The weekend was really split into two halves: the racing in Lisbon at the European Triathlon Championships and what was happening at home - the weather did pretty much the same as well except that Portugal definitely got the bad stuff while the majority of races in the UK saw the warmest weekend of the year so far.
After the full-on media coverage and live timing of Saturday's elite races you could be forgiven for thinking that the age group races had been cancelled! No updates on the ITU website, no results, just radio silence. Our only source of information was Scott Murray, the GB Age Group Team Manager, who sent us this as the last in a series of reports from Lisbon:
A great day's racing here for the GB age group athletes; Team GB had 157 athletes out of the 998 on the start list. The swim was an 'M' shape with four 180° turns, the bike was a two-lap affair with few technical aspects to it other than a short cobblestone section and a long drag on the bike, it was slightly long but thankfully the weather was mainly fine and the showers that did come didn't cause the AG athletes the problems it had for the previous day's events. An out-and-back, two-lap run course showed the strength in depth of the GB team as it seemed no matter where you looked you could see red, white and blue kit. So, how did we do?
Female athletes: 25-29: Gold to Emma-Kate Lidbury, Silver to Jacquie Slack and four top ten finishers. Emma was the overall race winner in a time of 2:14:55. 35-39: Silver to Shona Forrest, Bronze to Lisa Greenfield and four top ten finishers. 40-44: five top ten finishers. 45-49: Gold to Juliet Vickery, Bronze to Jo Crotch and eight top ten finishers. 50-54: Silver to Liz Clegg, Bronze to Julie Williams and four top ten finishers. 55-59: Bronze to Rani Sinniah. 65-69: Gold to Carol Killick.
Male athletes: 18-19: Bronze to James Sedgewick, two top ten finishers. 20-24: Bronze to Phillip Fishwick. 25-29: Gold to Alex Lewis. 30-34: Gold to Chris Stuart, Silver to Richard Legge, five top ten finishers. 35-39: Gold to Richard Wilder, Silver to Euan Lees, three top ten finishers. 40-44: One top ten finisher. 45-49: One top ten finisher. 50-54: One top ten finisher. 55-59: Bronze to Dave Pratten, four top ten finishers. 60-64: Bronze to Michael Smallwood, six top ten finishers. 65-69: Two top ten finishers. 70-74: Bronze to Arnott Kidd. 75-79: Gold to Peter Howard. AWAD Dave Corrigan finished top 10. In the open Sprint race Gold to Paula Caplan (not ETU).
Seven golds, five silvers, seven bronzes and 54 top ten finishes in total -- not a bad day at the office!! The athletes raced as hard as they could and the family and friends out as support crew really cheered them on. As team manager it is always humbling to see so many athletes realise their dreams and race for Great Britain at a championship event.
Day one of the European Triathlon Championships in Portugal on Saturday had ended with its usual mixed bag of results for the GB squad. The ITU media team were tapped into the live (but time delayed) TV broadcasts for the elite women and men but the two junior races were relegated to the finish line comments and live timing from the Danish wizards at Ultimate - we do like the new format, very comprehensive indeed - shame we didn't get the same service on Sunday. So, how did the day go down?
Things started well for the Junior women with Kirsty McWilliam earning a deserved second place despite falling twice on the run in conditions that saw several bike crashes due to the rain and cobbled surface not playing fair. Having exited the swim behind early pace setter, Anais Moniz (POR), McWilliam set about driving up the pace of the chasing bike group to ensure that the deficit was reduced to just 25 seconds at T2. The rain/cobble mix had removed two of the GB girls, Jodie Stimpson and Rebecca Milnes, leaving just Kirsty and Vicky Graves in the race.
On the run McWilliam and Emmie Charayron (FRA) quickly caught Moniz, but two slips on the wet cobbles denied the Scot the chance of a gold medal and she finished 12 seconds back but still ahead of the home favourite, Moniz. On her performance McWilliam said, "I feel a bit disappointed to be honest because I think I probably would have won had I not fallen over twice; however I have one more year as a junior and having now won a bronze and a silver medal at the European Championships I'll be looking to win gold in Holland next year." Vicky Graves finished in 29th place.
