Tri247 Newsletter


14th Apr 2008Issue 56

Welcome to the newsletter

This weekend our editor was away on something of a busman's holiday in Port Elizabeth, bringing us updates from behind the scenes at the Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa. Looking back, who would have thought last weeks words would have been quite so accurate, as he wrote "Another set of great performances from the GB squad on the BG World Cup circuit at Ishigaki and the possibility of another Brit on an Ironman podium in South Africa would be the best start to a season that we have had in a good while". Perhaps we should send him away more often! A+ on both fronts, and some stunning breakthrough performances.

Where to start - how about Hollie Avil? Turned 18 years old on Saturday, first Standard Distance race on Sunday, a World Cup event no less, and a powerful sprint across the line to make the podium alongside Emma Snowsill. Job Done! With a start now secured for the Madrid World Cup race, a spot on the Beijing team could now be more than just a birthday dream.

No sooner had Ishigaki finished, and we were then re-tuned to the Ironmanlive coverage from South Africa. Reports before the race indicated that Stephen Bayliss and Bella Comerford were feeling on top form, very confident, and several steps up from when securing fourth places in New Zealand just six weeks ago. Even so, I don't think anyone was forecasting two victories for the Brits. Stephen displayed almost textbook pacing and patience, finishing with a very swift 2:51 marathon to take the lead on the run, and relegate home favourite Raynard Tissink to second place again. A victory a long time in the making, after a string of top finishes over the past few years and a fine reward for all that effort.

Of course, that still only makes him the second most successful athlete in his house! Bella overcame a puncture, and an almost 17-minute deficit at T2 to add the title to four previous wins in Florida, plus Ironman UK in Sherbourne last year. There was more drama, as Edith Niederfriniger ran from even further back to make it a sprint for the line. Close finishes at ironman-distance seem to be very common these days!

On the schedule this week, something we know you've been waiting for is the next phase in Simon Ward's Age Group Training plan. We'll also have an in depth interview with one of Britain's most popular and successful triathletes of the recent past, to find out what they are up to now.

Want to win a trip to the Stockholm Triathlon? A bike, wetsuit and running shoes? Entry to the London Triathlon? We've teamed up with Sports Tours International, IMG Events and triandrun to offer you the chance to win one of the these amazing prizes. Check out how to enter here. It really couldn't be easier!

In this issue:


Weekend action

What an exhilarating weekend of racing! The World Cup triathlon season is well and truly under way, and what a great start it has been for the Brits - so far there's been a Brit on the podium at all three World Cups that have taken place this year. The pressure our athletes must be under with the Olympic qualifying race now just weeks rather than months away, must be immense. For some of the athletes, there is still the worry that they may not even have enough points to make the start line in Madrid, and so every race and every point counts.

The talk of the weekend though, is without a doubt, eighteen (just...) year old Hollie Avil. Her third place podium finish at the Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup will have unnerved not only some of her closest British rivals, but international ones too. Past results show that she's quite obviously an amazingly talented athlete, but who would have predicted that in her debut World Cup, she would have marched her way confidently into the history books by being one of only a few select triathletes, who have made a World Cup podium at the age of 18.

The win in Ishigaki, not surprisingly went to Emma Snowsill (AUS), who made it two in a row following her victory over Vanessa Fernandez (POR) in Mooloolaba, two weeks ago. Right from the starter's horn, she quickly moved to the lead of the 41 women field stringing out a long line of athletes. The only women able to keep up to her were the British swimming trio of Helen Tucker, Jodie Swallow and Kerry Lang. These four would lead the entire swim while the remaining women battled it out behind.

This lead group of four would be joined by four more at the start of the 40-kilometre hilly bike leg. This small break away made time initially but was quickly caught however by a Nicola Spirig-led chase group of ten. The Swiss powerhouse single-handedly reeled in the leaders by the end of the first lap, pulling eventual medallists Densham and Avil to within striking distance. This group would efficiently conquer the 14 hills on the course, increasing the lead to over two minutes between them and the chase group, containing pre race favorites, Debbie Tanner of New Zealand and Anja Dittmer of Germany, by the second transition.

