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Fyn 2018: Lesley Paterson, Nicole Walters take Elite Cross Triathlon Gold and Silver

Chief Correspondent

A great day for Great Britain on the trails in Denmark


Fourth ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship title for Ruben Ruzafa

Winner of this title six years ago and Silver medallist in 2013, Great Britain’s Lesley Paterson today put five years of battling injuries and illness behind her to take Gold at the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Denmark, part of the Fyn ITU Multisport World Championships Festival.


All of the reports and news from Fyn:

Paralympic Bronze medallist, Nicole Walters, made it a memorable day for Great Britain, leading for much of the race and collecting the Silver medal.

After leading out of the water by 39 seconds, Walters held her lead into the second half of the bike leg, eventually being joined by Paterson and Eleonora Peroncini (ITA) at the front of the race. That trio would work together over the closing kilometres of the cycle leg to reach T2, with a narrow lead over Samantha Kingsford (NZL), and a minute clear or Morgan Riou (FRA).

Paterson quickly broke clear on the run, and at the end of the first lap was over a minute and a half clear of Walters, who had built a small lead of just 16 seconds over Peroncini, but Kingsford and Riou were still not out of contention.

A strong Paterson was in control at the front and extended her lead by a further minute on lap two. No such luxury for Walters, who still had the Italian chasing but she was unable to close the gap, and after Paralympic Bronze as Guide athete to Melissa Reid in Rio, she earned a World Championship Silver medal on her first start for the GB Elite team.

An emotional Paterson spoke to ITU Media soon after crossing the line:

“I’ve been through a lot of injury and illness – to be out there was amazing. My goal was to swim hard and try and be in a group, and then get to the front on the single track and I did that. We caught the leader Nicole and then got a break of three to come into transition together. I knew my running was strong, and so when I went on to the second lap with a lead of 90 seconds I knew i could enjoy it.”


Spain’s Ruben Ruzafa continued his incredible run of success at the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships. Starting in 2013 he has finished 2nd / 1st / 1st / 1st / 2nd / 1st for a total of four Gold and two Silver medals in six year, to add to three XTERRA World Championship titles. Without question, one the best ever in this format of racing.

Maxim Chane (FRA) headed the opening 1km swim in 12:14, 31 seconds clear of a chase group headed by Brice Daubord (FRA). With all of the expected favourites within 60 seconds however, today’s race would be decided on dry land. Great Britain’s Doug Hall was sixth out of the swim (13:31), with Llewellyn Holmes 35th (15:44).

By the midpoint of the bike, Ruzafa – second in Penticton last year by just 11 seconds – had powered his was from ninth out of the water to a one minute lead over Sam Osbourne (NZL) and Bradley Weiss (RSA), the 2017 XTERRA World Champion. By T2, the Spanish athlete had extended that margin by a further 30 seconds.

Osborne tried to close the lead to Ruzafa, which he did over the first part of the run, but the Spanish athlete pushed on in the late stages to ensure that he was not going to lose the Gold this year. XTERRA World Champion Weiss looked like he was set for the Bronze, but a late charge from Brice Daubord (FRA) saw him overtaken and cross the line just three seconds after the French athlete in fourth place.

Fynske Bank ITU Multisport World Championship Festival – Tuesday 10th July 2018
ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships

ELITE – 1km / 27km / 10km


1st – Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) – 2:06:04
2nd – Sam Osbourne (NZL) – 2:07:51
3rd – Brice Daubord (FRA) – 2:08:39
4th – Bradley Weiss (RSA) – 2:08:42
5th – Arthur Forrisier (FRA) – 2:09:26

20th – Doug Hall (GBR) – 2:16:47
27th – Llewellyn Holmes (GBR) – 2:22:49


1st – Lesley Paterson (GBR) – 2:27:10
2nd – Nicole Walters (GBR) – 2:29:41
3rd – Eleonora Peroncini (ITA) – 2:29:57
4th – Morgane Riou (FRA) – 2:31:13
5th – Samantha Kingsford (NZL) – 2:31:24

JUNIOR – 500m / 14.3km / 5km


1st – Tate Haugen (CAN) – 1:07:32
2nd – Oscar Gladney Rundqvist (DEN) – 1:08:08
3rd – Victor Goené (NED) – 1:08:43


1st – Pavlina Vargova (CZE) – 1:19:24
2nd – Shirin Van Anrooij (NED) – 1:20:10
3rd – Marta Menditto (ITA) – 1:21:08

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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