from Hamilton joined Benson on the podium in the elite men’s race, whilst Sophie Coldwell
from Nottingham claimed third place in the elite women’s event earlier in the day. The pressure was on for the British juniors as the event was also a selection race for the Great Britain Team that will compete in the ITU Junior World Championships at the free-to-view PruHealth World Triathlon Grand Final in London from 11 to 15 September.
Benson was second out of the water behind Jørgen Gundersen from Norway, but had a blistering transition to emerge from T1 in first place heading out onto the bike route around Eton Dorney. On the bike, a lead group was clearly established as they worked well together to increase their lead going into the final discipline. Fellow Brit, Miles Burton led the athletes out of T2, before Benson and Sheldon asserted their authority on the field to run to a British one-two finish with Benson winning in a time of 56 minutes 11 seconds. Sheldon was five second back in 00:56.16 and Delian Stateff of Italy was third in 00:56.27.
Benson commented after the race: “It was a good race, everyone worked well on the bike and that was what I wanted, we stayed away and then went for it on the run. I came here to qualify and to take away a win is a bonus.”
At the finish line, Sheldon added: “The swim went well, I got a decent start and was at the front at the first buoy and held my position. On the bike we got away and all took good turns, which is good to see.”
The Italian Stateff had high praise for the event commenting: “It was a really beautiful race, this place is fantastic, I really enjoyed it.”
In the women’s race earlier in the day, Cassandre Beaugrand from France took the win as Coldwell showed her experience and composure all the way to the finish to take third place.
Beaugrand led the athletes into T1, emerging from the 750m swim in a time of 09.39, with Holly Grice from Australia just behind in second place. The leading British athlete into T1 was Ffion-haf Harrett, completing the swim in 09.43. Coldwell was just six seconds behind with a 09.49 split.
The 21.2km bike course was a close contest, Emma Sharkey from Ireland spent much of the bike course pushing the pace on the front ensuring a small gap between the lead group that included Coldwell and the chasers was established by the time the race entered its final lap.
On the run, Beaugrand took the initiative and pushed hard to claim the win in a time of 01:02.39. Beaugrand commented after the race: “It was my first ever European Cup here at Eton and it was very nice. The event was well organised and the spectators were good. I was at the back of the bike group but came through on the run.”
Coldwell was disappointed with her swim, but delivered a quick transition to keep in touch with the leaders. She remained in the lead group on the bike putting the pressure on the technical aspects of the course and then pushed the pace out of T2 to create a split in the group along with Beaugrand and Jaz Hedgeland from Australia who finished second in 01:02.40. The leaders’ tactical prowess ensured a sufficient gap that kept the top three clear of the rest of the field.
Sophie commented after the race: “It was great; I have raced here a few times before but never with this many people and the amount of different countries here because of the European Cup.”
Sian Rainsley was the next highest British triathlete finishing eighth in a time of 01:03.21. Kate Curran finished tenth in a time of 1:03.27, commenting: “It was a really good experience [here at Eton Dorney]. I was quite nervous coming into it, but I just put everything together and gave it my best shot. The IRC’s were the highlight of my season when I was a youth; it was really good to bring all the races together.”
had more to celebrate today as she was also crowned women’s British Triathlon Junior Super Series champion, whilst Christopher Perham
took the men’s title. In the British Triathlon Youth Super Series, Bronwen Owen
was crowned female champion, and Jack Willis
the men’s winner.