GETTING CROSS: Ballina triathlon members Phil Cook, Max McGovern and Simon Ivanac, who are competing in the ITU cross triathlon world championships in the Snowy Mountains today.
GETTING CROSS: Ballina triathlon members Phil Cook, Max McGovern and Simon Ivanac, who are competing in the ITU cross triathlon world championships in the Snowy Mountains today. contributed

Climbing triathlon mountain

THREE Ballina triathletes are set to be pushed to their limits when they represent Australia in the ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion- ships at Lake Crackenback in the Snowy Mountains today.

Phil Cook, Max McGovern and Simon Ivanac will compete in different age divisions in a 1.5km fresh water swim, 30km bush track bike ride and 10km track run around Lake Jindabyne.

Cross triathlon is different from normal triathlon with the racing off-road featuring fast and flowing single track mountain bike trails and gritty running trails.

McGovern has already completed the course at nationals and is the youngest of the three, competing in the 30-35 years division.

There are 28 countries involved with plenty of competition arriving from New Zealand and South Africa.

"I've always wanted to represent my country and to be able to do it at something like this is really exciting,” McGovern said.

"Having Phil and Simon here with the experience they have is definitely a bonus and we're all pumped for it.

"Physically and mentally it will be a tough race and you never know what to expect in cross triathlon.

"Swimming is probably my strength. I've already had a bit of a dip in the lake and it was freezing.

"Hopefully I can have a decent go on the bike and that will set me up for the run home.”

Final preparations were being completed yesterday with McGovern preparing himself for a tough bike leg.

He hopes to better his time of 2 hours 45 minutes over the course at the nationals in February.

He had a few beers to settle the nerves on Thursday night and looks forward to having a few more tonight.

"I've come off my bike in the past two events and you really have to pick your lines and keep your eyes peeled,” he said.

"You pull up pretty sore in the days after and you really feel it in your back and legs.

"There is supposed to be a bit of rain so that will make it really interesting.”

There is $45,000 prizemoney at the event with the winners of the elite male and female categories set to pocket $5250 each.



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