Olympic-distance newbies enjoy successful debuts

TEENAGE triathlete Thierry Le Cheminant emerged an impressive winner at Rocquaine on a fine day for the Olympic-distance debutants.

As fellow Olympic first-timer Chloe Truffitt completed a hat-trick of consecutive women’s triathlon titles, 16-year-old Le Cheminant took the step-up in his stride to defeat Dave Mosley on the final stretch of the run.

Right until that decisive break, it was anyone’s guess as to who would win that race-long duel.

And it was certainly a pleasant morning for a 7am triathlon – still conditions and almost flat waters greeted competitors for the various multi-sporting options on offer.

Looking beyond the unique Uber Sprint, most chose the longer 1,500m Aussie-exit swim, 40km bike and nearly 10km run option staged as an 11th-hour replacement for the Jersey Triathlon, for which many Sarnians had withdrawn over Covid and travel concerns.

Within a field lacking James Travers, taking a deserved rest after the previous day’s Sark to Jersey endeavours, a characteristically slick swim from Le Cheminant set him over 1min. 30sec. clear out the water.

Sean Murphy held second at that point but the real threat came from Entire teammate Mosley, only a few ticks behind.

Mosley faced an apparent handicap – he damaged his time-trial bike the day before – but his road bike served him quite well over the hilly, three-lap course, allowing him to post the fastest cycle and almost nullify the gap on Le Cheminant.

That was when the real intrigue started.

Mosley and Le Cheminant were running side-by-side within the first of three laps, pitting the former’s stamina and experience against the fierce speed of the latter, who looked more threatening as the race progressed.

There was only about a mile left when Le Cheminant kicked for home, clocking 2-09-12 after carving out 26sec. in seemingly no time.

Thierry Le Cheminant won on his Olympic-distance race debut. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 29756352)

‘I’m really happy,’ the winner said.

‘There’s other people absent and that, but it’s lovely to get a first win on my first Olympic race.

‘Coming onto the run, I knew I had to stay with Dave or keep in front of him, because he can definitely run off the bike better than me.’

Mosley added: ‘I ran the first couple of kilometres a bit harder because I could see “T” was suffering a little bit, but he just stuck on my feet the whole time, and tactically he ran a very well-done race.’

Murphy placed third after showing consistent strength through the disciplines, making a good gap on Benn Garnham in fourth.

Meanwhile, Truffitt finished an excellent sixth overall in 2-24-10, a product of three strong legs but a particularly good run. She eventually made 11min. on outstanding swimmer Izzie Grierson.

Truffitt is still to face the local Island Games girls – Amy Critchlow, Emily Squire and Magda Murphy – directly this season.

But those three all lined up in some format, with Critchlow and Squire contesting the shorter Uber Sprint.

Critchlow finished 1-48 ahead of her close rival in a race won overall by Jon Osborn.

Restricted by an injury, Murphy won the Olympic aqua-bike option instead after leading Truffitt off the cycle.

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