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Gemau Cymru Triathlon Race Report

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The eighth instalment of 2017 Welsh TriStar Series racing took place at the Gemau Cymru Triathlon on Sunday.

The eighth instalment of 2017 Welsh TriStar Series racing took place at the Gemau Cymru Triathlon on Sunday. There was fantastic racing throughout as the series standings continue to take shape.


Perfect weather conditions greeted the participants, who had arrived at Parc Bryn Bach to take on the challenge of an open water swim, a closed roads draft-legal bike course and a flat fast run to the finish. 


For the TriStar 2 and 3 athletes this event also provided an opportunity to qualify outright for the Welsh Inter-Regional Championship team by finishing in the top 2 overall. The third spot and reserve athlete will be selected on a discretionary basis, with the team announced at the end of the week. The inter-regional championships will take place on 28th August at Mallory Park, Leicestershire.
With many competing in an open water event for the first time, and with the course featuring a challenging bike section, all athletes raced well and will no doubt grow from the experience. On the third and final day of the Gemau Cymru festival, Triathlon competitors also had the experience of being part of a multi-sport games featuring an athletes village in Cardiff and a programme of 9 other sports. 


The first race away was the TriStar 1 Boys. Ioan James (Aim2Tri) led out of the swim and held onto this lead throughout to take 1st place. 2nd home was Dewi Thomas (Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club), while Daniel Warrender (Cerist Tri Club) and Iestyn Thomas (Triathlon Coaching Wales) were awarded equal 3rd. 
The TriStar 1 Girls were in the next wave and it was Anna-Rose Merchant and Lucy Jones who would lead out of the water and onto the bike. The duo were still in the lead as they headed onto the 1.2km run, with Anna Rose Merchant pulling away to win. Lily Roberts (Ruthin TriStars) ran well to move up into 2nd place, with Lucy Jones 3rd. 


The TriStar 2 Boys saw Tristyn James (Aim2Tri) lead out of the 200m swim, closely followed by Finlay Catling (Celtic Tri Club). As in previous races the leaders from the swim would stay in the lead throughout the bike and run, with Finlay Catling pulling away on the run to win, with Tristyn James 2nd. Third spot went to Luke Wyatt (Aim2Tri) who had the fastest run split of the day.
The TriStar 2 Girls saw the largest wave of the day, with 15 athletes taking on the course. Abigail Davies (Aim2Tri) took a gun-to-tape win, with Anwen Nesham (Cardiff Junior Tri Club) 2nd after moving through the field on the bike. Freya Thapa (Cerist Tri Club) was 3rd with the bike decisive in terms of deciding the podium positions.


The TriStar 3 Boys race was the first race held over the longer 2 lap bike course and round the lake 2k run. Alex Layzell (Triathlon Coaching Wales) had a lead of 12 seconds after the 300m swim and extended this on the bike and run to win. A strong bike leg proved important for Cameron Shaw (TriStars Conwy), who moved from 4th out the water to 2nd off the bike. He was able to hold this position to the finish line, with a closing Callum Thomas ten seconds behind in 3rd place.


The final race of the day was the TriStar 3 Girls wave, which and saw Orla Davies (Ruthin TriStars) take the win and also confirm 1st place in the series with a maximum score of 500 points. However, this was a topsy-turvey affair to finish the event on. Davies had a 30s lead after the swim, but this was overhauled on the bike by Fiona Bostock and Tia Froom (Ludlow Junior Triathlon Club), with the pair breaking clear to also establish a lead of 30s heading out onto the run. However, a fast run from Davies was enough to come back from the deficit and take the win by just 4s from Fiona Bostock, with Tia Froom 3rd a further 3 seconds back.  


Welsh Triathlon would like to congratulate all who raced, as well as thank those who made the event possible: Marshals from Sport Cardiff and the Urdd, Technical Officials, the Parc Bryn Bach wardens and water safety team, St. John’s ambulance and ONIT bike shop Porthcawl for the support with bike mechanics. 


With the summer holidays approaching the series now takes a break until the TriStars Conwy race festival on 17th September, with the series winners confirmed after the final race in the series at the Myrddin Junior Triathlon in Carmarthen.

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