In contrast to last year, the 2015 edition of Challenge Weymouth brought calm seas for the thousands racing on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast earlier today.
Britain’s Stephen Bayliss was first out the water in 50:06mins with Jaroslav Kovacic (SLO) just one second behind him and Marek Jaskolka (POL) 1:30mins further back.
And so this group of three remained for the first lap of the bike with a chase group five minutes back led by Chris Fischer (DEN) and including Graham Stewart (GBR) and David Näsvik (SWE).
However, by 99km it was all change with Jaskolka breaking away, Bayliss dropping back and Fischer and Stewart picking up the pace to chase Jaskolka. Jaskolka’s calculated decision to break away paid off and he proved uncatchable for the rest of the race, posting a 2:57hrs marathon split to take the win and European title.
Meanwhile behind him the battle for the podium continued with Näsvik holding second place until the 30km mark when Kovacic proved too fast and overtook. In the meantime Marques had been working his way up the field from seventh place and 16mins down off the bike to round off the podium in third, posting the fastest run split of the day in 2:45:19. Stewart was top-placing Brit in fifth.
The women’s race was dominated at the start by Kate Comber (GBR) and Eva Potuckova (CZE) who exited the water first in 57:26. By the second lap of the bike course, Comber had put three minutes into Potuckova and came into T2 2:35mins up.
Up until this point, Sweden’s Camilla Lindholm had been under the radar, playing catch-up after a 1:11hrs swim and not registering on the timing system due to a chip issue. Arriving in T2 in third, she soon made her presence known.
By 10km, she had formed a 1:13min lead over Comber and continued to extend this over the multi-lap course along Weymouth’s beachfront promenade, taking the European title 10:50mins ahead of second-placed Comber. Vicky Gill rounded off the women’s podium in 9:53:26.
1. Marek Jaskolka (POL) – 8:42:32
2. Jaroslav Kovacic (SLO) – 8:45:51
3. Sergio Marques (POR) – 8:46:51
4. David Näsvik (SWE) – 8:51:38
5. Graeme Stewart (GBR) – 8:53:04
1. Camilla Lindholm (SWE) – 9:41:31
2. Kate Comber (GBR) – 9:52:21
3. Vicky Gill (GBR) – 9:53:26
4. Eva Potuckova (CZE) – 10:06:52
5. Yvette Grice (GBR) – 10:09:49
For full results head here.
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