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Charlotte McShane chasing season ending high after Cozumel confidence booster

Charlotte McShane chasing season ending high after Cozumel confidence booster

Fresh from her gritty third place finish behind Bermuda’s newly crowned ITU World Champion Flora Duffy and US Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen in Mexico last month, McShane has headed home to her parents’ property in East Gippsland, Victoria.

But there has been no rest for the Jamie Turner coached McShane who will now line up in this weekend’s famous Nepean Triathlon in the first of three major races to finish off her 2016 campaign.

There she will take on Olympian Ashleigh Gentle and training partners Natalie Van Coevorden and Tamsyn Moana-Veale and New Zealand’s Nicky Samuels.

The Nepean is Australia’s oldest triathlon and always attracts strong fields with McShane keen to add her name to a list of previous winners that includes Louise Bonham, Emma Carney, Joanne King, Gentle and Emma Moffatt.

Rio Olympian and Australia’s highest ranked ITU racer Ryan Bailie and his training partner, emerging Tasmanian star Jake Birtwhistle will head up the men’s field.

Aaron Royle, Australia's highest placed finisher in Rio, who is missing this year, has won the last three Nepean titles - opening the door for Bailie or Birtwhistle to add their name to the men’s who’s who that also includes names like Brad Bevan, Greg Welch, Tim Bentley, Courtney Atkinson and Pete Jacobs.

Next weekend it will be up to the Sunshine Coast for the Noosa Triathlon where McShane will again meet Gentle, 2012 Olympian Emma Jackson and Chile’s three-time Olympian Barbara Riveros in an expanded field of Australians and internationals.

Although Riveros has had a mountain bike crash and suffered a slight fracture to her foot that has forced her out of this weekend’s XTERRA Worlds in Maui for the second year in a row.

Second to Gentle last year, McShane will be hoping she can maybe go one better in 2016 with Bailie and Birtwhistle up against Rio Olympian Ryan Fisher and World Championship veteran Dan Wilson.

But there’s more in store for McShane who will then saddle up in the Australian Team for the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in and around the Snowy Mountains on November 19 and 20.

Located in the heart of Australia’s High County, the race will start at an altitude of 1100m with Australia’s highest peak, Mt Kosciusko as the backdrop.

The course includes some of the best fast and flowing single track mountain bike trails, and gritty off road running trails found anywhere in Australia.

“I’m starting to think I’m jumping in off the deep,” McShane said this week as she prepared to leave the chilly trails of country Victoria where she has enjoyed her family’s hospitality.

“You don’t get many chances to get home and I’m loving it … despite the cold. But just having my family around is amazing … and seeing my new nephew Oscar is very special.

“I have been splitting my time between my time trial bike and my mountain bike which I haven’t seen much of in recent times.

“But after the pressures associated with the WTS it is great to come home and race, and make the most of everything that goes with that.

“And after my season and particularly my third place in Cozumel has given my confidence a huge boost.

“There’s certainly not as much pressure on these races and I’m looking forward to having some fun and mixing with all the athletes – I can’t wait.”

McShane has dabbled in Cross Tri, racing the 2014 XTERRA World Championships and winning her Age Group at the 2008 World Cross Championships in Maui.

This Sunday’s XTERRA Worlds will see Australia’s decorated Cross Tri champion and 2016 Australian team member Ben Allen joined by Courtney Atkinson and Alex Hunt in the $US100,000 event.

And topping off what will be a busy weekend of triathlon, a field of Aussie young guns will line up in the ITU World Cup in Tongyeong, South Korea with Drew Box, Luke Willian, Matt Roberts, Declan Wilson, Joel Tobin-White and Kenji Nener in the men’s field and Jaz Hedgeland, Sophie Malowiecki and Felicity Sheedy-Ryan in the women’s race.

Still in Asia and Brad Kahlefeldt is looking for B2B wins this weekend at Challenge Thailand.