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Thu 27th Feb 2020
A postcard from Paguera
Posted by: JohnLevison
Posted on: Friday 17th October 2014

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Tri247 Editor john Levison is out in Mallorca combining spectating, supporting, and end of season (birthday) holiday… with just a little bit of work, at Challenge Paguera, the 2014 ETU Middle Distance Triathlon Championships, taking place tomorrow (Saturday).

Sometimes you get the feeling that an event will just ‘work’. I remember having that feeling ahead of the debut Ironman Kalmar, Sweden, in 2012 – and then proved to be a huge success, arguably already established as one of the ‘must do’ European Ironman events alongside Klagenfurt (Austria) and Nice (France). Fingers crossed, but Challenge Paguera could follow in those footsteps.

Paguera is a compact, holiday destination just a 30-minute taxi from Palma airport. Over the summer months it is packed, we understand, with German tourists who flock here in their thousands. In early October, the slightly out-of-season time slot means plenty of very reasonable priced accommodation all within a short stroll of the beach, masses of restaurants and bars which means no panic required about finding your favourite pre-race meal – and with access to Palma airport available from all over Europe, no problems in getting here either.

Perhaps it is the end of season time slot, but despite the championship status of the race, the overall ‘vibe’ here is of relaxation, fun, and for most celebrating the end of another triathlon year. No doubt ‘race faces’ will appear on Saturday. They won’t need to appear on Saturday morning either, as a midday start time means we all get a lie in.

There are still some quality athletes ready to race. We’ve seen Denmark’s Helle Frederiksen, winner of the Hy-Vee 5150 earlier this season looking very lean and fit, training here for a few days now and surely the pre-race favourite, where Austria’s Lisa Hutthaler is likely to be her closest contender. Given Frederiksen’s feelings on doping in sport, there may be some ‘interesting’ body language between those two at some point this weekend…

We’re off to go and ride the bike course now – the benefit of being here but not racing meaning we don’t have to worry about pre-race exertion – and thanks to the great service of Rad International, we’ve been able to hire two superb Ultegra equipped, Isaac carbon road bikes at less than the cost of adding a bike box to your supposedly ‘low-cost’ airline of choice.

Weather is great, location is superb and the town appears fully behind the event with lots of side events, banners and shows – let’s hope that event delivers.

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