Travers takes another scalp at final Ana Leaf Summer Series race

 JAMES TRAVERS once again took the honours by winning last Sunday’s (11 August) triathlon at Vazon bay. 

In an exciting event, Travers had to work hard for the win, with Dave Crosland on his heels for the majority of the race.  The 1km swim, 20km bike and 8.5km run, held by the Guernsey Triathlon Club and sponsored by the Ana Leaf Foundation attracted a huge field of 44 competitors and took place in warm,  windy conditions along the west coast.

Gus Findlay and Jersey’s Dave Holmes were first out of the water in 10 minutes and 24 seconds with Crosland and Gail King a minute off the pace.  Travers was in fifth and 20 seconds behind going into T1.

Onto the bike Travers made up the deficit quickly, making his move past Crosland on L’Eree hill. 

“On the bike I was catching Dave Holmes, so thought it was going OK. Then James came past me up L’Eree Hill like I had a puncture! I managed to limit the damage after that and came into T2 about 10 seconds down,” said Crosland.

Travers left T2 with Crosland hot on his heels.  The two-lap affair meant it was easy to see how much time was on your hands.  In Travers’ case, this was very little. 

“I was caught by Dave half way around the first lap of the run. I dug deep and hung onto him until the final 500m where I upped the pace and thankfully Dave couldn't respond,” he said.

 “I had a solid swim today and exited the water just 30 seconds down on Dave then managed to pass him with a good ascent of L'Eree hill on the bike.  It was a very close race and enjoyable to push each other hard over the full course”.

Crosland said: “The swim was tough – a westerly wind made for quite a lot of chop and swell and sighting was difficult. Mercifully it was pretty short and I came out ahead of Gail for the first time ever, which was a surprise.  I tried to run steady, not pushing it, and was surprised to catch James climbing back out of Cobo. 

“I thought then I could just maintain pace and drop him but he was really tenacious and stuck to me for another one and a half laps, despite a few digs to try and break clear. 

“Hitting Vazon for the last time he hit the afterburners and I didn’t have the legs to respond, jogging home in a close second”.

James Gower, fresh from his Island Games experience, came in third; Holmes was fourth with newbie Aivis Kergalvis taking a very credible fifth place.

In the women’s race, Gail King again opted for a jog rather than a run owing to her on-going achilles injury, and it was only on the run that Nikki Neal caught her.  Nothing should be taken away from Neal however, who posted the sixth quickest run of the day and finished 11th overall.  King was second with Magdalena Puzio finished third.

Neal said of her win: “It was a bit of a shock swapping the clear blue 29 degree celsius waters of Bermuda for the distinctly cooler waters of Vazon, though the threat of potentially lethal jellyfish was not something I particularly missed.

“Right now, I'm very much in training for Granite Man, with only four weeks to go. I feel much more at home with the longer distances as opposed to the 90 minute sprints like this one.  On the bike, Steve Smith and Mark Naftel breezed past me at the bottom of L'Eree. Normally I wouldn't see them again until the run, but this time I thought "no way!" and decided to surprise them by overtaking again. This little game continued for a few miles, basically until the Pleinmont descent where they sped ahead and, annoyingly, a few others overtook me for good measure.

“Back into T2, it was then time to get my own back and play my usual game of "where's Gail?” It wasn't exactly a level playing field; the run leg of this particular triathlon was disproportionately long, thus playing to my strengths,” she said.

Results HERE

The club’s next event, Granite Man, takes place on 8 September.  The 70.3 mile event has 10 places left and the sprint distance has 15 places left.  

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