This weekend capped one of the most spectator friendly Tour de France 3 weeks for quite some time, without the typical team Sky/Ineos race shut-downs, and a fantastic set of results for Colombia, France (despite shedding the yellow jersey with the alpine weather) and Slovakia (in the ever present and dynamic form of Peter Sagan). We also had some thrilling racing of our own from within the club. A birthday team out in the Alps, triathlons in London and Henley, an Ironman, and a Middle distance with a difference. London tri was also the latest in the London League series – and a very outside chance to score some maximum points to push us back towards the top 3 (though the official results don’t show clubs making it hard to tell how we did).
Alpe d’Huez Triathlon
This triathlon remains on my bucket list – for svelter times and a bigger cassette. It is a truly epic race, climbing to and finishing at altitude. A quick cold dip in the Lac du Verney (at 700m) precedes a 118km bike leg across three Cols (Alpe du Grande Serre, 1375m, Col d’Ornon, 1371m, and finally the hairpins up to Alpe d’Huez), before a 20km run at around 2000m delivers a final sucker punch. For those feeling less masochistic, a short course option is also available. Mildly less brutal, this offers a shorter swim and run, and cuts the cycling down to just the ascent to town.
A big gang were out this year. It was Jane Osborne’s birthday present! Also racing were: Pete Doubleday; Jonny Williams; Emma Swinnerton; Jose Lopez; Tim Dearden; Suzie Rylatt; Paula Rutherford; and, on the short course, her first triathlon of the year, Heather Mayer. Adding to the cast, in support, were Walt Rothon and Sarah Watts. With 5 out as Long Course individual racers, Ful-on Tri was probably the best represented UK club on the day!
Pete stormed in first for the club, in just under 8hrs, coming 64th overall from a large field, and finishing 3rd in his category! Only 34 minutes later, Jonny crossed the finish line, with Emma (just 2 away from a podium place) arriving in 9hr 16min, Jose just over 6 minutes later, and Jane rounded up a great birthday weekend in well under 10hrs!!!
Meanwhile in the relay race, Team TBC (Paula, Tim and Suzie) succeeded in coming 6th equal, also on the long course, in a little over 9hr 35min!
Back from teaching, water bottles and bobble hat pressures, Heather just missed out on a podium on the short course, finishing in 2hr 50min!
Impressive racing – particularly during the French heatwave.
Photos courtesy of regular Facebook blogger Walt:
London Triathlon – LONDON LEAGUE
The addition of the London Triathlon to this year’s London League series was somewhat controversial. When it started it was a hugely popular event, but in the recent decade or so it grew into far more of a money making machine – the cost of entry alone is in stark contrast to pretty much every other London League event. In spite of this, we did have a relatively large turn out from the club. Racing were: Daniel Montilla Navas; Francesca Hunt; Rob Argles; Alejandro de Miguel Solano; Eszter Szadeczky-Kardoss; Tony Banner; Freddie Skarbek; Filippo Conti; and, Phil Smith.
A number of distances are on offer, with transition located within the Excel exhibition centre. Competitors swim in the Royal Victoria Dock, once a key working part of the Docklands landscape, with the faint whiff of aviation fuel from nearby City Airport. Depending on the course, the bike leg heads west, through the Limehouse Link tunnel, with some catching a glimpse of Westminster. The run then circuits the edge of the Dock before turning to finish back in the Excel centre.
Racing the Olympic distance on Saturday, Rob had a great day, finishing 8th overall in a time of 2hr 20min and winning his race category! Filippo was next home in 2hr 32min and, coming in barely 20 minutes later, Alejandro was swiftly followed by Francesca, who had another great race! Tony rounded out a good FoT showing!
On the Sunday Olympic route, Freddie and Daniel battled the headwind to finish in great times of just under 2hr 14min and 2hr 36min respectively!
In the Sprint event, Eszter finished just 2 off a podium place in a time of just under 1hr 25min!
At the lengthier end of things, Phil competed in the (relatively new) Olympic plus event (reflecting the ever increasing popularity of longer distance triathlons). Not quite middle distance, this event preserved swim and run distances, but doubled the bike leg. Phil finished in a great 4hr 13min, clawing back places as he went!
Continuing his regular racing form, Mateus Pimenta took on Ironman Hamburg this weekend. Weather conditions were still pretty tough, with high humidity and 26’C temperatures nudging up towards the 30’s. Mateus raced well to a great finish time, just under 11hr 14min!
Over in scenic Henley, Mark Parrett and Lucy Orhnial were racing the sprint distance of the Henley Triathlon.
A fantastic double podium result, with Mark (finishing in 1hr 18min) coming 2nd in his race category, and Lucy (finishing in 1hr 39min) grabbing a 3rd place!!
Shaun Wood continued with his penchant for Middle distance events with a twist, racing this weekend in the Snowman Savage, set in the ‘mountains’ of Mid-Wales. A 1.4km swim and 100km cycle are finally followed by a 15km run – none, other than the swim, particularly flat. It’s also a 2 day event – a sprint followed by a classic (aka standard) – so athletes have to perform over a 36 hour period!
The sprint on Saturday saw “fast and furious racing” with Shaun coming in 3rd by just over a minute. On Sunday, the race was again a “close run thing”, with Shaun just being pipped to 2nd by 5 minutes.
Some great racing by our solid Middle distance racer!
And that’s it for the weekend (and to some extent the summer of spectator sport, unless you like Golf).
The race calendar remains broken, so do continue to email ([email protected]) or message me if you have upcoming races (most of you are great at doing this!) And, if you are missing from this weekend’s results, please also get in touch directly (rather than add a comment), and I will correct the omission!