Breakthrough international win for James Teagle in Poland
Great Britain’s James Teagle and Netherland’s Sarissa de Vries took the top steps on their respective podiums at the inaugural running of LOTTO Challenge Gdansk in Poland on Sunday.
A impressive half-marathon display from Teagle ensured a comfortable victory for the Brit has he beat South Africa’s Matt Trautman and Spain’s Pablo Dapena Gonzalez to secure his maiden Challenge Family series triumph – and, perhaps, the best performance of his career to date.
In the women’s race, de Vries spent the first two disciplines chasing Lucy Hall before earning victory on the run. Fellow Dutch athlete, Leanne Fanoy, claimed the final place on the podium.
Teagle bike burst the turning point
Gdansk-born Lukasz Wojt (who represented Poland at the 2008 Olympic Games in the pool), set the early pace in the men’s race with an exceptional swim split of 22:21. Wojt opened a gap of over 40 seconds to his nearest rivals Pablo Dapena Gonzalez and fellow Polish triathlete, Brembor Tomasz.
Wojt, however, was unable to maintain the gap and was caught 30km into the bike stage as a five-strong group joined him at the head of affairs. That group included Teagle, Trautman and Dapena Gonzalez. Teagle was in good company, with Dapena Gonzalez a former ITU Long Distance Triathlon world champion, and Trautman twice a winner of IRONMAN Wales.
With T2 approaching, Teagle injected a burst of pace which opened a 19-second gap at the front – an advantage the Brit would not relinquish throughout the 21km run. Teagle set a race-leading 1:12:59 split in hot conditions – 1.41 faster than his nearest challenger Trautman – to clinch victory.
Teagle’s 3:46:14 finishing time saw him take victory by 2:04 from Trautman, with Dapena Gonzalez a further 1:03 behind in third.
“I came here to win, I came here to prove a point, it’s my first year in the sport really, it’s just nice to get a good race under my belt,” said Teagle after his triumph.
Consistency the key for de Vries
Hall set the early pace in the women’s race, the perennial swimming superstar opening a considerable lead of 1:39 to de Vries in the opening discipline.
Hall was able to maintain a sufficient lead over de Vries during the bike leg as the Dutch ace gradually closed the gap to the leader, reducing the deficit by 34 seconds on the bike, giving her 1:05 to make up in the run.
That was a feat she achieved with ease, passing Hall after just 5km and in the end recording a comfortable victory by 3:13. Hall maintained second place by just under six minutes from Fanoy, who produced a race-best 1:23:59 split on the run to clinch the final podium spot.
“I just wanted the best race possible,” explained de Vries, “I wasn’t really thinking I need to win, or I want to win, just make it to the finish line as fast as possible and that’s the result and I’ll be happy with it.”
That represents back-to-back second place finishes for Lucy Hall, who secured the same position last week on home soil at the PTO-supported Dorney Triathlon. With the PTO also topping up the prize fund in Gdansk, she will return home with a bigger cheque this week. and another strong performance.
LOTTO Challenge Gdansk Results 2021
Sunday June 20, 2021
- Sarissa de Vries (Netherlands) 4:12:21
- Lucy Hall (Great Britain) 4:15:34
- Leanne Fanoy (Netherlands) 4:21:30
- Carolin Lehrieder (Germany) 4:27:00
- Aleksandra Jedrzejewska (Poland) 4:28:27
- James Teagle (Great Britain) 3:46:14
- Matt Trautman (South Africa) 3:48:18
- Pablo Dapena Gonzalez (Spain) 3:49:21
- Henrik Goesch (Finland) 3:50:56
- Dominik Sowieja (Germany) 3:51:56
- Franz Loeschke (Germany) 3:54:01
- Kacper Stepniak (Poland) 3:55:04
- Cyril Viennot (France) 3:55:08
- Lukasz Wojt (Germany) 3:55:19
- Evert Scheltinga (Netherlands) 3:55:45
16. Will Munday (Great Britain) 4:02:21