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Repeat wins for Dijkstra and Pallant at Jenson Button Trust Triathlon

Great weather, quality racing and lots of fun at the sixth edition of the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon in Derby sees Dijkstra and Pallant dominate

Chief Correspondent
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Redefining triathlon

A fourth win for Emma Pallant, second victory for Ben Dijkstra

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Defending champions dominate in Markeaton Park

They were the pre-race favourites at the sixth edition of the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon in Derby on Sunday, and they never looked like losing. Class performances from reigning ITU Duathlon World Champion, Emma Pallant and ITU World Junior Triathlon Bronze medallist, Ben Dijkstra, earned the pair £1,500 each from a healthy prize purse. Both retained their titles in the process – with Emma extending her winning run at the event to four years.

It’s a fun day for all, from the kids family triathlon, to the main races which feature literally everyone from complete novices through to World Champions. Everybody gets to race twice, morning and afternoon, with the ‘fastest’ from the morning sessions going through the finals, while everyone else goes again in the ‘wooden spoon’ finals. For the speedy athletes, the morning is a very comfortable warm up, while the afternoons finals were hotly contested with a good depth of UK talent, especially considering the event falls on the same day as the London Triathlon.

The non-drafting, closed roads sprint distance (the final was planned to have a 400m swim, but was nearer to 250m due to weed restrictions in the lake), ensured close racing, and in both the men’s and women’s finals, there were two athletes together at T2, heading out on to the 5km run.

For the women, that pairing was Paralympic Bronze medallist Guide, Nicole Walters, proving both a) how fast she is in her own right, and b) how fast you need to be to be considered as a Guide in Paralympic competition. She hit the run course a couple of seconds ahead of Emma Pallant, but would have known, as we did, what was going to happen next! While Pallant showed her class to push on and take a comfortable win, Walters held strong over the 5km and maintained second place despite some of the best of British Junior talent chasing her from behind. Originally from Derby herself, she was thrilled to take second, with the fast running Bronwen Owen completing the podium.

For the men, arriving back at T2 together were Ben Dijkstra and Ashley Hurdman. Hurdman has been in great form over the middle distance this year, first AG athlete overall at 70.3 Staffs – and he’ll be racing as a Pro at Weymouth soon. Form or not, he knew he would not be able to match the flying feet of Dijkstra who took off at the front. While he tried to hold on and make the best of his bike efforts, he would be caught just after the mid point of the run and have to settle for fourth, as David Bishop and Luke Penney were able to run him down.

Overall, a very good day. Despite all forecasts the weather behaved itself, a relaxed atmosphere and fun racing were enjoyed by all. Well worth considering if you’ve not tried it before.

Jenson Button Trust Triathlon – Sunday 23rd July 2017
FINAL Results – 250m (approx) / 20km / 5km

MEN

1st – Ben Dijkstra – 47:14
2nd – David Bishop (HUUB Academy) – 48:36
3rd – Luke Penney (Triathlon Club Lievin) – 48:48
4th – Ashley Hurdman (Team Bottrill HSS Hire) – 49:01
5th – Nathan Tweedie (LTPC) – 49:11

WOMEN

1st – Eamma Pallant (BMC Etixx Pro Triathlon / Team Dillon) – 52:27
2nd – Nicole Walters (T3 Triathlon) – 54:14
3rd – Bronwen Owen (Yonda Racing) – 54:44
4th – Michelle Willcocks (Mansfield Triathlon Club) – 56:29
5th – Sarah Hodgson – 56:38

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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