The threat of jellyfish and a gruelling bike course couldn’t keep 700 triathletes – including coaching editor Phil Mosley – from having a crack at this inaugural race.

Where Monaco When 5 September, 2010  Winners Olivier Marceau (3:44:51); Christel Robin (4:07:40)

Monaco was the destination for the second in the series of TriStar 111 triathlons on Sunday, 5 September. Replacing the annual Chris McCormack TriStar MonacoIronman 70.3 Monaco, the new event offered a cyclist-friendly format of a 1km swim, 100km bike and 10km run. For the 700 entrants it was an opportunjity to pit themselves against several of Monaco’s high-profile residents including Formula One drivers Jenson Button, Bruno Senna and Nico Rosberg, as well as Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France team-mate Yaroslave Popovych. In addition to the celebrities, the organisers had attracted a strong pro field that featured former Ironman world champion Chris McCormack and Olympian Olivier Marceau, among others.

After a fierce sprint over the glamorous Larvotto Beach, the 700 athletes dived into the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean for a fast and furiuos 1km swim. The pre-race predictions of jellyfish were thankfully incorrect and it was Marceau who exited the water first, several seconds clear of McCormack. Marceau held on to his slim lead in the initial stages of a gruelling bike course that took in three mountains and five steep climbs ranging between five and 10 kilometres.

Before the race McCormack had told a packed press conference “I’m no climber”, yet he remained in contention with the leaders until 35km when his race was ended by a red card from the referee for what appered to be a missing race number. An incensed Macca replied: “You must be f***ing joking!” But quickly acknowledged his race was over and made the long journey back to transition.

TriStar 111 MonacoMcCormack’s absence left Marceau with an unassailable lead going into the hot and hilly three-lap 10km run, and he broke the tape in 3:44 – three minutes clear of second placed Mikel Elgezabel from Spain.

The women’s race was dominated by pre-race favourite Christel Robin from France. Robin, who also won the Monaco Ironman 70.3 in 2009, is no stranger to the mountainous bike course, living and training in nearby Nice. Her local knowledge had clearly helped her to amass a huge winning margin of 23 minutes of second-placed Coarlie Lemaire, giving her an overall placing of 16th, including the men.