When chips are down Lewis comes up trumps

EVERYTHING finally came together for Josh Lewis in his last shot at achieving a Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games qualifier.

Josh Lewis finished third in the Inter-Regional Championships at Mallory Park. (29983420)
Josh Lewis finished third in the Inter-Regional Championships at Mallory Park. (29983420)

In fact, Guernsey’s No. 1 triathlete called last weekend’s third-place finish at British Triathlon’s big Inter-Regional Championships his ‘best race to date’.

All season long he had been chasing a top-five finish at an elite, draft-enabled sprint triathlon to book his ticket to Birmingham, invariably suffering unwanted mishaps or errors and being shackled with a result far outside his capability.

But over at Mallory Park, the stars aligned as he clocked 53min. 14sec. to finish within a minute of winner Daniel Dixon and runner-up Connor Bentley.

Lewis avoided the early melee by leading at the first buoy of the 750m swim and, though overtaken, he carried on to leave the water second.

He left transition in a group of five for the 20km cycle, with Jerseyman Ollie Turner also in the mix, before the dropping of Bentley whittled it down to four.

In the concluding 5km run, Lewis managed to hold second behind Dixon until the late stages, when Bentley found a second wind and picked him off.

‘I had my best race to date, where everything aligned, and couldn’t be happier with the result,’ he posted on his social media athlete page.

After allowing further time for reflection, Lewis still rates it higher than his Outlaw Half Nottingham victory in June.

He admitted he had benefited from not putting too much pressure on himself.

‘I knew what needed to be done, and I had known that all season, but I have not had many opportunities to do it,’ he said towards the tail of a season shortened by Covid.

‘I knew it was my last opportunity, but I knew if I could do the smaller things well and do what I was capable of, then I should get a top five.

‘I am really, really over the moon to be able to do that.’

The Ravenscroft-backed triathlete is not done yet, though, with this weekend’s Super League Jersey next on the agenda.

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