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McNamee wins, Bartlett second at Challenge Salou

Right now, David McNamee is a man in great form. A pretty flawless start to 2017 sees him add another win at Challenge Salou - and impress on the bike too

Chief Correspondent
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Another win for Great Britain’s David McNamee in Spain

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The 2017 conveyor belt of British success around the world continued with a Gold and Silver at the 2017 edition of Challenge Salou on Sunday morning.

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MEN

The opening swim saw trio of athletes, McNamee, along with the Spaniard’s Pablo Dapena Gonzalez and Juan Oller Gonzalez, take and early lead of around 30 seconds over a group of six as they left the water with 24 minutes on the clock. Joe Skipper, while expecting a deficit in the water, was way off the pace at this early stage and would exit the water in 29:24 and surely already well out of contention for the podium. He would withdraw from the race later, having not recovered from a chest infection picked up recently.

Well known for his running, McNamee has clearly been working hard on his cycling too and with an early lead, he would build on that with the fastest bike split of 1:54:49. He will likely take as much pleasure and comfort from that, as he does from what would be another win. Always a front pack swimmer, he’s starting to complete his full set of swim/bike/run skills to take on the very best.

Starting the run with a lead approaching three and a half minutes over Jeremy Jurkiewicz, Trevor Wurtele, Davide Giardini, Jan Raphael, James Cunnama, Emilo Munoz, PD Gonzalez, Hannes Cool and Iavan Kalashnikov, the Scot was leaving some serious talent in his wake. He was never going to give that position up and a 1:07:12 split on the (surely short!) run brought him home with a clear winning margin over a very close finish for 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Success breads success, and McNamee should rightly be delighted with the first half of his 2017 racing season. He will believe that a Kona top-10, at a minimum, is his for the taking in October.

WOMEN

As she often does, Great Britain’s Catherine Jameson was out of the water alone and clear. Her 26:27 split gave her a 51 second lead over Maria Pujol (ESP). Fellow Brit Nikki Bartlett was exactly four minutes back in her weakest discipline.

Jameson also has huge bike power, and a 2:08:57 was the fastest of the day again, with only Bartlett (2:11:43) was close, but it still meant that Jameson would start the run almost seven minutes clear. Could it be a British one-two in Salou? No…

Jameson’s early efforts had to be paid for with a 1:33:59 run, while Bartlett will catch and pass en-route to a 1:18:32. A British winner then? Again, no, because Sara Loher (ESP) set the fastest run of the day (on the surely short?) run course of 1:14:15, to make up her two and a half minute deficit to Bartlett at T2 and take the win. Bartlett took second ahead of the veteran Erika Csomor (HUN), while Jameson eventually finished seventh.

Challenge Salou – Sunday 28th May 2017
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

MEN

1st – David McNamee (GBR) – 3:26:04
2nd – Emilio Aguayo Munoz (ESP) – 3:28:26
3rd – James Cunnama (RSA) – 3:28:30
4th – Ivan Kalashnikov (RUS) 3:28:35
5th – Pablo Dapena Gonzalez (ESP) 3:29:11

WOMEN

1st – Sara Loher (ESP) 3:59:01
2nd – Nikki Bartlett (GBR) – 4:00:42
3rd – Erika Csomor (HUN) – 4:05:20
4th – Simona Krivankova (CZE) 4:05:33
5th – Ewa Komander (POL) 4:07:42

7th – Catherine Jameson (GBR) – 4:09:23

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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