Challenge Weymouth saw two new ETU European Champions crowned at England’s Jurassic Coast.
Marek Jaskolka (POL) and Camilla Lindholm (SWE) took the Championship titles in 8:42:32 and 9:41:31 respectively.
UK favourite, Stephen Bayliss was first out the water in 50:06 with Jaroslav Kovacic (SLO) just one second behind him and Jaskolka 1:30 further back.
This group of three remained in front for the first lap of the bike, with a chase group five minutes back led by Chris Fischer (DEN) and including Graham Stewart (GBR) and David Näsvik (SWE).
However, by 99km it was all change with Jaskolka breaking away, Bayliss dropping back and Fischer and Stewart picking up the pace to chase Jaskolka.
Jaskolka’s calculated decision to break away paid off and he proved uncatchable for the rest of the race, posting a 2:57 marathon split to take the win and European title.
Näsvik and Kovacic battled for second place, with Kovacic eventually overtaking the Swede around the 30km mark.
In the meantime Marques had been working his way up the field from seventh place and after posting the fastest run split of the day in 2:45:19, took third place.
Jaskolka was ecstatic as he crossed the line, but also stunned the crowed with news of his pending retirement.
“I wasn’t sure whether to make the break at the start of the second lap of the bike as I didn’t know how far behind the group was but I decided to go for it and it paid off. I can’t think of a better way to retire as European Champion – this is the best day of my life.” he said.
The women’s race was dominated at the start by Kate Comber (GBR) and Eva Potuckova (CZE) who exited the water first in 57:26.
By the second lap of the bike course, Comber had put three minutes into Potuckova and came into T2 2:35 up. Up until this point, Lindholm had been under the radar, playing catch-up after a 1:11 swim and not registering on the timing system due to a chip issue.
Arriving in T2 in third, she soon made her presence known. By 10k, she had formed a 1:13 lead over Comber and continued to extend this over the multi-lap course along Weymouth’s beachfront promenade, taking the European title 10:50 ahead of second place Comber.
Vicky Gill rounded off the women’s podium in 9:53:26.
- Marek Jaskolka (POL) – 8:42:32
- Jaroslav Kovacic (SLO) – 8:45:51
- Sergio Marques (POR) – 8:46:51
- David Näsvik (SWE) – 8:51:38
- Graeme Stewart (GBR) – 8:53:04
- Camilla Lindholm (SWE) – 9:41:31
- Kate Comber (GBR) – 9:52:21
- Vicky Gill (GBR) – 9:53:26
- Eva Potuckova (CZE) – 10:06:52
- Yvette Grice (GBR) – 10:09:49