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Jodie Swallow smashes Alpe d'Huez Long Course Triathlon
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Wednesday 28th July 2010


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Just back from the finish line - well, actually just done the whole bike course too on the back of a motor bike - at the Alpe d'Huez Long Course Triathlon.

This 2.2km / 115km / 22km event, now in its fifth year has become something of a classic already. The midweek start, non-standard distances and stunning course make this an epic event.

The Course

The race starts in the crystal clear, if a little chilly Lake Verney, home of EDF Energy, one of the race sponsors, as athletes completed a one-lap course comprising of just two buoys. They certainly looked a long way away!

Then onto the bike course - and what a course it is. Of course, the final ascent of the Tour de France epic Alpe d'Huez is what everyone associates with the race, but having covered every inch of it, I can tell you that the two mountain passes before you even get there of the Col de l'Alpe du Grand Serre, and the Col d'Ornon would make almost any other course in the world look tame. Add in the 21 switchbacks of the Alpe at the end...and you have a killer course. Oh, and you had better like descending too. This is definitely NOT a steady ride to the foot of Alpe d'Huez followed by one tough climb.

Thankfully, the scenery is stunning - if you get to look at it racing - as you will want to make sure you don't disappear over a two foot wall on a descent into the mountain floor below.

The three-lap, 22km run at close to 2000m altitude, part off-road too isn't exactly an easy way to end the day either. Serious respect to anyone who even completes this. And there are certainly a lot of British athletes here doing just that.

The Race

Ladies race = Jodie Swallow! Jodie, along with fellow Brit Harry Wiltshire exited the cool waters with a significant margin - several minutes - over the entire field, and the ladies never saw Jodie again.

At the top of Col d'Ornon she was 9:30 clear on recent Roth second placer Rebecca Keat, with first year pro Tamsin Lewis a further 1:30 back. By the top of Alpe d'Huez she was 14 minutes clear of Tamsin, with Bek suffering, and now 21 minutes in arrears. Bek clawed her way back to second, but at the finish line Jodie was almost 29 minutes clear! No full splits yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was another best swim / bike / run performance from the amazingly talented Brit.

Jodie Swallow - interview duties after winning Alpe d'Huez LD 2010

Bear in mind that on Saturday Jodie finished seventh in the Dextro Energy ITU WCS race in Hyde Park...and for the win she get...instructions from the coach to ride home tomorrow. Home in Switzerland in 300km away!

Speaking to Lisbeth Kristensen after the race she said "Jodie doesn't know just how good she is. She has amazing talent, maybe she is just beginning to realize it."

James Cunnama from South Africa was third last year, and when I spoke to him pre-race he said "I'm looking to improve this year". He did just that too, making his move on the descent of Col d'Ornon, and making a huge gap on the ascent of Alpe d'Huez, finishing over eight minutes clear of Xavier Le Floch (FRA).

Post-race interviews with both winners shortly. Jodie finished 15th overall amongst the men.

One point to note - Harry Wiltshire finished fifth overall, and looked pretty sprightly past the finish line - not bad for an athlete on a borrowed and too small bike as his had been stolen from his camp site last night. He made up a lot of time on the run [UPDATE - Harry did indeed have the fastest swim and run of the day]

Pos Men Women
1st James Cunnama (RSA) 5:36:33 Jodie Swallow (GBR) 6:20:01
2nd Xavier Le Floch (FRA) 5:45:02 Rebekah Keat (AUS) 6:48:56
3rd Scott De Filippis (USA) 5:51:13 Stephanie Reymond (FRA) 6:58:35
4th Damien With (FRA)5:53:22 Alexandra Louison (FRA) 6:59:05
5th Harry Wiltshire (GBR) 6:01:33 Lisbeth Kristensen (DEN) 6:59:08
6th Alexandre Blain (FRA) 6:02:54 Tamsin Lewis (GBR) 7:04:08
7th Sebastien Stadler (FRA) 6:06:14 Melita Sinkovic (SLO) 7:05:21
8th Philippe Guillame (FRA) 6:09:47 Verena Karg (AUT) 7:14:37
9th Frederic Philippe (FRA) 6:09:58 Emma Ruth Smith (GBR) 7:16:40
10th Baptise Cazaux (FRA) 6:12:08 Alba Xandri (ESP) 7:22:41

PHOTO GALLERY


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