Leeds victory takes Thierry onto European triathlon stage

THIERRY LE CHEMINANT has his sights on bigger things after striking age-group gold at the Leeds Triathlon.

Guernsey teenager Thierry Le Cheminant won his age-group category at the Leeds Triathlon. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30874204)
Guernsey teenager Thierry Le Cheminant won his age-group category at the Leeds Triathlon. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30874204)

The teenager posted a quick time of 2hrs 0min. 40sec. for seventh overall at the Olympic distance British championship event, which came alongside emphatic victory in the 17-19 age group.

His age-group success has paved his way to a European Championships place next year, by which time he will hopefully have qualified to represent the home team at the Guernsey 2023 Island Games.

‘To say it’s my third Olympic distance race I’ve competed in and to have made a 6min. personal best in under a year is amazing,’ the 17-year-old said.

‘Having also qualified for the Europeans next year is an amazing feeling and I’m definitely feeling more confident towards the Island Games qualifiers.’

Le Cheminant opened with a great 1.5km swim, backing that up with solid performances over the roughly 36km cycle and hilly 9.5km run to dominate his age group from Jenson Williams.

Guernsey Triathlon Club colleague James Travers placed 14th overall and second in the 35-39 age group, clocking 2-03-07. The improving Dave Mosley followed within the next 2min. for 19th.

‘I’m overwhelmed at having won my age category, by 10min. to second place as well, and also having placed seventh overall,’ Le Cheminant added.

‘All of us Guernsey competitors absolutely smashed it. Really tough competition in all age groups and great to see three Guernsey people in the top 20.’

London-based Megan Chapple played no small part in Guernsey’s overall success.

Chapple featured strongly despite not having a perfect race – she struggled for pace on the swim and, alarmingly, her bike’s headset dropped 10km into the cycle.

But she soldiered on and then produced an excellent run to finish in 2-12-31, placing fourth woman overall and third in the 25-29 age group.

‘Overall, I feel like it went well,’ she said.

‘The run was the only bit that I was really pleased with. It’s always hard in a triathlon – there’s always something that can go wrong.’

After European 25-29 champion Francesca Smith took both the overall and age-group honours just over 2min. ahead, the Guernseywoman commented that the standard is ‘going up and up’.

‘The standard is just so high and with it being the British championship, it’s an indicator that the top people in the UK will be there.

‘I know both of the girls that beat me in my age group and they’re really strong athletes.’

She also praised the ‘amazing’ Guernsey performances, which included UK racing debutante Chloe Truffitt finishing 23rd woman overall.

Chapple believes that improving her swim will help her close the gap on the very top competitors.

She is eyeing a busy race season that runs well into autumn, peaking with the Ironman 70.3 Barcelona and the World Age Group Championships.

In the elite Super Series event, Guernsey’s Josh Lewis battled the demands of draft-legal sprint racing to finish 17th in 1-01-13.

Jersey took bragging rights in the Channel Islands as Ollie Turner ducked under the hour to finish fifth overall.

Overall confident in his performance level despite a few blunders, Lewis heads over for the Challenge Wales 70.3 this coming weekend.

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