Guernsey Press

'An unreal feeling' - Le Cheminant wins world age-group triathlon title

Thierry Le Cheminant had the surreal experience of winning a world age-group title last weekend.

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Thierry Le Cheminant takes the tape to claim a world age-group title in Spain. (Picture from World Triathlon, 32559229)

The Guernsey teenager finished top of the 18-19 category at the World Age-Group Championships in Pontevedra, Spain, where the island had representation from no fewer than six triathletes overall.

The age-group races followed one day after the buzzing elite grand finals at the same venue, where world senior and U23 champions were crowned.

Le Cheminant, 18, had no clue he would be taking a title of his own.

‘Going into the race, I had no expectations on winning or even placing on the podium, so to win my age group and cross that line first was an unreal experience and feeling,’ he said.

‘I didn’t have a plan on how to race this race as I didn’t know the competition, so I just went into it with the aims of delivering the best I possibly could and seeing how the race unfolded and it unfolded perfectly.’

The Olympic distance races took place in relatively welcoming conditions and Le Cheminant faced 11 age-group opponents from around the world.

He got on to some fast feet in the 1.5km swim and left the water fourth, setting him up nicely for the road ahead – a 39.5km cycle and 10km run.

‘I had a super smooth T1 [transition one] to exit second, so that’s when I knew the bike would play to my part as it was just two laps of going up a steep hill, turn at the top then descend and repeat,’ he added.

‘I got in the lead about 5min. into the bike as I was trying to get the legs spinning and ready to climb then descend, which was awesome, so when I got the lead I just gave it my all.’

At final transition, he had over 5min. on second-placed Eric Jager of Germany.

The Sarnian kept pushing on the run to triumph in 2-07-57, finishing 4-04 clear of the pursuing German and further still of Poland’s Jakub Misztela.

‘The support and atmosphere of the event was incredible.’

Impressive veteran Alan Rowe placed a very creditable fourth, within 1min. of a podium spot, in the 55-59s.

Rowe was among the quickest in each discipline but could not catch the western European trio that filled the podium spots.

Chris Norman also landed a top-10 finish by placing seventh in the 30-34s.

Wendy Leathem (12th), James Tipper (15th) and Ian Scholes (29th) also featured solidly within their respective age groups.