The BG World Cup in Madrid was supposed to be a shoo-in for both Vanessa Fernandes (POR) and home turf man Javier Gomez (ESP): both have won here before, in fact the Fernandes is the only woman to have won here since the race started in 2004. In the ladies race the lead pack had all the likely contenders, in reality it was a fairly 'soft' field, but as soon as Fernandes go out onto the run it was clear that the only two even likely to challenge were Andrea Hewitt (NZL) and Michelle Dillon (GBR). Fernandes pushed the pace up and put the thick end of a minute into the chasing pair during lap three and after that it really was game over. Dillon and Hewitt hit the blue carpet together, Hewitt surged and Dillon had nothing left in the tank so that was the podium sorted! Vanessa Raw, in her first race out for a while following injury, kept it pretty much together on the bike and was lying in 8th place on the run at 2.5k when she decided that enough was enough. The motors are running but the race fitness isn't back yet. Rosie Clarke made a great debut and ran in 15th, confirmation, if anyone really needed it, that she is capable of stepping up and, hopefully, will now be able to secure a regular start on the circuit.
The mens race was rather more stacked in terms of potential; Tim Don was making a return to the World Cup circuit after injury, Gomez was looking for a repeat win, Ivan Rana wanted a decent home soil finish to re-kindle the fires, Brad Kahlefeldt is currently dominating the circuit and fellow countryman Peter Robertson is looking to get back to fighting form. By the end of the bike it looked as though the script was being re-written, possibly... Will Clarke's front wheel turned itself into a taco for no immediately obvious reason and dumped him straight onto the tarmac right in front of Brad Kahlefeldt. The resulting tangle of bikes and bodies miraculously caused no serious injuries and, even more remarkably, didn't take anyone else out. Following that melee, Stuart Hayes decided the only way he was going to stand a chance in the race was to go off the front and by the end of the bike he, Zeebroek (BEL) and Brocard (SUI) had nearly 90 seconds on the main pack.
Hayes took off like a rabbit onto the 10k but with the likes of Gomez behind him it was a matter of 'when' rather than 'if' and the chasers ate him up on lap three and left him trailing. Tim Don worked his way steadily through the field like a man remembering what this is all about, as indeed he is, but the hot guns out front were Filip Ospalay (CZE), Gomez and Rana. By the time Ospalay and Gomez hit the blue carpet is was down to the two of them and Ospalay is a man who is hard to beat in a home straight sprint... Tim Don made it home in 6th, Stuart Hayes was 10th and Richard Stannard was 24th. (Full results are on www.triathlon.org and so is the race video so you can watch that crash again and see if you can figure out exactly what happened.)
||Filip Ospalay (CZE) 1:55:47
||Vanessa Fernandes (POR) 2:07:35
||Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:55:52
||Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 2:08:26
||Ivan Rana (ESP) 1:56:08
||Michelle Dillon (GBR) 2:08:30
At the first running of the Ironman Austria 70.3 victory went to Michael GÃ�Â¶hner and Erika Csomor while headline results for the Brits included an 11th place for Alun Woodward, 19th for Nick Saunders (read his race report here) and an excellent 20th for young Joel Jameson. (Full set of results are here)
Also on its first outing was the Ironman Switzerland 70.3 and here the lake temperature was deemed to be too low for the 1.9k so the distance was shortened to 1.4k. The trophies went to Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) and Nicola Spirig (SUI) while Andrew Johns managed a 4th place despite still not being race fit after injury and Michelle Lee was 5th. Jonathan Hotchkiss was 14th and there a a host of GB age groupers in the results. (Full set of results are here)
The third 70.3 of the weekend was out in Hawaii and here honours went to Chris McCormack and Samantha McGlone (who beat Hawaii champion Michellie Jones. (Full results for all the 70.3 races are on the IronmanLive website)
The Las Tres Islas event out in Lanzarote was won by Richard Hobson but the event seems to have been missing its final section - or at least that's what the results indicate as there's no times allocated for the sail/kayak/windsurf across to Fuerteventura. (Full results are here)