The next item on the menu was the senior women's race and here it wasn't really a matter of who would win but who would get the other places - betting against Vanessa Fernandes on home turf would have been cause for a lynching out there. Unusually for a women's race a reasonable large pack formed in the swim and created a 20-strong lead group on the bike. Kerry Lang worked hard to try to establish a breakaway but Fernandes was maintaining a strong grip and the break never materialised. As with the earlier junior race, the mix of rain and cobbles proved too much for some and Vanessa Raw was one of those forced into an early exit.
As soon as the group hit T2 it was a case of 'bye, bye Vanessa' as the reigning World Champion headed off into the distance opening up a 20+second gap in the first 2.5k lap and then extending it by as much again in the second lap. The chasing group of six had their work cut out and while Lang faded on the run, eventually finishing 17th, Nadia Cortassa (IT) kept up the pressure and took the silver while Lisa Norden (SWE) managed to out-sprint Nicola Spirig (SUI) to grab the bronze. Abbie Thorrington was also listed as a DNF.
Time for the junior men to do their stuff and with a Brownlee in the race there was always hope for another medal. At last year's Europeans in Copenhagen Alistair Brownlee took the title but younger brother Jonathan only managed a bronze after a breakaway split the bike group and stole a 30 second lead. Despite running the second fastest 5k of the day Brownlee was unable to catch Vincent Luis (FRA) and Joao Silva (POR) who produced a photo finish sprint ending to the race. Brownlee made up ten places in the run totake third place, just 18 seconds behind. Brownlee said of his bronze medal, "I'm really pleased. It was hard work but it was certainly worth it. Unfortunately three guys managed to get away in the technical section of the bike course and I couldn't bridge the gap back up to them. It was a bit hairy riding over the cobbles, but it made it interesting and I had a good time out there today." Jeremy Gilmour used his running ability to finish ninth in his first outing at this level but Matt Sharp had to stop for a wheel change after a puncture and finished 29th.
It would be unfair to call these three races just an appetiser but with Javier Gomez in the field it certainly looked like the main course was, indeed, about to be served. Richard Stannard led out the swim with the French duo of Belaubre and Poulat on his heels. With the battle lines drawn it was Olivier Marceau (SUI) who made the move and broke off the front of the pack to gain a small advantage over the first lap and as the laps passed he was joined by Simko and then Raelert, Zeebroek, and the French team of Moulai, Belaubre and Poulat to create a near two minute gap by lap eight. Will Clarke, Al Brownlee and Stannard were all in the main chase group with Gomez, a third smaller group was well adrift off the back.
By T2 the gap had been set at 2:14 and it looked like the breakaway group had the race pretty much sewn up with just the 10k run to go. Clarke and Brownlee were still in the chase group but Stannard had dropped back to the third group and was 3:40 adrift. By 2.5k into the run a trio of tricolours was established at the front with Moulai leading Belaubre and Poulat and the group of seven had begun to spread. With one lap to go the only real change was that Poulat had drifted back and it was going to go down to the wire between two Frenchmen with the only prize on offer to anyone else being a bronze - the Gomez group would be going hungry this time! In the end it was Olivier Marceau who came through with another sprint finish to take the last prize on offer, a fitting reward for his brave move on the bike.
Gomez ended the day in seventh, 1:42 back, while Will Clarke was 11th and Al Brownlee 15th. Gavin Noble (IRL) was 27th and Richard Stannard was 32nd. A day of interesting lessons!
British Triathlon's Performance Programme Director, Heather Williams, said, "Once again our junior performers have really excelled and produced some fantastic results for Corus Great Britain. Kirsty McWilliam thoroughly deserves her silver medal and probably would have taken gold if it wasn't for the fact that she fell twice on the run in slippery conditions. Jonny Brownlee really stepped up to the mark today and will have learnt a lot from this experience. Both of them will carry forward their performances to the World Championships in Vancouver next month and will be aiming for more success."
||Frederic Belaubre (FRA) 1:53:03
||Vanessa Fernandes (POR) 2:0546
||Tony Moulai (FRA) 1:53:23
||Nadia Cortassa (ITA) 2:06:24
||Olivier Marceau (SUI) 1:53:54
||Lisa Norden (SWE) 2:06:43
||Vincent Luis (FRA) 0:59:04
||Emmie Charayron (FRA) 1:04:24
||Joao Silva (POR) 0:59:04
||Kirsty McWilliam (GBR) 1:04:36
||Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 0:59:22
||Anais Moniz (POR) 1:04:50
At home in the sun
The European Triathlon Championships have their own coverage, the age group news is here, the Saturday elite races are here, so this part of the roundup will be focussing on the domestic racing from the weekend.
