Last Sunday, Guernsey Triathlon Club held the third race in its Winter Duathlon Series 2014, sponsored by the Ana Leaf Foundation.
35 individuals braved extremely windy conditions to take on the 3 mile run, 20 mile bike, 3 mile run format held at Pembroke Bay. The two lap run took competitors from transition, which was situated outside the Golf Club Car Park, around the back of the tip and then anti-clockwise back to transition via Mont Cuet and La Jaonneuse Roads. This was followed by a coastal bike leg out to the Imperial and back with the run repeated to finish.
Mat Dorrian set the run pace from the off and it was a case of competitors hanging on to this pace for a chance of a podium finish. By the end of the first lap there was a split at the front with Dorrian, James Travers and Aivis Kergalvis clear of the chasing pack comprising Bob Guilbert, Jon Greenfield and Tim Andrews. The first female into transition was Colette Andrews followed by junior Sophie Dorey and Mandy Mortimer who were both neck and neck.
Onto the bike leg positions at the front changed, with Travers taking the lead on the outward stretch negotiating a very strong head wind.
‘Mat set a fast early pace for the first run leg, which I expected him to do. I focused on staying on his shoulder for the run and trying to build a lead on the bike,’ said Travers.
‘I managed to get in front of him through T1 and paced the bike on the outward leg to Pleinmont. At the turning point I had opened a 50 metre gap back to Mat, which was short lived as he harnessed the tail wind to cruise past me and pull away’.
Into transition first and second place remained but by the end of the bike leg Jon Osborne turned in an excellent split to hit T2 in third place with a 90 second gap on Greenfield, who unfortunately had to pull out due to cramp. Guilbert was now fifth with Tim Andrews in sixth.
In the women’s race, cyclist Dorey overhauled Colette Andrews and came into T2 some four minutes clear, and with one more 3 mile run to overcome, Andrews had her work cut out to try and reduced the deficit.
The final run did not see any noticeable changes in the men’s race, despite a valiant effort by Travers to catch Dorrian. Dorrian took the win in 1 hour 26 and 37 seconds with Travers coming home in 1 hour 26 minutes and 56 seconds. Osborne finished a very credible third place in 1 hour 31 minutes and 38 seconds with Guilbert taking fourth and Tim Andrews fifth.
‘Today’s race was great. It was particularly good to have to compete for the whole distance,’ said Dorrian.
‘Pre-race I knew that I needed to put in a decent bike leg to stop James getting away. He has been on great form so far this year. The first run was steady and we opened a bit of a gap. I managed to keep James in sight on the outward bike leg which was tough. On the return leg I managed to take the lead back and coming into the run I thought I should be OK. James competed to the end though and made sure I could not relax at all on the second run. It was nice to get the win in a decent field, although this early in the season it doesn’t mean too much. There are many quality athletes who have not shown their hand yet this year. When they do, things will really get interesting.’
In the women’s final run of the day Colette Andrews chased hard but it was not to be. Junior Dorey took the spoils in 2 hours and 33 seconds with Andrews finishing 13 seconds later in 2 hours and 47 seconds. Mortimer finished third in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 3 seconds.
Dorey said of her first win: ‘It was a last minute decision to do the full course. Not having run that distance before I paced myself on the first 3 mile run knowing I could gain time on the bike, which I did despite the head wind on the way out to Pleinmont.
‘The second run went well and I felt strong which meant I was able to sprint to the finish as Colette was gaining on me. Overall I felt good today and enjoyed it.’
The Club’s ever improving para-duathlete, Sarah Whitchurch, tackled a shortened but nonetheless extremely tough course owing to the wind.
‘I felt like I’d improved since the last race, but there’s still a lot of work to do before the triathlon season starts. The route I took was a lot shorter than the main route but with the headwind, I don’t think I could have managed much more,’ she said.
The next race in the Guernsey Triathlon Club’s calendar takes place on 16 March at the Reservoir. Full details can be found at www.guernseytriathlon.com