In her usual style, Snowsill struggled through the second transition to fall almost ten seconds behind, but blasted to the front in the first 500 m and never looked back with a blistering 33:23 final 10-kilometre run split to grab top spot, and her 16th career podium. Densham dug deep to pull within 30 seconds of Snowsill at the finish intending to persuade Australian Olympic selectors after a slow start to the season. Densham is one of four top Australian women fighting for two remaining Olympic spots. After trading the lead over the final five km, Hollie Avil, reigning World junior Champion, launched a devastating sprint finish on the home straight to overcome local favorite, Juri Ide, and take a bronze medal in her first world cup.

In the men's race former Olympic gold medallist Simon Whitfield, showed a field of top Olympians that he still has kick in his legs to claim his 11th world cup title, in a time of 1:51:07. Just ten seconds back, in second place, was the 2007 big prize money winner Rasmus Henning of Denmark. Rounding out the podium was Russia's Ivan Vasiliev another 11 seconds back, who just managed to outlast a charging Peter Robertson of Australia. At the start of the race, Tim Don, had looked to be the favorite following his third place finish in Mooloolaba two weeks ago, but he had to settle for fifth place, following an uncharacteristically slow swim, which forced him into the second bike pack along with his fellow team mate, Will Clarke, who finished in 11th place.

With their strong performances so far in 2008, the Australian and Russian men have pulled ahead of Switzerland, for the final spot to qualify three athletes for the Beijing Olympics. Olympic qualification ends on 8th June at the Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships.

Pos Men Women
1 Simon Whitfield (CAN) 1:51:12 Emma Snowsill (AUS) 2:03:11
2 Rasmus Henning (DEN) 1:51:22 Erin Densham (AUS) 2:03:40
3 Ivan Vasiliev (SUI) 1:51:33 Hollie Avil (GBR) 2:05:25

For more details see the ITU website (, they should also have video highlights up by Monday. A full set of results are archived here.

This weekend there wasn't just one but two Ironman events taking place, Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa and Ford Ironman Arizona. It was inevitable at some stage, that one of Ironman's most successful couples, Bella Comerford and her fiance Stephen Bayliss, would be on the podium together, both in first place, and that's exactly what did happen in Ironman South Africa. In Ironman New Zealand, only six weeks ago, they both finished fourth, but that was obviously just a sharpener and five weeks on a training camp in the Philippines with their training squad has obviously done them a whole lot of good! Breaking the course record, Stephen won with a nice comfortable cushion of just under five minutes in front of local favorite Raynard Tissink and in third place, another ten minutes down, was Peter Schoissengeier. If Stephen had it all is own way, Bella certainly didn't! A puncture early on in the bike saw her lose a lot of time, but she showed real courage to fight back and win by only five seconds in front of Edith Niederfriniger. Third place finisher was the former World Cup athlete Lucie Zelenkova, who had led for a large portion of the race. Next stop for Bella and Stephen will be Ironman Lanzarote in just six weeks time.

Not to be totally over shadowed by the dynamic duo, Jersey based Nick Saunders also had a great race finishing in sixth place overall in a time of 8:42:24.

Pos Men Women
1 Stephen Bayliss (GBR) 8:18:23 Bella Comerford (GBR) 9:27:48
2 Raynard Tissink (RSA) 8:23:09 Edith Niederfriniger (ITA) 9:27:53
3 Peter Schoissengeier (AUT) 8:33:24 Lucie Zelenkova (CZE) 9:34:09

A full race report and results can be found here.

