Crowds cheer ‘electric’ Challenge Henley

Over 1,400 athletes take part in town's third long-distance tri event

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The third annual instalment of Challenge Henley took place in Berkshire last weekend, marking a successful conclusion to a race that was dogged by local tensions in the build-up.

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In the men's full-distance race, British athletes took all three medals with sub nine-hour times: Tom Lowe finished in 8:30:19, followed shortly by Stephen Bayliss (8:36:55) and Joel Jameson (8:49:23).

The British women also put in a strong showing, with Bella Bayliss winning in 9:41:46, followed by Yvette Grice (10:05:18). New Zealander Julia Grant came third in 10:15:59.

For Bayliss this marks a highly satisfying conclusion to her long-distance triathlon career, having announced her retirement just last week.

Following the race, organisers Just Racing said they were "over the moon" with the strong spectator turnout and "electric" atmosphere across the whole weekend.

There was some local criticism in the buildup to this event: most recently, Henley MP John Howell was quoted by the BBC as saying that organisers did not consult residents ahead of the race.

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However, Just Racing MD Alan Rose recently told 220 Triathlon that he believed his team had done "everything by the book and more besides".