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Chris Perham wins ETU Liévin Indoor Triathlon Festival

Chief Correspondent

First ETU European Cup win for Chris Perham at French Indoor Triathlon


Seventh for Zoe Thomas in Liévin

The concept of an indoor swim-bike-run triathlon is not entirely new, even for professional athletes. We are more than 25 years on from the Bordeaux Indoor Triathlon which featured legends including Mark Allen, Simon Lessing and Brad ‘The Croc’ Bevan racing at the Bordeaux velodrome, the swim taking place with a temporary pool within the venue centre. That event was broadcast live on Eurosport – I’ve been around so long I remember watching it at the time!

However, on Saturday in France the Liévin Indoor Triathlon Festival ( brought back that concept, this time as part of an ETU Triathlon European Cup (and Junior Cup) event, kids races, paratriathletes and more. Super short distances – the men’s and women’s events being won in 10 and 11 minutes respectively – all within and on the athletics track of the Lievin Arena.

Check out this great video summary from Trimax Triathlon Magazine:

The Elite races features Heats, Semi’s and Finals, meaning athletics got to race multiple times through the day and ensuring plenty of action for the spectators.

As we said in the weekend preview, Brits Chris Perham and Zoe Thomas were heading across the Channel, and a great weekend they had too – with Chris winning his first ETU Cup event, crossing the line first in the final to win by three seconds. A great performance in a solid field which saw him relegate double Glasgow 2018 European Championship Gold medallist, Pierre Le Corre, into third place. Last year Chris achieved his best previous result, second at the Holten ETU Sprint Triathlon Premium European Cup in The Netherlands.

After winning her qualifying heat, Zoe Thomas went ‘all in’ to try and win the Elite women’s final and managed to hold on until just 400m of the run remaining, to finish sevent in a race which saw an incredibly close finish.

You have to say massive respect and congratulations to what will have been a huge organisational effort to put together an event of this format. The athletes clearly enjoyed something new (well, it would have been very new to most of them), the initial feedback appears positive and from the coverage, videos and images available online, it looks spectacular.

Just as Zwift racing is not here to replace outdoor cycling, there’s no reason to think that indoor triathlon is going to take over – but as a way of presenting the sport in a stadium environment to a potentially new and wider audience, it ticks lots of boxes. Vive la différence!

I can’t comprehend the budgets required to put this all together, but I only hope that this event is and / or can be made sustainable and develop for future years. I’ll certainly be looking out for it next year, and a weekend trip across the channel looks a very attractive proposition.

Liévin ETU Indoor Triathlon European Cup
144m / 3.18km / 1.1km

Senior Men’s Final

1st – Chris Perham (GBR) – 10:09
2nd – Csongor Lehmann (HUN) – 10:12
3rd – Pierre Le Corre (FRA) – 10:13
4th – Arnaud Mengal (BEL) – 10:17
5th – Tim Van Hemel (BEL) – 10:18

Senior Women’s Final

1st – Nina Eim (GER) – 11:24
2nd – Sandra Dodet (FRA) – 11:24
3rd – Valentina Riasova (RUS) – 11:25
4th – Alicja Ulatowska (POL) – 11:26
5th – Justine Guerard (FRA) – 11:28
6th – Alessia Orla (ITA) – 11:30
7th – Zoe Thomas (GBR) – 11:39

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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