On Sunday 5th Nov 2023, almost 300 athletes headed to Bicton College for Sportiva Event’s annual Devon Duathlon. This year’s event was the final opportunity for athletes to qualify to represent Great Britain in their age group at the 2024 European Championships and was enough to draw top duathletes from around the country.
Stormy weather during the week before the event left the run course muddier than usual and parts of the bike course covered in leaves & debris. Luckily most of the flooding from the previous day had receded and didn’t hinder the race.
The competitors raced over a 5.6 kilometre run, a 22.5 kilometre bike and then a final 2.5 kilometre run. Tom Webb of Millfield Triathlon Club took the overall win despite being a youth athlete aged just 15 in a field of some of the country’s top senior age groupers.
Webb, as a national athletics champion, was expected to have a fast start. However he finished Run 1 in second place just behind Josh Carr. After a strong bike, Webb was less than two seconds behind Carr but overtook Carr in transition and put down a rapid final run to stay away and finish just ahead of Carr in second place.
In the end, it was the transitions that won it for Webb as Carr was faster than him in all three legs but lost time changing between disciplines.
The women’s winner was Holly Andrews who was almost a minute ahead of Nat Lawrence with Sportiva Events Ambassador Fiona German a further minute or so back.
Andrews was one of the favourites going into this race after taking the world title in her age group in April. After finishing the first run in second place Holly was almost a minute behind race leader Megan Davis. It looked like she’d have her work cut out if she wanted to take the win. Despite Davis’s strong opening run, Andrews was able to claw back the lost time on the hilly bike course and was in the lead by the time she returned from the bike. Fast starting Davis went on to finish 4th.
Athletes of all ages competed in the event with oldest competitors battling it out for their spot at the European championships in the 75-79 age group. George Clare took the win in this age group after posting the fastest time in each leg.
The date and venue of the European Championships is yet to be confirmed. However, the qualifying spots from this race will be awarded over the next few weeks. The top 4 athletes in each age group automatically qualify for the European Championships providing they finish within 120% of the age group winners time with other athletes within 120% eligible for a roll down place.
Full results & photos at the link below
Full Results & Photos