A high-quality domestic field made for exciting racing which saw both the Juniors and Seniors competing together.
There was a full day of racing at Parc Bryn Bach as the fifth and penultimate round of the British Triathlon Senior Super Series took place in Wales with opportunities to qualify for the World Junior and European U23 Championships.
In the Senior/Junior men’s race, Marcus Dey led the field out of the water and quickly formed a two man break with Ben Dijsktra on the bike, with Dan Nixon and Jack Willis just behind the top two. Come the start of the second lap on the bike, a large front group formed which led to a frantic T2. From there, Dijkstra took the lead going into the run and remained at the front to take the tape from James Teagle and Willis. Marcus Dey who finished fifth overall, crossed the line as the first Junior male. Toby Osman finished as the second quickest Junior male (sixth overall) and Noah Canby third (ninth overall).
The Senior/Junior women’s race saw Sophia Green make the most of a fast swim and her bike strength to go it alone early in the bike. Behind Green were Erin Wallace, Natasha Sinha and Rosie Allen with Bronwen Owen and Olivia Matthews further back but charging through the field and pulling themselves back into contention during the bike section.
It was during the run where Owen was able to make her experience count and run the quickest run split. As a result, Owen was able to overtake Green and take victory by 10 seconds with Matthews and Sinha crossing the finishing line as the second and third quickest Senior females. Green came home second overall and was the first Junior female to finish. Erin Wallace, fourth, and Annabel Morton, eighth, were the second and third placed Juniors.
Other races on the day included the British Paratriathlon Super Sprint Championships, Tristar Aquathlon, TriStar 2 and 3 triathlons as well an enduro-style event for the British Triathlon School Games.
The British Paratriathlon Super Sprint Championships acted as the final gateway event of the year, with athletes aiming to achieve international selection through the back end of the season.
With athletes in all classifications starting the race together, it was Michael Taylor (PTS4) who exited the water first with a large lead over the rest of the field. But Phil Barker (PTS5) was able to eat into Taylor’s advantage and take the lead on lap two of three in the bike section, and the first to head into T2. Barker went onto win the race and behind him was a thrilling three-way sprint for the line between Taylor, Finley Jakes (PTS4) and Oscar Kelly (PTVI). Taylor pipped Jakes to the line by one second to finish in second place overall.
In the women’s race, Ciara Roulston (PTS5) came out on top following a strong bike ride and finished ahead of Georgina Lord (PTS1) who came home second overall and first in the PTS1 category.
The weekend kicked off with the mixed Tristar aquathlon, which saw Libby Hale take the tape winning by nine seconds. Josh Cleave secured second place followed by Elliot Clegg who took third.
In the Tristar 2 boys’ race, Iwan Froley took the victory following a strong run where he was able to pull away from the chasing pack. Pembrokeshire’s Dewi Thomas came second with Michael Ralph third. Millie Hannant put in a dominant performance to win gold in the Tristar 2 girls’ race. Hannant won the race 40 seconds clear of second-placed girl Anna-Rose Merchant. Josephine Hurst finished third.
In the Tristar 3 boys’ race, a three-way battle after T2 saw Finlay Catling emerge as the winner after recording the quickest run time. Deri McCluskey took a comfortable second with Luke Wyatt winning bronze. In the Tristar 3 girls’ race, having come out of the water in fourth place, Isabelle Price went into T2 in first closely followed by Gracie Nolan and Molly Thomas. Price was able to hold on to win gold with Nolan second and Thomas crossing the finishing line in third.
The individual races as part of the British Triathlon School Games consisted of 56 athletes aged 14 to 16 who competed in an enduro format. Skip Snelson won the male race with the podium rounded out by Ryan Symington and Finnian Hutchinson. The female race was won by Scotland’s Anna Hedley with Lizzy Edge second and Olivia Logan third. The school relay teams consisted of four athletes from each English region, plus a team from Scotland and Wales and two guest teams. The East Midlands team emerged victorious, followed by South Central and Yorkshire.
Both the Youth Sport Trust (YST) and UK Anti-Doping supported the Parc Bryn Bach event, with both delivering an outreach programme on the day. Athletes and parents engaged in conversations, activities and mini workshops focused around what it means to be a performance athlete or parent – the challenges and the success stories. They also had the chance to chat to YST athlete mentors including Toby Garbett (2004 Olympic rower), Paul Broadbent (former England Rugby League professional) and Ruth Owen-Evans (two-times Welsh National Cross Country Mountain Bike Champion).