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India Lee seeks to defend European title in Kitzbuhel

The ETU European Triathlon Championships returns to Kitzbuhel, Austria this weekend just three weeks after its last visit. Can India Lee retain her title?

Chief Correspondent
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The ETU European Triathlon Championships returns to Kitzbuhel

Another week, another championship…. this time around it is the ETU Triathlon European Champs over the Standard Distance (for Elite and Age-Group). Come back next week (Dusseldorf) for more over the Sprint distance.

The venue should be a popular one for the Brits, many having raced there just three years ago when the town in the Austrian Tyrol last hosted the championship. The British Elite team senior medal prospects would appear to rest primarily on the shoulders of the women, which feature defending European Champion India Lee, the in-form British Champion Sophie Coldwell and fresh (?!) from a sixth place at the World Triathlon Series Leeds, Jess Learmonth.

Ahead of the race, Jees Learmonth comments, “I’m excited, especially if there’s a chance of a breakaway with Sophie” – well, I just hope that the ‘tactics’ that we saw from the British women in Leeds on Sunday aren’t repeated this weekend in Austria. I really don’t want to see another missed opportunity.

(Elite and Paratriathlon preview below courtesy of British Triathlon)


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Elite squad ready for ETU Europeans Championships

Great Britain senior and junior triathletes and paratriathletes have arrived in Kitzbuhel, Austria, ready for the ETU European Championships this weekend. Racing starts on Friday, and will feature Mixed Relays on Sunday, just a week after the event was added to the Olympic programme in Tokyo.

India Lee starts the elite women’s races as the defending champion on Friday. Jessica Learmonth and Sophie Coldwell join her, but Non Stanford withdrew yesterday through illness.

Having finished sixth at the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds, Learmonth commented: “It’s a quick turnaround from Leeds on Sunday to racing in Kitzbuhel on Friday, but I’m excited, especially if there’s a chance of a breakaway with Sophie. It will also be great to race the Mixed Relay on Sunday if we get the opportunity.”

Despite it being exam season, the women’s junior team is strong, with experienced athletes including Olivia Mathias and Kate Waugh also racing on Friday. The equivalent junior men’s race on Saturday will see some new championship caps, as will the senior men’s race on the same day. The full team list is below.

Sunday’s junior and senior Mixed Relay teams will be selected following the individual races based on athlete performances and fitness. Great Britain has been very successful in relay events at European and global level, and there is huge excitement that this fast-paced and exciting event will now feature at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games following an IOC decision last Friday to include them.

Paralympic champion, Andy Lewis features in the paratriathlon on Friday. He said: “After winning the European title last year, I want to retain that title, I know it will be difficult but I’ll give it my all.”

Alison Patrick, who won silver in the visually impaired event in Rio, added: “I hope to keep building on the learning and work I have done over the winter. Kitzbuhel is a stunning venue, so I’m excited to race there again.”

The Paratriathlon team features all four of Britain’s Rio medal winners, and some relatively new athletes, including double track athletics Paralympian, Jade Jones and former solider, Steven Crowley.

Schedule

  • Friday 16th June: Paratriathlon, Junior Female, Elite Female
  • Saturday 17th June: Junior Male, Elite Male
  • Sunday 18th June: Mixed Relay Junior, Mixed Relay Elite

British athletes racing

Paratriathlon; Friday 16 June; 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run

PTHC: Lizzie Tench, Jade Jones, Karen Darke

PTS2: Andrew Lewis, Fran Brown

PTS3: Cassie Cava

PTS4: Steven Crowley

PTS5: George Peasgood, Kerry Large, Lauren Steadman

PTVI: Dave Ellis (guide Carl Shaw), Alison Patrick (guide Nicole Walters), Melissa Reid (guide Hazel McLeod)

Junior women; Friday 16 June; 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run

Olivia Mathias, Issy Morris, Caitlin Roper, Erin Wallace, Kate Waugh

Elite women; Friday 16 June; 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run

India Lee, Jessica Learmonth, Sophie Coldwell

Junior men; Saturday 17 June; 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run

Cameron Harris, Barclay Izzard, Alex Chantler Mayne

Elite men; Saturday 17 June; 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run

James Teagle, Douglas Roberts

Start lists and further information are HERE

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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