Despite an 11th hour change of format, Orange Cycle and Triathlon Club's bid for a pair of Triathlon NSW Club Championship three-peats is being buoyed not only by their home-course advantage but also by their recent form, and superb lead-up.
The Piranhas are gunning to win their third consecutive division two and country championship crowns on Saturday, with the 2019 edition of the tournament being forced to change to a duathlon thanks to red-alert levels of blue green algae at Gosling Creek Reserve.
Although that's far from ideal it was a necessary call from Orange City Council and not one taken lightly, with every alternative option given consideration, but with the show going on competing clubs will just have to adapt to the run-cycle-run format.
Fortunately the Piranhas have that home-track knowledge which should make adapting quite a bit easier, particularly considering they're coming in on the back of a red-hot preparation.
The Piranhas were dominant in their home leg of the Central West Inter-Club Triathlon Series not long ago and the best part of the club's competitors backed that up with one final tune-up last weekend, in their own club championship.
Granted that was held one day before the algae alert was raised and had a swim leg, but the competitive nature of the Orange club's events makes for the perfect way to go into this weekend's 26th edition of the state equivalent.
Young guns Rory Thornhill and Lauren Kerwick, in particular, will be brimming with confidence following last weekend's race after picking up victories.
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Racing over the 750-metre swim, 23-kilometre cycle and 4.4-kilometre run format, Thornhill clocked one hour, six minutes and four seconds to incredibly win by a margin of more than three minutes from second-placed David Hunter, with Matt Dean another minute or so further back in third.
Kerwick won by even more too, clocking 1.11.39 to salute by a whopping eight minutes and 48 seconds from second placed Estelle Dean (1.20.17).
Jessie Dean picked up success to in the modified sprint - the cycle and run legs were the same, but the swim leg was just 300 metres - winning in a time of 1.07.01 with an even bigger margin than Thornhill and Kerwick.
Dean won by more than 13 minutes from Lucy Macmaster (1.20.29) and Katrina Smith (1.24.11), while the men's section was won by Mark Kiho in 1.15.07.
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Saturday's NSW Club Championship is a fascinating event with clubs broken into divisions based on their membership numbers, The Hills and Kiama will be trying to defend their respective division one and three titles.
It also doubles as a double points round for the Sydney South East, Sydney North, Sydney South West and South Coast Inter-Club Series', and has the potential to shake those competitions up in a big way.
The event begins at 7.30am on Saturday morning, with racing proper starting at 8.30am and the main race 12.30pm.
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