Elite Gold and Silver as Learmonth and Coldwell dominate Euro Champs

Jessica Learmonth wins her first European Triathlon Championship

Just five days after her sixth place finish at the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds (achieved despite, not because, of some very strange team tactics…), Jess Learmonth proved once again she is a fine triathlete in her own right, running to victory at the ETU Triathlon European Championships in Kitzbuhel this afternoon. On what has been an amazing day one for the British team in Austria, Sophie Coldwell added Elite Silver.

First out of the water again, Learmonth was followed around 40 seconds later from the 1.5km swim by Sophie Coldwell, Alice Betto (ITA) and Anastasia Abrosimova (RUS), with Anasastia Gorbunova (RUS) in between Jess and that trio.

The bike quickly became a good working group of four – and pulling away from everyone else. Abrosimova was left behind, and it was Learmonth, Coldwell, Betto and Gorbunova who would reach T2 with a lead of well over two minutes on the large pack of chasers, which included defending champion, India Lee.

Gorbunova was soon dropped on the run and would fade back to finish 11th, meanwhile the two Brits ran side-by-side for the first three laps and gradually extended their lead over Betto, the Bronze medal winner in Leeds last Sunday. The medals all look set – but which Brit would take the title?

Jess made a move late in the run and Sophie couldn’t follow, and after Silver last year in the ETU Champs over the Sprint distance, it would be one place higher for the rapidly improving Leeds-based athlete. Silver represents another great performance from Sophie who just improves year-on-year. Last year she was second in the European Under-23 Champs – now she has repeated that at Senior level. Having won and ETU Cup race, the British Elite Championships and finished fourth in the World Triathlon Series race by the middle of June, she should be thrilled with her year so far.

Defending Champion India Lee was in that main chase pack at T2, from which she would finish 15th.

All-in-all, a virtually flawless day from the British team on Day one of the championships. The bar has been set very high for tomorrow and Sunday.

https://www.facebook.com/EtuKitzbuehelTriathlonEuropeanChampionships2017/videos/1272422169547624/

Kitzbuhel ETU Triathlon European Championships
Friday 16th June 2017 – 1.5km / 40km / 10km

ELITE WOMEN

1st – Jess Learmonth (GBR) – 1:57:50
2nd – Sophie Coldwell (GBR) -1:58:05
3rd – Alice Betto (ITA) – 1:58:31

15th – India Lee (GBR) – 2:01:24

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