Top field for British Elite Duathlon Championships

Sky Draper, Todd Leckie and a big prize pot all present at this weekend's championships

The 2011 British Elite Duathlon Championships take place this Sunday 27 March at Prestwold Airfield in Loughborough, kick starting this year’s elite multisport calendar.
 
Last year’s event saw two of Britain’s top athletes go head to head, with Tim Don narrowly beating Will Clarke to first place in the men’s race. The women’s race saw trigold graduate, Katie Ingram claiming her first elite national title.
 
This year’s event is likely to see even more competitive racing, with not only British Championship titles at stake, but also the largest duathlon prize fund in the UK of £5,000. The event is also one of the key opportunities to qualify for the Junior and Senior Elite GE Great Britain Duathlon Teams for the ETU Duathlon European Championships in 2011.
 
This year’s trigold athletes Mark Buckingham and Matt Gunby will both be on the start line and aiming to replicate Katie’s performance in 2010.
 
Matt Gunby, who joined the trigold programme solely funded by Barrie Wells this season commented: “The British Elite Duathlon Championships are going to be a really exciting event this year with a great field of potential winners. For me, it’s my first race as part of the trigold programme and I want to deliver a strong performance that does justice to all the hard work pre-season by both myself and the staff at British Triathlon.”?
 
Both will be accompanied by a number of British Triathlon’s UK Sport Lottery funded World Class Development Squad athletes including Todd Leckie, Lucy Chittenden, Abbie Thorrington, Matt Sharp and Tom Bishop. Both Todd, Abbie and Matt have shown good early form so far this season, and will be looking to reproduce their international performances on the domestic circuit in Loughborough.
 
The Youth and Junior races also mark the start of the British Triathlon Youth and Junior Super Series and will see many athletes from the British Triathlon Olympic Talent Squad all looking to gain valuable points alongside the coveted Championship crowns.
 
Last year’s Youth Super Series winner, Sky Draper will race alongside Ellie Walton and Sophie Coldwell from the Olympic Talent Squad in the Youth event racing over a 2.5km run, 10km bike and 1.25km run. In the Junior event Nicole Raymond, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Gordon Benson, Iestyn Harrett. Josh Harris and Maddie Winzer will all be racing over the same distance as the elites: 5km run, 20km bike and 2.5km run.
 
The event is being organised by Just Racing (UK) on behalf of British Triathlon. For more information visit: www.justracinguk.com.
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