British double at Gran Canaria ETU European Cup
In the Elite women’s race earlier in the day (reported separately HERE), British success at Sunday’s Gran Canaria ETU Triathlon European Cup wasn’t a complete surprise, when you have two athletes of the quality of Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jodie Stimpson racing, both having previously won at WTS and/or World Cup level.
While the British Elite men certainly had the potential to do very well, with a large entry of primarily emerging Under-23 talent, on paper at least, you would have put the expectations of reaching the top step of the podium a little lower. However, 19 year old Barclay Izzard showed no fear to take his first major senior victory in fine style. He’s a class athlete too – one of many in the British ‘system’ – reflected in his sixth place finish last year in the World Junior Championships.
The swim and bike saw Switzerland’s Adrien Briffod manage start the closing 5km run with a lead of around 14 seconds over a chase group of 11 athletes, lead out of T2 by Izzard, with fellow Brit Chris Perham also in that group. The second chase pack were a further 30 seconds back, which included many more of the Brits (Willis, Teagle, Johnson, Dickinson and, losing time with a slow T2, Alex Yee).
Izzard had put himself in a great position – and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. A 14:54 run split (fourth fastest of the day), took him to the front of the race and, by Elite standards, a comfortable winning margin on the blue carpet of nine seconds). Rostislav Pevtsov (AZE) produced the best run of the day (14:32) to make up 18 places from that second chase pack to take Silver, and while Yee also ran well (14:36), that T2 would cost him. He moved up to sixth – but it wouldn’t be enough to overhaul Chris Perham who completed his all round performance with a 15:05 run for fifth place.
All three of those Brits can move on, happy with their performances but also confident of more to come as the season progresses. Yee for example, was running with stitches in his foot from his recent win at the BUCS Cross-Country Championships (which will no doubt have impacted his speed in transition – socks for protection, perhaps?).
Gran Canaria ETU Triathlon European Cup – Sunday 18th March 2018
750m / 20km / 5km – ELITE MEN
1st – Barclay Izzard (GBR) – 56:03
2nd – Rostislav Pevtsov (AZE) – 56:12
3rd – Antonio Serrat Seoane (ESP) – 56:14
4th – Antonio Benito Lopez (ESP) – 56:17
5th – Chris Perham (GBR) – 56:19
6th – Alex Yee (GBR) – 56:21
7th – Francesc Godoy Contreras (ESP) – 56:24
8th – Jeremy Quindos (FRA) – 56:35
9th – Adrien Briffod (SUI) – 56:42
10th – Jordi Garcia Gracia (ESP) – 56:48
— Barclay Izzard (@barclay_izzard) March 18, 2018
11th – James Teagle (GBR) – 56:48
13th – Calum Johnson (GBR) – 57:01
17th – Jack Willis (GBR) – 57:07
27th – Samuel Dickinson (GBR) – 57:45
49th – Fergus Roberts (GBR) – 1:00:42