Sunday’s Toshiba Windsor Triathlon, round two of the 2013 British Triathlon Super Series saw pre-race favourites Tom Bishop and Emma Pallant live up to that expectation to secure commanding victories and earn themselves British Elite Standard Distance Championship titles in the process
Having shown fine form when winning on his season debut a week previously at the Blenheim Palace Triathlon, Bishop would rightly have been confident in his prospects on a course he won on two years ago. The biggest threat to Bishop’s chances was always likely to be from London 2012 Olympian and previous Windsor winner, Stuart Hayes.
First out on to the flat and fast roads around Windsor, Bishop and Hayes were joined by Ben Shaw, Richard Stannard and Daniel Halksworth from the start of the bike leg. With that quality at the head of the race, there was little chance for the chasers to bridge back to the front five and the winner would almost certainly come form that elite grouping.
Hayes pushed the pace from the start of the run, leading over the first kilometre to the turn by Windsor Castle, but Bishop was looking very strong and quickly passed Hayes and took the lead on the descent. Hayes dug deep to stay in close contention over the first run lap of three, but Tom was able to extend his winning margin to come home the 2013 winner, exactly one minute clear of Stuart. Ben Shaw completed the podium in third, Daniel Halksworth finished fourth while Tom’s twin brother David Bishop was the only athlete to catch the leading five on the run, relegating Richard Stannard to sixth at the finish.
A small ladies field saw Hannah Drewett emerge from the Thames a full minute clear of Emily McLoughlin. 20 seconds later Pallant emerged from T1 in third place, and with several athletes in close order, the prospects of the 2011 European Under-23 Cross Country Champion looked good.
Despite a chase group forming which Pallant was part of, Drewett was able to maintain her lead despite riding the whole course solo, and she was the first back into Alexandra Gardens and out on to the run course after a brave effort at the front of the race.
Behind the leader, Pallant had to serve a 15 seconds stop/go penalty in transition for a helmet violation which delayed her exit from T2. This meant that from the group it was India Lee heading the chase after the now fading Drewett. That mishap didn’t prove too costly however for Pallant who soon made up ground and moved into the lead. She went on to take the win just over a minute clear of Lee with Emma Holt managing to pass a struggling Emily McLoughlin in the finishing straight. Early leader Drewett completed the top five.
As well as their British Elite Championship titles, Bishop and Pallant now hold commanding leads in the British Triathlon Super Series, the next event of which will be the British Triathlon Championship Liverpool on Sunday 13th July.
1 Tom Bishop 1:49:47
2 Stuart Hayes 1:50:47
3 Ben Shaw 1:52:13
4 Daniel Halksworth 1:53:18
5 David Bishop 1:53:43
1 Emma Pallant 2:09:09
2 India Lee 2:10:15
3 Emma Holt 2:12:12
4 Emily McLoughlin 2:12:24
5 Hannah Drewett 2:12:43