NEWCASTLE’S Aaron Royle should have no shortage of motivation when he contests the International Triathlon Union world series event in Mooloolaba on Saturday.
It will be the Rio Olympian’s first race on home soil since he was controversially omitted from the team to contest this year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Royle, 28, will get to race against two of the younger competitors Australia’s selectors chose ahead of him, Luke Willian and Matt Hauser.
Royle, who has been training during the Australian summer in England, opened his 2018 campaign by finishing 12th in the first race of the ITU series, held in Abu Dhabi last week.
Two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee has been forced to withdraw from the Mooloolaba event, but South African Richard Murray, the world No.4, and New Zealand's world No.9 Ryan Sissons should ensure a high standard of competition. Saturday's race will be over the Olympic distance: a 1.5 kilometre swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run.