European Duathlon Championships - Soria, Northern Spain

Category: Triathlon Published Date Hits: 1152

The European Duathlon Championships took place in Soria, Northern Spain during the weekend of 29/30 April 2017.

Mark Buckingham

There were five Great Britain Elite Men in a field of 60 athletes contesting the main event on the Saturday evening over the standard distance incorporating a 10km run followed by a 40km bike and a final run of 5km.

Holmfirth's Mark Buckingham having finished runner-up at the British Championships three weeks earlier led the GB team against some strong European opposition particularly from Spain and France. The 10km run started at a fast pace, with all five GB athletes in the top 15 places. The course over four laps through a spectator friendly park, saw the lead changing between some of the pre race favourites. GB athlete Richard Horton who has posted some fast times this season led the men into T1 with a time of 30.46, followed closely by a group of 11 men. Buckingham entered T1 in ninth place recording a time of 30.51, but left transition much higher as he quickly chased Yohan La Berre of France just behind leaders Emilio Martin of Spain and teammate Horton, with Benoit Nicolas of France and Moussa Karich of Bahrain close behind. During the first of six laps the six men opened a significant lead as the chasers failed to make any impact. After two laps, Richard Horton failed to stay with the leaders and withdrew from the race, as did Moussa Karich by the half-way stage. The four leaders worked well together on the tough course and had a lead of 90 seconds as they entered T2. Buckingham had encountered a problem with his calf in the early stages of the first 10km run and had moved to the front of the field to try and slow the pace without success. After the bike he was struggling to stay with the leaders, but managed to hold off a strong challenge from another French athlete to finish fourth in 1.47.46 (bike 59.12, 5km run 17.10).

Richard McLeod

The pre race favourite Emilio Martin of Spain won the race in 1.46.07, followed by Frenchmen, Nicolas (1.46.16) and La Berre (1.47.04), Buckingham 4th 1.47.46. GB teammate Phil Wylie finished 6th and Richard Allen 8th who clinched the gold medal for the U23 age group in 1.50.09.

Earlier in the day Holmfirth's para duathlete, Richard McLeod finished 5th in the PTS4 race after a very tough bike leg that proved challenging to the elite athletes in windy conditions with temperatures of 6C and lower after taking into consideration the wind chill factor.

In the Junior Men's race over the sprint distance, Alex Yee of Great Britain showed his class leading the race from start to finish and adding the European title to the World title he won last year. Great Britain had a strong team in the age-group categories, which was probably bigger than the host nation and they won more medals than any other country.

Copyright Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club 2012