JAMES Nevill knows he must hang tough in the bike leg if he is any chance to better his Warrnambool foreshore triathlon debut result.
James, 16, finished sixth overall in 2013 when a lack of experience counted against him.
A year on, James believes he is better placed to make a stake for a top-four finish.
The Brauer College student, who will represent Victoria at school level for a second time in April, said he entered Sunday’s 500-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike ride and 5km run with confidence.
“I’d like to place top four. I finished sixth last year, so top four or three would be nice,” James said.
“Kris McCartney and Rohan Creed will be the ones to beat, I think.”
James said his swim “was not where I want it to be at the moment”, but it’s the bike leg he thinks will be most crucial to his chances.
“I have to have a good ride because there are a lot of strong riders, especially Rohan Creed,” he said.
“He can get away from me on the bike and I can’t catch up on the run, so I have to hang on in the ride and have a good run.”
James was one of six teenagers named in the School Sport Victoria (SSV) 16-to-19-year-old triathlon team on Monday.
He will compete in the School Sport Australia national championships at Bendigo in April.
James, who represented SSV at age 16 boys’ level last year, said the step up in age group would be tough.
“I was pretty surprised this year because I am bottom-age and you race against adults, basically,” James said.
“The Australian championships are first, so I have to focus on that, and school nationals are the last race of the season.”
James said a love for the sport encouraged him to train up to 13 times a week.
But the Warrnambool-based teenager admitted it occasionally took its toll.
James said he was grateful there were numerous options to train with groups for all three legs — swimming, cycling and running — in Warrnambool.
“Definitely you get down periods,” he said.
“They can last for more than a week sometimes, especially in winter when there is really bad weather.
“Summer is not too bad.”
The foreshore triathlon is on Sunday.
The club will run a junior foreshore triathlon on Saturday.