An eventful Gower Standard Triathlon on Saturday (31st August) saw a second consecutive victory for Florence Swan and a smash and grab by Sam Wade to see both the female and male competitions go down to the final event in a weeks-time.
The scene was set at the Activity Wales Events Gower Standard Triathlon at Port Eynon, which, had results gone a certain way, could’ve seen both Male and Female competitions wrapped up before the series heads North for its finale on September 14th. A fourth victory for Liam Lloyd would have guaranteed the series, and a victory for the returning Hannah Munday would only have needed a top 10 finish in Anglesey to see her secure the series. What transpired was some intense racing full of incident.
With the seas’ choppy and the wind relentless, the organisers took the wise decision to change the swim course on the morning of the event. With the swim reduced from a 1500m single lap to a two lap 600m swim, this saw the usual front runners establish themselves at the front of the field. A lead group of Sam Wade, Alex Matchett, Kieran John and Liam Lloyd made their way out of the seaside village and onto Gower Peninsula for a rolling 37km covered with crosswinds. Florence Swan and Hannah Munday were the leading ladies out of the water, followed closely by Rhiannon Middleton.
With Wade and Matchett leaving T1 together, it was Lloyd who kicked on during the bike leg to build up a strong lead by the time the front runners turned at Killay to return to the beach. Having built up a two-kilometre lead, disaster struck for Lloyd, and a puncture saw him having to run the final two and a half kilometres back to Port Eynon. This allowed Wade and Matchett to take full advantage, and by the time Lloyd had returned, he was also overtaken by Cr@p Tri’s James Grandfield who had now hit the run leg in third position.
As Swan returned from the bike, she had opened up a two-minute lead on Munday, who was a further minute ahead of third place Middleton. With all athletes having to take on Horton Hill twice during the run course, there was ample time to gain time. Wade and Matchett though ensured they remained out front with strong run legs, with Wade finishing his 10km run in a time of 34minutes and 5 seconds. A strong finish by Lloyd saw him overtake Grandfield and secure an important third place, and much needed points which will come into play at the Sandman.
The females’ positions remained the same with Swan taking the tape ahead of Munday in second and Middleton in third.
The team competition is also in the balance, as a skeleton crew from GOG tri, travelling south on the weekend of their own race at Llanrwst took a tally of 250points from four strong performances from Gareth Bowyer, Debs Jones, Simon Roxburgh and Ashley Tomlinson. This now sees the GOGs sitting top of the tree on 1693 points, 62points ahead of second place Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club going into the last stage. A strong showing from Celtic Tri could also see them take the top spot, so all clubs will need a strong representation across age groups to make the most of the final points on offer.
In other categories, Pembrokeshire’s James Moore overtook Taff Ely’s Mark Binding at the top of the Male 40 series before the final stage, GOGs Gareth Bowyer has secured the Male 50 series with another victory and Celtic Tri’s Jennifer Aylward secured some much needed points to put the pressure on Rebecca Comins for the final stage.
Stage 5 of the Super Series will be televised on S4C on Thursday 5th September. Welsh Triathlon would like to thank Activity Wales events and their staff for facilitating stage 5 at the Gower Triathlon, and we’re all looking forward to the exciting finale in Newborough Forest on the 14th September.
- A full run down of Stage 4 results from the Gower can be found here
- The latest Male Scores after 5 stages of the Super Series can be foundhere.
- The latest Female scores after 5 stages of the Super Series can be found here.
- The top ten in each category and team scores can be found
If there are any discrepancies across the categories that you would like to question, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 12noon on Friday 6th September. No reviews will be conducted following this date. Please remember that the final stage is worth ‘points and a half’ and it is the top four scores across the whole series that will contribute to your final scores.