Our final international race of the weekend was the Escape from Alcatraz, an event so full of oddities that it almost seems to occupy a category of its own in the multisport world. This year's running saw wins for Andy Potts (USA) and Leanda Cave (GBR). Simon Lessing's name is absent so we guess he naver made it to the start line. (Full results are here)
Back in the UK the results have been pouring out of Blenheim over the two days of racing. Headline results in the elite race were Chrissie Wellington's domination of the womens race with an almost two minute advantage over Abbie Thorrington and Sam Herridge while Sunday's mens elite saw Ritchie Nicholls edge out Gavin Smith and Andrew Fargus. In the National Junior Championships (marred somewhat by a DQ for abuse and a clutch of bike racking penalties) Jonathan Brownlee and Kirsty Mcwilliam emerged as the new Champions. In the National Youth Championship (again with racking and helmet penalties being issued) the new Champions are Thomas Bishop and Lucy Hall. (For the Blenheim results see their website: blenheim.triathlonresults.co.uk
Up at Emberton Park in Milton Keynes the Big Cow Trifest hosted the National Aquathlon Championships with National titles going to Andy Tarry and Joanna Swallow. (Full results are here) The second of the Big Cow Sprint series was on Sunday with Dan Corner continuing his amazing run of form and Lindsay Smith (BRAT) taking the victories. Nice to see Loretta Sollars' name on a results sheet again, she placed second and is racing for BRAT. (Full results are here)
First of the middle distance races to declare was Weymouth, but probably only because we were doing the results for them and had a direct internet connection! The weather was near perfect, the sea was so flat someone must have ironed it overnight - and the water wasn't even cold... In the main event Nick Kinsey (Tri-UK) showed that old heads are often wiser ones when it comes to longer distances and despite being in the 45-49 category kicked pretty much everyone else's butt with a 4:05:08, nearly five minutes ahead of second placed Michael Martin (University of Bath) who was half his age. In the womens field, Yvette Grice (Bodyworks XTC) had a convincing win in 4:21:02 which placed her ninth overall and 18 minutes clear of second place Kerri Renshaw. Weymouth has been going since 2001 (if anyone has results for that one we would love them) and despite the growth in competition among middle distance races retains its 'back to basics' charm. With a loyal following in the South and South West it was no suprise to see Crystal Palace using it as their middle distance championships, Matthew Lawrence taking the honours here. (Full results are here) Concept Sport also squeezed in a sprint distance event at the same time with Greg Shosbree (votwo) and Tracy Cook (North Dorset Tri) capturing the honours. (Full results are here)
The weekend's other middle distance race was up at Bala where Mark Stenning (Swindon) produced a 3:47:06 and Rhian Roxburgh (Carneddau Tri) a 4:27:31 to secure their respective victories. (Full results are here)
At the Macclesfield Triathlon, Andy Norman (Manchester Tri Club) and Catherine Cooke (Crystal Palace) were the winners in a pool-based event that seems to have been overwhelmingly for novice triathletes - a fact that tend to be forgotten alongside headlining events like Blenheim is that more people still do pool-based races than any other kind in this country. (Full results are here)
Down in Sussex at the Urban Race Sprint and Novice events pool-based racing was in good form with Chris Birch (East Street Cycles) and Ruth Hutton (SLH Tri) taking the wins in the sprint event (Full results are here) while Steve Rollason (Crawley TC) and Lisa Talbot Standen were the winners in the novice race (Full results are here).
The Stirling Sprint turned into a home-turf brother versus brother affair with Fraser Cartmell (Stirling Tri Club) edging out Blair to take the win while Kerry Lang (Glasgow Tri Club) came in 10th overall to win the womens race by a serious margin. (Full results are here)
The first running of the St Ives Triathlon in Cornwall gave wins to Doug Hall and Lucy Bowen. (Full results are here)
The Fun2Tri Cheshire Sprint lays claim to be the largest pool-based event in the North West and with around 600 people doing either the sprint, the fun event or the relay it's not easy to see an obvious challenger. In the sprint race Chris Standidge (Manchester Tri) and Sonia Povey were the winners. (Full results are here). In the Fun event honours went to Brian Dooley and Catherine Goldstraw (Full results are here) while the Relay event was won by the appropriately named 'Tri and beat us if you can' (Full results are here)