Ironman Arizona was won by two Hungarians, Former World duathlon Champion Erika Csomor and Jozef Major. Erika has linked up with team TBB (Chrissie Wellington's squad) and the tough training has obviously paid off. A slow swim saw her having to play catch up on the bike but by the time the women went out on the run she was just twenty-eight seconds behind pre-race favorite, Michellie Jones. She quickly took the lead and never looked back, a strong 3:07:59 marathon meant she cruised home to victory over ten minutes in front of Jones. Mother of three, Heather Gollnick, came home in third for her sixth Ironman victory.

The mens race showed just how competitive Ironman racing has become with the top three men all finishing within under a minute of one another. With two miles to go in the marathon, TJ Tollakson led, James Bonney by fourteen seconds and Jozef Major and Jordan Rapp by a minute. In the end Tollakson had to settle for second as the Hungarian sprinted for victory. Rapp over took Bonney, who had led for a large part of the marathon, to take third.

Pos Men Women
1 Jozef Major (HUN) 8:34:19 Erika Csomor (HUN) 9:14:49
2 TJ Tollakson (USA) 8:34:36 Michellie Jones (USA) 9:25:52
3 Jordan Rapp (USA) 8:35:04 Heather Gollnick (USA) 9:50:02

A race report and full results can be found here

Also on the international calendar this weekend was the Chania ITU Triathlon European Cup in Greece. As yet there isn't a full report, but we do know there were no British women on the startlist. In the men's race, Dan Brook finished 15th, the only other Brit racing was Ritchie Nicholls, who sadly, was in second place with 3km to go, but was forced to pull out with an ankle injury.

Pos Men Women
1 Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) 1:47:56 Ana Burgos (ESP) 2:01:07
2 Luc Van ES (NED) 1:48:24 Olesya Prystayko (RUS) 2:01:29
3 Ivan Tutukin (RUS) !:48:33 Deniz Dimaki (GRE) 2:01:59

And last, but not least on the international scene was the Nautica South Beach (Miami) Triathlon. We picked up on this one when we read about Macca (Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack) voicing his respect for the British athletes racing in arctic like conditions last weekend, the article can be read here. In the men's race Macca had to settle for third place, but he can be forgiven, he's used to racing over eight hours these days, not just over one hour. In first place was Chris Lieto in a time of 1:16:15 forty-five seconds ahead of Ben Collins. Following on from her third place at California 70.3 race two weeks ago, Leanda Cave won the women's race in 1:27:17 ahead of Michelle Garner in second place and Kassianna Rosso in third. Full results can be found here.

On the domestic scene, the big event of the weekend was the National Age Group and Junior Duathlon Championships in Milton Keynes. In the men's race, an in form Lee Percy took a convincing victory in a time of 1:52:04, two minutes ahead of Matthew Gunby who was twenty seconds ahead of third place Dave Mitchinson. Tri247's Gatorade athlete of the month David Vaughan, finished fourth. In the women's race, Ester Evans took first place in 2:07:55 just eleven seconds in front of Michelle Lee, Emma Dews finished third. Full results can be found here.

Things hotted up in Scotland, with round one of the Borders Sport and Leisure Trust Triathlon Series taking place. In the men's novice race Andrew Christy won in a time of 42:53 and Jane Moncrief won the women's race in a time of 53:45, full results can be found here. In the sprint event, Stuart Robinson won the men's race in a time of 1:04:10 and Mairi Crawford won the women's in a time of 1:11:51, full results for this race can be found here.

At the Wombourne Sprint Triathlon hosted by Black Country Triathletes, James Ratcliffe was the run away winner in a time of 49:38 and in the women's race Lucy Otto came home first in a time of 1:01:41. Results are available here.

The Burnham-On-Sea Aquathlons saw over 120 athletes take part in the annual events. The races took place in glorious sunshine and featured a 1000m swim in Burnham's pool followed by a 10km run from Burnham to Berrow and back. The men's race was won by Ian Hindes in a time of 54:11 and not far behind him was the first place woman, Helen Parkinson, who had a strong race to finish in a time of 56:27. They also hosted a half distance event which was won by Steve Ferguson (26:38) and Kira Thorpe (32:52). A race report can be found here, along with the short course and long course results.

