Clayton Fennell (left, with Josh McHugh and Michael Raelert) is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime to the United States.
Clayton Fennell (left, with Josh McHugh and Michael Raelert) is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime to the United States.

Fettell switches focus to US

ALSTONVILLE triathlete Clayton Fettell is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime as he attempts to break into the lucrative United States triathlon field.

Fettell, 24, has decided to base himself in the United States full-time this year and move away from the Australian Olympic scene.

“Basically there is big money on offer and I want to qualify for as many races as I can,” Fettell said.

“Competing in the Olympics isn't the goal any more.

"It's really tough to break into.

“I think I'm better suited to the US and I've had some success there in the past.”

Fettell is in good form.

Two weeks ago, in a Queensland triathlon event he finished first in his division, despite going off course during the swim and run section.

“I still don't know what happened there,” he said.

“We weren't briefed very well and I had no idea that I was swimming and running in the wrong direction.”

Having competed at national and international level, Fettell feels like he is only just starting to develop as a triathlete.

“I think people have looked at me in the past as just a swim-bike specialist,” he said.

“I've developed my running game in the last six months and I'm heading overseas with renewed enthusiasm.”

Fettell competed in the US in 2009.

That same year he finished first in the Under-23 World Long Course Championships and won the Gold Coast Half Ironman in October.

He missed most of last season with a stress fracture in his leg.

“The motivation is still there.

"I feel like I'm starting all over again,” he said.

And although he might be lost to Alstonville for now, he will take a piece of home with him.

“My bike sponsor is Peter Teschner and he lives in Alstonville, so it's good to keep that local link with you wherever you go,” he said.

“I feel like I have at least 15 more years in me. I'll be around for a while yet.”

His first race will be on May 1 in the Wildflower Triathlon in California.



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