WIL­LETT WHEELIE READY FOR PUSH

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LIAM BUT­TER­WORTH

FOR­MER Paluma Push win­ner Jodie Wil­lett has a dif­fer­ent fo­cus in mind as she re­turns to give North Queens­land’s premier moun­tain bike race another crack.

Wil­lett will re­sume her friendly ri­valry with Townsville’s de­fend­ing Na­tional Road Se­ries cham­pion Ruth Corset when they tackle the 70km course through the Paluma Na­tional Park.

The pair used to ride to­gether for the Pen­sar Hawk Rac­ing team on the NRS and they fin­ished first and sec­ond re­spec­tively when rid­ing against each other in the Push in 2012.

The Bris­bane- based rider is now a Moun­tain Bike Aus­tralia ju­nior de­vel­op­ment coach and spent yesterday work­ing with a class of kids from Ig­natius Park Col­lege and train­ing coaches.

It’s meant she’s taken a step back from her rac­ing but she was look­ing for­ward to the chance to ride with Corset again even if her train­ing has been down.

“I’m learn­ing now to en­joy my rid­ing and it’s less about the com­pet­ing,” she said.

Townsville twins Jeff and Dan Rubach should be hard to beat in their quest to make it back- to- back top- two fin­ishes in the over­all race.

Just six weeks af­ter tak­ing the RRR ti­tle in Cairns, the broth­ers are hop­ing to re­peat their ef­forts from the 2014 Paluma race when they fin­ished first and sec­ond.

Or­gan­is­ers ex­panded the Push to 750 riders this year.

A 53km in­ter­me­di­ate course has been added to this year’s com­pe­ti­tion along with the 70km main race and 42km recre­ation course.

Pic­ture: EVAN MOR­GAN

PEDAL POWER: Jodie Wil­lett is one of the favourites in this year's Paluma Push.

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