Win a year's supply of Taut

Tri247 has linked up with the British Triathlon Federation and Taut (the official drink of the British Triathlon Federation) to offer everyone that signs up to an account on Tri247 the chance to win a year's supply of Taut. Unlike many special deals, if you have already signed up to Tri247 you don't need to do it again - we have already entered you into the draw!

The promotion is currently being promoted on the British Triathlon Day Licences for England and Wales but the competition is open to anyone; you don't have to be a member of Triathlon England, triathlonscotland and Welsh Triathlon - just registered on Tri247.

If you haven't signed up, just follow this link to register: additional benefits include getting our weekly newsletter which features all the latest results from the weekend's racing, the ability to post comments to articles on the site and, best of all, the facility to collect all your race results from our archive which goes back over ten years!

Taut is an isotonic sports drink with a difference. It gives you the energy boost and hydration you need after a decent workout, without any artificial sweeteners or colours. Available in three great varieties: Lime & Grapefruit, Orange & Mandarin and Cranberry & Blackberry. Taut Endurance contains the optimal mix of electrolytes, potassium and sodium to help you rehydrate after a gruelling session. Taut and Taut Endurance provide pure, clean performance when you need it most. Taut is the official drink of the British Triathlon Federation. Visit for more information.

British Triathlon is now a Federation, whose members are the three Home Nation's Associations of Triathlon England, triathlonscotland and Welsh Triathlon. British Triathlon is responsible for matters such as the Great Britain Elite and Age Group Teams, British and International events, anti-doping and international representation. British Triathlon also manages a number of services that are shared with the three Home Nations. For more details on membership and information on how to join see the website on or telephone 01509 226161.

Tri247 has places for L'Etape!!

In something of a coup, Tri247 has negotiated a block of 40 places at the 2008 L'Etape du Tour with the UK's official organisers, Sportstours. For those that don't know about it, L'Etape is an annual event where members of the public can ride an official Tour de France stage, complete with all the trimmings, a few days before the Tour itself gets there. It's definitely one of the 'must do' events for any dedicated cyclist and the 2008 stage is in the Pyrenees. It goes from the city of Pau and includes the monumental climb of the Col du Tourmalet (17.7km at 7.5%) before finishing on top of the Hautacam mountain, (14km with an average ascent of 7.2%) which towers above the pilgrim city of Lourdes.

The reserved Tri247 places are part of a three nights (Friday 4th to Monday 7th July) and is aimed at those people who have a limited amount of time to spend at the Etape du Tour. You'll be based at a hotel in Lourdes and will have bus transfers from the airport and to the start. For more information see this article on the Tri247 website. As part of the package, Tri247 will be providing a custom cycle top created for us by Impsport and a goody bag of nutrition from For Goodness Shakes.

Get Triathlete Magazine through Tri247

Tri247 are delighted to announce that they have partnered up with Triathlete Magazine to bring you all the latest news from across the pond and around the globe. For over 20 years Triathlete Magazine has been the voice of triathlon worldwide and routinely brings the best international news and race reporting plus stunning photography to the newsstand. They have also recently launched a digital edition which means you can get your immediate fix of triathlon information sent direct to your inbox and have the printed version sent to your home for a more thorough read later on. For full details on the subscription offer see this page on the website.

SBR Sports








Q Rings



Top 10 Article Of Last Week
  1. Awesome Avil !
  2. Bayliss & Comerford at the double!
  3. Competition time: Win flights, bikes and more!
  4. Ironman SA update
  5. Fast and Furious?
  6. BLOC Steyning Tri report
  7. Open water swimming 2008
  8. The Black Line drill
  9. Weekend roundup
  10. Leanda Cave interview

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