First up with a full set of results was the Waveney Valley Triathlon and the winners here were Matthew Ellis (Tri Anglia) in 0:50:14 and Nicola McIvor (UEA Tri Club) in 0:57:45. A full set of results is online here.
Tri247's John Levison snuck out for a bit of racing at his local Hatch End Triathlon and reports that the event went off in perfect, sunny conditions with the three-lap bike, three-lap run meant plenty of spectator viewpoints, and chances to size up (or be seen) by your competitors. The mens winner was a junior, Joe Giggins (East Essex Tri), while the ladies winner was Suzanne Hopper (Hillingdon Triathletes). We don't have times or a full set of results yet.
Black Sheep may well live in the Forest of Dean (sorry Trev...) but they do get the results in quick! The Lydney Triathlon saw its third outing in lovely weather conditions and the winners were Julian Hatcher (AVS Tri) in 0:54:41 and Deborah Evans in 1:05:34. A full set of results is here.
Exeter Tri Club put on its Exe Valley Sprint and Novice races at the Tiverton Leisure Centre in weather conditions that bore no resemblence to those of a year ago (it was chucking it down that time) with scorching results to match. The main race was won by Peter Freedman in 0:58:59 and Sue Walker in 1:12:49, a full set of results is here. In the novice race the honours went to Steven Bauress in 0:54:34 and Kate Stamp 1:00:45, full results are here.
We don't expect to see a full set of results from the Helston Triathlon until Monday, council-run websites tend not to be updated at weekends, but the organisers did send through the top three athletes in the various categories. Overall winners were Rich Brady (Tri-Monkey) in 1:05:45 and Sam Herridge (Total Fitness Bath) in 1:12:11. for other category winners see the temporary results page here - it will be replaced with a full set as soon as we have them.
Concept Sport's Fast Twitch Series pulled into Dorchester for the second race of the summer. Winners here were Peter Younghusband (Tri-UK/Gatorade) in 1:03:30 and Tracy Cook (North Dorset Tri/Tri-UK) in 1:11:51. A provisional set of results is here.
There's something slightly odd about the Alnwick Tri results - everyone is classified as male and the only obviously female name is a Maureen... We suspect that something has been filtered in the processing! The overall winner was Haydn Maughan (Ryton Tri) in 1:0:03 and we'll wait for confirmation before naming a female winner. The draft results are here.
The BSLT series race at Selkirk was won by a junior athlete, Graham Scobie, in 1:00:13 with the Eleanore Haresign the first woman home in 1:08:40. A full set of results are here.
The Furzefield Triathlon saw wins by Michael Bridge (FVS Tri) in 1:01:10 and Leigh Harvey (Shorter Rochford RT) in 1:12:29. A full set of results are here.
It may have been the last running of the Harlech Triathlon (if the local Council get their way and sell off the pool's land to a developer - see the club's website for a petition to try to stop them) and over 300 people turned out to race. The overall winner was Adam Thomson (Primera) in 1:16:45 with Rhian Roxburgh (Carneddau Tri) the fastest woman in 1:21:26. A full set of results is here.
The Basildon Off-Road Triathlon was won by Nathan Miller (53-12) in 0:38:04 and Heather Storey in 0:50:02. Full results are here and also include the Essex Police Championship results at the bottom of the table.
A good morning in the sun for the Thames Turbo/Sigma Sport team at the Morden 6n6 Aquathlon where James Lock took the overall win in 0:40:03 and Esther Evans was the joint first female with Helen Mussen (Serpentine) in 0:45:17. Both male and female winners appear to have broken the standing course records. A full set of results is here.
The smallest, but still perfectly formed, set of results came from the Stromness Mini Triathlon where Torquil Clyde finished first in 0:36:25 with Beccy May the ladies winner in 0:44:11. Full results are here.
Late in were results from the Fun2Tri Stratford Triathlon which ran supersprint, relay and novice races, they are all online now.
Domestic racing on Saturday took the form of the OWS Aquathlon at Liquid Leisure's lake in Datchet where an astonishing 300 people turned up to swim. Not all raced (thank goodness!) and the 44-strong field was won by junior Harry Smith in 0:27:34 with the fastest woman being Carin Hume in 0:33:40. Full results are here.