Hollie Avil finished in the top ten today at the 2010 Athlone ETU Triathlon European Championships. After winning the World Under 23 title last September, the 20 year old from Northampton put in a solid senior performance. The GE Great Britain team picked up a silver medal earlier in the day when Lucy Chittenden came second in the junior event.
Avil had a strong swim, and exited the first transition along with Vanessa Raw and Abbie Thorrington. They caught lone breakaway rider, Line Jensen, of Denmark after two of the eight bike laps around the centre of Athlone. The British women did the majority of work at the front of the bike pack, with the race favourites not showing their form until they got to the run.
Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig started as favourite, and took up the early running along with Carole Peon of France and Lisa Norden of Sweden. These three maintained their lead to finish one, two and three respectively. Avil was 10th and Raw had one of her best run performances for some time to finish 15th.
Hollie Avil said: “I’m glad to be back racing after eventful start to the year getting sick in Seoul. I’m back into it now and every race is a step stone. You are going to be disappointed if you’re not on the podium, but I fought for every position during the race.
“We tried to push the pace on the bike, maybe that killed my legs on the run but I like to race tough and I did so I’m pleased with that. The support from my family and the British Age Group team was fantastic, it was a great race.”
Britain’s Katie Ingram started the run too far back to make an impression on the results despite having the fastest final quarter of the run overall. The 24 year old is new to the sport having been recruited from elite running through British Triathlon’s trigold talent initiative.
19-year-old Lucy Chittenden from Fleet in Hampshire was an impressive winner of a silver medal in the junior women’s race. She was always in contention along with Lucy Smith from Southwell in Nottinghamshire. Chittenden performed well on the hilly, technical run to win silver behind Germany’s Annika Vossing.
Chittenden, who is due to start at Loughborough University, the home of British Triathlon’s National Performance Centre, in October said: “This is my first international race and I’m really pleased to win silver. The course really suited me with hills on the bike and on the run.”
Iain Dawson was first to cross the line at the in the Paratriathlon race this morning. The multidiscipline race saw visually impaired athlete, Dawson, win the sprint distance event. He was crowned European Champion in the Tri6 category. Racing in the other various categories, Britain picked up gold medal, including Faye McClelland and Charlotte Ellis. Great Britain also dominated the Age Group races.