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Tue 16th Aug 2022
Hall, Learmonth one-two at ETU Champs
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Sunday 26th June 2016

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Lucy Hall and Jessica Learmonth complete a stunning double at inaugural European Elite Sprint Distance Champs

Grant Sheldon adds Bronze to complete a fine day for Team GB in Châteauroux

Elite, draft-legal triathlon - it's always just a 'wet run', right? Well, that memo didn't reach - or rather, had been ripped up - by the British pairing of Lucy Hall and Jessica Learmonth in 2016. Two of the finest swimmers in World triathlon, they are also very talented and super strong on the bike too... so, why not use those strengths? They have proven thay can do just that to good effect this year already with wins on the ETU European Cup circuirt in Quarteira (Jess) and Madrid (Lucy).

Perhaps their best performance to date was one we didn't get to see (all of...), when at the World Triathlon Leeds two weeks ago they were part of the breakaway group with Bermuda's Flora Duffy, a break which - I think we can safely say - they didn't have permission to go 'full gas' in, due to team tactics. Despite that, tenth (Jess) and 13th (Lucy) was their return from Leeds. What 'could' it have been? We'll never quite know the answer to that one.

Today however, with no such team considerations, Hall and Learmonth had free reign to go all out in the inaugural ETU Sprint Triathlon European Championships in Châteauroux, France. They took that opportunity - and now Lucy Hall is European Champion and Jessica Learmonth the Silver medallist.

Heading out the swim, just as they did in Leeds, Hall and Learmonth quickly went 'all in' on the bike, setting a pace that nobody else could go with and by T2 they were well over a minute and half clear of a chase pack which included almost the rest of the field. While neither have the running prowess of Gwen Jorgensen (who does?), Hall and Learmonth are not fools on the run either and there was no way they would be giving up that lead to anyone. Fortune favours the brave and they had made their own opportunity here.

Head-to-head over 5km, two British athletes and two great friends battled it out to the line with Lucy Hall just coming out on top with Jessica taking the Silver medal - with significant daylight before European Junior Champion Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) arrived to complete the podium. Impressive racing, huge congratulations to both.

Fun racing with Luce today, hopefully she's forgiven me for the bloody nose!#Villain

The men's race should sound a quiet warning for Rio too. Absent from all of the World Triathlon Series races so far in 2016, Vincent Luis (FRA) returned to action last week with a win in the French Grand Prix Series. This week, he's added a European Championship title. One of the breakthrough names of 2016 is coming good at just the right time.

In cotrast to the women's event, a huge group of 21 athletes arrived at T2 in close order. Luis proved the strongest on the run ahead of Rostislav Pevtsov (AZE), but a very close battle for the Bronze saw Scotland's Grant Sheldon get to the line just ahead of the chasers, to add another medal to the ETU Mixed Relays Champs Gold from Lisbon - a team which also featured Lucy Hall.

Châteauroux ETU Sprint Triathlon  European Championships - Sunday 26th June 2016
ELITE - 750m / 20km / 5km

Pos Men Women
1st Vincent Luis (FRA) 51:59  Lucy Hall (GBR) 57:48 
2nd Rostislav Pevtsov (AZE) 52:06 Jessica Learmonth (GBR) 57:49
3rd Grant Sheldon (GBR) 52:20 Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) 58:32

9th - Heather Sellars (GBR) - 59:10

13th - Aaron Harris (GBR) - 52:58
18th - David Bishop (GBR) - 53:31
23rd - Liam Lloyd (GBR) - 53:48

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