• Brendan Johnston. (Open Shutter Photography)Source: Open Shutter Photography
Brendan Johnston and Peta Mullens battled intense conditions to take out Round 2 of the 2017 XCM National Series the ‘Golden Triangle Epic’ at Bendigo on Saturday.
Cycling Central

26 Mar 2017 - 8:35 AM 

Johnston, who admitted to a disappointing two weeks which included the Oceania and National Championships, found his marathon legs to take the elite male category in a time of 4hr 13min 24sec, more than six minutes ahead of Ryan Standish and Tasman Nankervis.

“Up to 90k I felt invincible and then 10k to go it hit me and I slowed up a bit and felt every bit of it till the finish,” Johnston said. 

The reigning Australian Marathon Champion stuck with local favourite Nankervis for most of the first lap of the 100km course before he made a move to drop the defending Golden Triangle champion.

“I tried to consolidate early on and follow Tas and then 55km in I tested the legs and that was it," he said.

Mullens, who flew out to America on Sunday, was able to race at her home event after getting special dispensation from her road team, and it paid off as she backed up from last year’s victory to again claim the elite women title.

The reigning national champion lives 100 metres from the course and admitted even she struggled with the conditions.

“I was cramping for 30km and the last descent I didn’t know if I’d have to get off and walk or not," Mullens said. "I don’t know if my left leg did a productive pedal in the last hour.”

“I went out pretty solid today and didn’t want the girls to follow my local line so went as hard as I could for as long as I could, and slowly blew towards the end and hoping they were blowing in the background.

While it was a race of one out front, the minor placings were hotly contested as Emma Viotto clawed her way into second nearly eight minutes behind Mullens with Kathryn McInnerney in third.