Sophia Green and Hamish Reilly bring home silver and bronze medals from Riga ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup both with sensational bike legs.
For most of the British athletes competing in Riga, this was their first time racing at a European Cup, but also the perfect opportunity to fine-tune their race skills amongst international athletes.
The women’s race saw Great Britain’s Green and Eden Schiller attack the swim from the very start driving a lead swim pack with Italy’s Bianca Seregni. This continued throughout the bike leg with Green and Schiller pushing the pace to create over a 50 second gap between them and the chase pack.
The bike leg was where all the British women really shone with them all pushing the pace, Ellie Hobbs and Katie Rodda both positioned themselves well for the run.
It was a hard fought battle between Green and Seregni on the run but an injection of pace from Seregni in the closing stages of the race was enough to see her take the win. Green took second place ahead of Schiller in fifth, with Hobbs and Rodda crossing the line in seventh and eighth.
Eden Schiller, speaking after the race, said: “We started off on the dive and I got straight onto the feet of Sophia; I could tell we were going fast as when I looked behind there was no one there.”
Green added: “Me and Eden worked really well as a team, surging every so often [on the bike] trying to lose the Italian girl, but it didn’t quite work today. On the run I just tried to keep my form throughout and I’m pretty happy with my result.”
The men’s race saw the Brits perform strongly in the swim to exit the water in the main pack, with Finnian Hutchinson leading out of the water from a British perspective. A strong group of cyclists in the British contingent saw Hamish Reilly, who posted the fastest cycle leg on the race, and Jonathan Oakey driving from the front as the lead pack splintered.
Fighting hard on the run, Reilly finished third behind Morgan from New Zealand and Carlsson of Sweden in a time of 00:53:05. Jonathan Oakey (00:54:16), competing in his first European Cup, came home in tenth.
Jonathan Oakey, reacting on his first European Cup, said: “I knew I needed to put a lot of work on the bike to try and make the other guys hurt. It looked like it worked, it felt like it worked but I’m really pleased with it and first European Cup with a top ten finish.”
Reilly, having secured a sport on the podium, said: “One of the best races that I’ve had this season! From the start I knew I wanted to get away on the bike to secure a top place. There were a lot of quick runners here so I just wanted to make sure I got a strong bike to set me up for the run, then hold on from there.”
Matt Divall, Triathlon England Pathway Manager, commented on the weekend: “I’m pleased with the efforts and application shown by the whole team throughout the race and the days before. All of the athletes racing will leave Riga with some valuable experiences and learning to take into training and future races.
On Britain’s medallists, Divall added, “Sophia has shown good consistency coming off a strong performance in Bryn Bach Parc last week and hopefully this will put her in good stead ahead of Lausanne in a few weeks. Hamish has had a strong performance to podium in his first Junior European Cup race and is showing good potential following a top 10 in the European Youth Champs in Kitzbuhel, Austria in June.
“I would like to thank all the support and coaching staff here in Riga and further shows the collaboration and alignment between the Home Nation Programmes.”