For the second year running the Victoria Embankment in Nottingham welcomed the world’s finest triathletes for a round of the World Triathlon Series mixed relay. Unfortunately, due to inclement weather conditions, the swim was cancelled, resulting in the first ever super sprint duathlon relay! It was Team Great Britain that relished this new challenge and stole the show as they lead from beginning to end.
With the swim cancelled, the race was changed to a 1.5km run, 7km bike and 1.5km run. On leg one, it was HUUB’s Georgia Taylor-Brown. Once on the bike she immediately attacked, clearly, in incredible shape she soon established a gap of over 20 seconds to the chase pack, a lead that she extended onto the second run. She then handed over to longtime HUUB ambassador Ben Dijkstra.
Dijkstra hit the first run with the knowledge that he had a strong group of athletes chasing him down, including Bermuda WTS winner Dorian Coninx (FRA). Onto the bike and the chasers managed to claw back a few seconds. Dijkstra, now clearly motivated by the home support, managed to hold his nerve in the wet conditions and extend GBR’s advantage to hand over to Sophie Coldwell.
We're usually seeing the young Brit leading the way in the water and she certainly held her own on the first run only losing a few seconds to some experienced athletes charging behind. Onto the bike and in a similar fashion to Dijkstra she held the chasers at bay, looking comfortable and in control in the difficult conditions. Behind France and Switzerland were making moves away from Germany, Italy and Canada, but it was beginning to look like they were just fighting for silver.
With, arguably triathlons best runner, Alex Yee on the anchor leg for GB, it was hard to see them losing the lead and he extended his lead on the first run, clocking a 4.16 1500m. The 10,000m British Champion looked in his element and although his leg could have been a victory parade, he kept pushing, intent on putting on a show for the home crowd, who had braved the wind and rain. Switzerland’s Adrien Brifford managed to pull away from Pierre Le Corre of France in the final stages to earn his nation their best ever result in the mixed relay.
Over in Astana, Kazakhstan, Huub had various athletes competing in the World Cup event, which was also changed to a Duathlon due to water quality issues. Wian Sullwald (RSA) finished a close second place with Morgan Davies (GBR) 8th, Gordon Benson (GBR) 11th, Iestyn Harrett (GBR) 12th and Matthew Wright (BAR) 25th.
Also in action this weekend was HUUB athlete and employee David Bishop who achieved his first podium since 2017 at Challenge Geraardsbergen after being sidelined for 18 months with injury. The race was won by Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) with Thomas Steger (AUT) in second place. In the women’s race Daniela Bleymehl (GER) took the title with Fenella Langridge (GBR) second and Sara Van de Val (BEL) third.