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Vincent Luis follows in famous footsteps with a podium finish in UK trail race

Two-time World Triathlon champion tackles the mud in iconic Yorkshire event.

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French superstar Vincent Luis was a welcome visitor as he added his name to the list of triathlon royalty making their mark on the Chevin Chase trail race, a Boxing Day tradition in the UK.

Luis won back-to-back WTCS world titles in 2019 and 2020 and took a bronze medal in the Mixed Team Relay at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

The Guiseley-based Chevin Chase gets bigger every year and for more than a decade was synonymous with the Brownlee brothers, who are still both based not much more than a stone’s throw away.

Alistair and Jonny each won it five times between 2005 and 2016, with the only blank years in that time coming when neither lined up in 2006 and 2015.

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GTB also a previous winner

But there have been plenty of other high-profile triathletes starring in front of the big Festive crowds, one of the most recent being Luis’ partner Georgia Taylor-Brown who just months after her silver and gold medals in Tokyo, won the women’s race in 2021 in a Santa outfit!

Luis avoided the fancy dress and went with the road shoes option too – the first and last 2km of the 11.2km route are all on tarmac but there are some seriously slippy, muddy and testing trail conditions in between as the photo below from official race photographer Dave Woodhead illustrates.

Vincent Luis moved past reigning champion Dom Coy late on at the Chevin Chase photo credit Dave Woodhead
Vincent Luis and Dom Coy at the 2023 Chevin Chase [Photo credit: Dave Woodhead]

Luis had work to do by the end of the final climb at around 8km – with a gap of about half a minute between himself and the front three.

However, getting back on the road for the mostly downhill finish, he started to close that down.

He overtook reigning champion Dom Coy, who himself is a potential future triathlon star – he was third at the junior worlds in 2021 and a key part of Wales’ silver medal team in the Mixed Relay at the Commonwealth Games last year.

And he also overhauled this year’s Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon winner Nathan Edmondson.

That all left Luis in second place, but Joe Hudson of nearby Keighley & Craven AC had flown as he clocked a time similar to the Brownlee dominance – his 37:10 a minute and a half clear and officially a new course record as the finish line has moved slightly in recent times.

‘Good fun’

Posting on Instagram afterwards, Luis said: “Good fun this morning taking part in the Chevin chase. Iconic Leeds race. 10kms alternating road and forest, the best way to burn the calories from the last two days 🐷.”

The big target heading into 2024 for Luis is qualifying for a home Olympics in Paris after an injury-hit spell this season – with the Chevin Chase appearance suggesting things are moving in the right direction on that front as it had been his running which was most impacted.

Vincent Luis - WTCS Bermuda 2022
Vincent Luis in more familiar action [Photo credit: World Triathlon]
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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