Royle’s big day out with fifth Nepean crown as Gentle surges home for title number four.
Rio Olympian and NSW triathlete Aaron Royle has wrapped up a record equaling fifth Nepean Triathlon in perfect conditions in Penrith today – taking the overall honours in Australia’s oldest race.
Royle equals Tim Bentley’s feat to win five Nepean events – although Bentley still has the bragging rights of five straight wins between 1992 and 1996 – in a race first won by Greg Reddan and Gabrielle Howard in 1982.
The 28-year old Royle headed fellow 2016 Olympian Ryan Bailie and Wollongong youngster Max Stapley – running past four times women’s winner Ashleigh Gentle on the run home to take the overall handicap win.
Royle covered the 1km swim, 30km bike and 10km run in 1 hour 28 minutes 23 seconds to Bailie’s 1:30.11 and Stapley’s 1:30.25.
It was the final 10km run where Royle cleared away after he and Stapley had led out of the water, opening up a sizeable lead over Bailie, who knuckled down on the bike, passing Stapley.
But it was Royle, who has been preparing for his end of year tilt at the Nepean-Noosa (November 4) double, who proved too slick in the run around the Nepean River.
“I did get off to a good start on the bike and pushed hard, getting out in front on my own, knowing I just had to try and hang ahead of Sam Douglas, Max and Bailie and although I did open up a decent lead you never know how much it has taken out of you,” said Royle.