Don (33) came out of the water in third place (behind Aaron Harris and junior athlete Gordon Benson) but benefitted from a super smooth transition, entering the bike leg in pole position. From that point on the chasing pack couldn’t keep up with the experienced Don, who quickly opened up a devastating lead and finished in an impressive time of 58:02:10.
Speaking at the finish line a delighted Don said:
“I’m just so glad it wasn’t as cold as it could have been. Yesterday the weather wasn’t so good but when the sun’s out I really enjoy it. I wanted to have a really hard hit out there today, so I just put my head down and no one came with me.”
Despite the blustery conditions, Don seemed to relish his first race in Scotland.
“The wind was quite brutal on the run – going out from transition there was a big headwind,” said Don. “But that’s all part of triathlon. You’re only as good as your last race, but I’m really pleased with how I’m progressing.”
Adam Bowden, who had the fastest run in the elite men’s field and finished second overall said: “I just kept saying to myself ‘push, push, push’. My legs were hurting but I thought to myself if I get the wind behind me and I can get up to a good speed and drop the guys around me. I didn’t feel right on the bike, but I don’t have the years of cycling behind me compared to some of the other athletes, but I’m sure I will improve with every race.”
Matthew Sharp, who finished in third place in a time of 59:08:85, just seconds behind Bowden in a time of 59:05:55, said: “I’ve raced here a few times before and this is the first time I haven’t had a puncture or I haven’t crashed, so it’s the first good performance for me here!”
The GE Strathclyde Park Triathlon is the first race of this year’s British Triathlon Super Series with Tim Don establishing an early lead over the rest of the field as he bids to be crowned 2011 Super Series Champion.
The race, now in its third year at Strathclyde Country Park, attracted athletes from mainland Europe, Australia and Barbados as well as a strong contingent from the UK. The event also included the second race of the British Triathlon Youth and Junior Super Series, and a mass participation event that enabled more than 200 amateur triathletes the opportunity to achieve their own personal triathlon challenge.
Elite competitors will now look ahead to the GE Blenheim Triathlon, the second event of the Super Series, on 4 June. After Blenheim the Series heads to the Toshiba Windsor Triathlon (12 June), the GE Canary Wharf Triathlon (30 June) and finally the Virgin Active London Triathlon (30 July).