Maximum points were earned by Oliver Conway, Eve Whitaker, Brandon Pye and Lauren Mitchell in the youth category at the British Triathlon Super Series Mallory Park, where places at the European Youth Championships were also secured.
Along with Super Series points, there was also an added incentive for the athletes competing in the Youth A and Youth B race with the top-three athletes in the A finals automatically earning selection for September’s European Youth Championships in La Boule, France.
In the male A final, Josh Cumberland was first out of the 400m swim and was one of the first athletes in the lead group which formed on the bike. But, with heavy rain hitting the Leicestershire motor racing circuit just as the afternoon finals got underway, one of the biggest challenges was keeping the bike upright as they negotiated the twist and turns around the course.
After a small group of athletes headed into transition two together, it was Conway, Christo Chilton and Harry Courtney who were first onto the run. After lap one, it was Conway and Chilton who established themselves as the front two, with Youth A athlete Brandon Pye also moving through the field.
Conway began to distance Chilton on the second lap and would go onto claim the win by six seconds ahead of the fast-running Pye to complete a hat-trick of Super Series wins in 2022.
Commenting after crossing the line first to pick-up another maximum points haul, Youth B leader Conway said: “It feels good today because at Llanelli I went into it quite stressed because my bike broke the day before, so I ended up not having a good race. I’m really glad that I showed myself where my form is at the moment so I’m really happy with today.”
Pye was the quickest athlete over the 2km run to finish second and secure maximum points in the Youth A rankings having claimed two second place finishes so far this year. Chilton was third with the top-three separated by only 10 seconds over the line.
Reflecting on his first Super Series win of 2022, Pye said: “This is way beyond any expectations I had coming into this. On the run, we were under 10 seconds down so I knew from my cross country experience that I could probably make inroads on that. I caught third then second on the last lap and took it home in second.
“To have a series where you’re competing against the best in the country multiple times throughout the summer it’s the best thing you can ask for to be able to compete at the highest level nationally.”
In the female A final, it was also another brilliant battle on the run where two of the most consistent athletes in this year’s British Triathlon Super Series battled for the race victory at Mallory Park.
Whitaker and Super Series Youth B leader Millie Breese were both part of a lead group of three on the bike, which also included Abigail Davies who was second out of the swim behind Youth A athlete Annabelle Souter.
The trio reached transition two together ahead of the chasers including Ellie Van Der Merwe, who is also well placed in the overall standings, and Youth A leader Lauren Mitchell, who had crashed earlier on the bike.
The front three soon became two with Breese closely followed by Whitaker on the opening lap before Breese began to open up an advantage over her fellow Youth B athlete. With a gap of a few seconds opening up, Whitaker showed her strength on the final lap to pass Breese and sprint to the line.
Whitaker, who secured her first win after a fourth and two third places this year, finished just over three seconds ahead of Breese, who continued her streak of not finishing outside the top-two in the Super Series this year.
Speaking after claiming her first Super Series win, Whitaker said: “Millie went quite fast out of transition, so I tried to stick on her as long as possible. On the third lap, I felt okay so picked it up again and then just went for it. I’m really happy to get the win.”
Mitchell picked herself up after crashing on the bike to finish third and the first Youth A athlete over the line to claim another maximum points after wins at the Performance Assessments and in Llanelli.
After the race, Mitchell said: “I had a good swim and then I was just about to get the bike pack on the first lap then I fell off, so I’m really pleased to be able to finish where I did. I really love seeing people from all around the country, it’s really fun racing lots of different people and I’m really looking forward to Sunderland especially the relay.”
The updated British Triathlon Super Series standings can be viewed here.