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Fri 23rd Aug 2019
Event Details
Bath International Triathlon
Held on: Sun 31st August 1997

Race Details
Race Type:
Swim Open (750m)  /  Bike (40k)  /  Run (10k)

Big Time Events



Rescued by Hewlett-Packard, the computer/printer/scanner manufacturer (yes, I know they do lots of other stuff as well...) this re-formatted event promised to be an interesting challenge for the athletes. As well as the individual competition, the UK club championships, a half-distance event and a relay event the timing was scheduled to allow most to finish and then watch the elite complete the bike and run. As the elite wave included Luc van Lierde and most of the best the UK has to offer it certainly made the trip west look very inviting.

The atrocious weather messed up much of the attractiveness of the event with the River Avon flowing so swiftly that all but the elite only swam a single 750m loop and the rain came down so hard that, at times, Bathwick Hill looked like a river in its own right. Having survived the swim it was a matter of surviving six climbs and then descents of Bathwick Hill before taking to a virtually flat four-loop run. Both the swim and the bike took their toll in terms of drop-outs for the main event. While only the elite wave was draft legal it's hard to see how anyone could benefit on a gradient that steep!

By some good fortune, the rain stopped in time for the elite event, but even here the conditions took their toll. A significant number of the elite field failed to start and five, including Richard Hobson, pulled out.

Not interested in stopping for anybody, van Lierde cruised round the Bathwick Hill circuit at 13 minutes 20 seconds per loop. For those unfamiliar, that's 10 minutes up and 3 minutes down! He was around 5 and a half minutes up at the start of the run and held that advantage all the way through to the finish. A good thing too, as he managed to pick up a helmet infringement in transition and that costs a 2-minute penalty! Total time for the Belgian Ironman champion was 2:21:27 with Scott Forbes of Loughborough coming in 2nd and Richard Stannard of Thames Turbo Evans taking 3rd.

Other than the drama of the weather conditions and the somewhat sombre atmosphere following the news of the Princess of Wales' untimely death, this could well prove to be an attractive re-formatting of one of our best-established events. Bath has moved on to a new style of racing and, with the UK Club Championships looking as though it could prove a hit - given better weather, it will be interesting to follow the response from the athletes.

1345Regis FinetFTriathletes London02:27:44
2202Rae BowderyGBerkshire Tri Squad02:28:29
3244Steven YatesF02:28:32
4245Dave ArnoldFTeam Hargroves Cycles02:28:49
5259Hugo HocknellDCambridge TC02:30:40
Full Results

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