, and Louise didn’t race at Oceania Championships, so neither have an insurmountable lead and it will be exciting to see how the competition pans out after Saturday’s race.”
Photo Credit: Courtesy In2Adventure
“It’s also been inspiring to see newcomer Louise Betts putting in consistently strong performances across all rounds to lead the series but with a strong female field,” added event director Robyn Lazenby. “The rest of the girls, including Connie Silvestri and Kim Beckinsale, will be pushing hard.”
“I expect that the competition will be really tough,” she said. “I am pretty sure Kim Beckinsale will be racing and she is so tough and always fun to race with.
“The 1500m swim is not something I am particularly looking forward to, that said the team at In2Adventure always put on a great event and it looks as though they have made some changes to the mountain bike course that I am looking forward to having a turn.
“I am pumped for a weekend of tough racing, camping and hanging out with my Guy Andrews Adventure teammates.”
Reigning Australian cross triathlon champion Max Neumann (QLD), who is fresh off an injured shoulder, will be attempting to hold on to his lead over state rivals Brodie Gardner and George Tamblyn.
The race will be held on the first day of the Queensland Cross-Triathlon Championships MultiSport Weekend at Wildeco Camp, which is based in the spectacular Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The opening long course championship features a 1500m swim, a 28km mountain bike and a 10.5km trail run.
“It’s been a massive year for TreX and the season finale is going to be a huge climax as we line up for the Queensland champs,” said Robyn Lazenby. “So many of our amazing TreX athletes are in the running for the crown of Ultimate Series Champion and the $10,000 series prize purse.”
For long course participants, including Betts and Neumann, an 8km trail run on Saturday and a 50km XC MTB on Sunday will be cumulatively added with the long course to decide overall ‘Dirt Master’ and ‘Dirt Mistress’ titles. Aside from the long course, other events include sprint, junior, teaser and Dirt Kids races.
Rainforest trails and fern-filled bushland provides the perfect setting for the TreX season finale and a multisport weekend. With on site accommodation and camping it makes this a premier event for the entire family.
For seven years TreX has positioned itself as the pinnacle of the cross – or off-road - triathlon racing series in Asia-Pacific. Presented by the premier outdoor adventure event specialists In2Adventure, TreX consists of a reservoir swim, mountain bike and trail run. While each TreX event features an elite category with industry-leading prize purses, including $10,000 for the Australian Cross Triathlon Championships and $40,000 for the Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships, the TreX Cross Triathlon national series invites participation from all ages and skill levels. For more information visit TreX here