Great Britain’s Tim Don won the Blenheim Triathlon on his debut with a new course record at the swim, bike, run event. The former World Champion put in a sterling performance of 00:58:17 to deny Stuart Hayes a third consecutive victory at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
Don was in the leading group for most of the race with a tight group exiting the swim together and staying as a pack for much of the bike leg. The leading contenders jostled for position during the bike course as they rode through the picturesque grounds of Blenheim Palace. Hendrik De Villiers and Stuart Hayes were applying the pressure with nineteen-year -old Tom Bishop showing impressive form to put him in contention of a top place finish. It was on the run that Don showed his dominance to stretch away from the group leaving Hayes in second with young Bishop taking third.
Tim Don commented; “I absolutely loved my first triathlon here at Blenheim, the course was fantastic within the palace grounds and I really enjoyed myself. It was a tough field today with Stuart and Hendrik competing, I knew I would have to be at the top of my game to get the victory. Training has gone really well for me over the last couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to having a strong season throughout 2010.”
Don added; “It’s been a fantastic day here at Blenheim and it’s brilliant to see so many people of all ages getting stuck in, it’s good news for triathlon and makes it a lovely weekend.”
In the women’s race, last year’s champion and reigning British Triathlon Super Series Champion, Jodie Stimpson, was on fine form once again finishing in 1:05:56, over three minutes ahead of second place Non Stanford. Stimpson had strong support today with a crowd of well-wishers joining her in the celebrations as she crossed the line.
A delighted Jodie Stimpson commented; “I’m thrilled to have won the Blenheim Triathlon again this year – it makes it two in a row for me! It’s great to be back here at this fantastic venue and after a very good season last year, I think have got this year’s campaign off to a great start. My running was very positive and I’m pleased with the performance I have put in here, especially with all my family and friends here to watch me.”
Today’s top athletes will be hoping to earn a place in the London 2012 Olympic team; with Don and Stimpson back in form, the victory sets up their seasons nicely in a hope to impress in the lead up to the Games. Olympic experience was in abundance at Blenheim this weekend with 400m star Iwan Thomas entering his first ever triathlon in the age-group category.
For a full feature on Don look out for issue 249 of 220 Triathlon, out 29 June (http://www.220triathlon.com/magazine/next-issue)