James Chantler-Mayne and Jess Fullagar both secured wins and maximum points as AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds hosted the latest leg of this year’s British Triathlon Senior Super Series.
Just like the opening event of the Senior Super Series in Llanelli last month, both races took place in warm conditions in Roundhay Park, where senior athletes competed in the second event of the British Triathlon Senior Super Series.
It was a dominant display by Fullagar in the women’s race, asserting her dominance out of transition one to lead onto the bike. It was on two wheels where Fullagar would pull away from the rest of the field, putting a significant time difference between her and the chasing group behind.
With the gap of over a minute heading onto the 5km run, the chasing group of around five athletes would go onto battle for the remaining podium places. Annabel Morton and Libby Coleman were second and third after the first of the two run laps, with Jaz Greaves around 10 seconds further behind.
Fullagar won by 83 seconds as she earned maximum points followed by Morton, who recorded one of the fastest run times to secure silver. Greaves passed Coleman to finish third and join Fullagar and Morton on the same podium as the one later used by the World Triathlon Championship Series medallists.
Speaking after the race, Fullagar said: “After the last two years, I’m just trying to come back and there’s some strong athletes out there, so it gives me a little bit of confidence and reassurance that I am working hard and it’s starting pay off. It makes me look forward to the rest of the season as well.
“I was slightly disappointed on the exit of the swim, and I was very aware it was very bunched. Transitions are the fourth discipline of triathlon so I decided to just put the hammer down and I knew that moment from when you run out of transition to when you get on the bike you can get so much of a gap.
“I put my head down, I wasn’t aware of where the girls were behind me and for the first two kilometres I just went for it. I was surprised it jumped to 45 seconds straight away, so I knew that was my chance so just kept going.”
The men’s Senior Super Series race wasn’t so clear cut, but James Chantler-Mayne came out on top to secure his first Senior Super Series win and the maximum 800 points.
It all came down to the run where Chantler-Mayne made the difference, crossing the line four seconds ahead of Iestyn Harrett after both had been in a small group over the 20km on the bike.
After finishing third in Llanelli, Harrett went one place better with second in Leeds, just a few days after being announced in the Wales team for next month’s Commonwealth Games. Third place was earned by Jonathan Oakey, who had been out front for some of the bike.
Reflecting on the win, Chantler-Mayne said: “It has been a long road these past couple of years with Covid. I had an operation as well, so it has been a long time coming. I think it’s my first senior win [in the Super Series]. That run out of the swim was really tough, it split it up nicely and we took it from there.
“Onto the bike I got into a small group. A few of us were working okay and a few were sat on the back. Once Jonny [Oakey] was out the front – I couldn’t catch him but just dangled out. The run was just control it round really, nice and controlled for the win.”
On competing on much of the same course as the world’s elite at AJ Bell 2022 World Championship Series Leeds, Chantler-Mayne added: “I think everyone that is racing in here would love to be racing in the race after us. It feels great especially with the crowd. The crowd is really good. Some of my friends from home are here, they are racing tomorrow and that was really good to have them supporting as well.”
Although only senior athletes were competing for Super Series points in Roundhay Park, the highest-ranked junior athletes from Llanelli were also on the start line to support their development and also decide the final junior men’s spot for the World Triathlon Sprint Championships in Montreal later this month.
The next event in the British Triathlon Senior Super Series is on 25 July when they join youth and junior athletes at Mallory Park for a day of racing.
Before then, there are two aquathlon events for youth and junior athletes competing in the Youth & Junior Super Series, starting with Lochore Meadows on Sunday 19 June, before Bowood House hosts the south event on Saturday 25 June.
Racing in the Paratri Super Series returns next month with the British Paratriathlon Championships at Eton Dorney on Saturday 16 July.
To find out more about the British Triathlon Super Series, visit https://britishsuperseries.com/