Holten European Cup
An exciting weekend of racing unfolded at the Holten Triathlon European Sprint Cup on the 30th June 2018 for the junior and elite South African triathletes.
The junior ladies race saw South African triathlete Amber Schlebusch finish 3rd in a time of 1:04:18. Schlebusch was elated to have rounded off the podium, coming out the water in 9:40, cycling with the lead pack in a time of 31:56 and finishing off with a 5km run split of 21:23. Fellow South African, Bridget Theunissen finished 20th in a time of 1:06:54. Another South African junior happy with her race was Ashleigh Irvine-Smith, who came in at number 23 in a time of 1:07:08. Smith recounts being really happy with her swim, “I managed to have quite a clean line which was nice! The bike was fast but I really enjoyed it and felt in control. It was quite a technical course as well.” Smith says that although the run was tough she was really happy with the race. Seeing some racing improvements, Gizelde Strauss finished in 26th with a time of 1:07:40 and Tegan Gore came in at 44th in a time of 1:11:14.
The junior men’s race saw Ben De La Porte cross the line in 8th position, the first South African into the finishing chute. De La Porte finished his sprint distance race in a time of 57:24 and is happy with his improvements from his race in Belgium, “I’m finding the more I race here, the better I get used to the intensity at which the Europeans race.” Fellow South African junior Jamie Riddle finished 14th in a time of 57:51. Asher Biggs finished 40th in a time of 59:40. Christiaan Stroebel finished 50th in a time of 1:01:08. Travis Saunders finished 61st in a time of 1:03:13.
In the Holten Triathlon Premium European Sprint Cup -which was won by none other than Rachel Klamer (Ned)- u23 elite triathlete Shanae Williams finished her race in Holten in 29th place in a time of 1:07:37. Williams’ strength is in her swimming, which again was evident in Holten, finishing the swim in a time of 9:26, just 14 seconds behind the first lady out of the water. This was followed by a 33:23 bike split and 23:28 run. “I came out the swim in a good position but my bike and run let me down. The bike was very technical with a climb and the run was hard racing in the heat. I made silly mistakes on the bike, which cost my race. I’ve learnt so much from the past two races especially how aggressive pack riding is. I definitely have outlined where I need to make improvements for the next races and learnt so much. Elite racing is a big jump from junior but I’m excited for what’s to come. My swim is definitely my strength and I need to utilize it correctly and stay in the pack. I’ve learnt how positioning yourself in a pack is extremely important.” Williams is basing herself in Spain for the weeks to come and looking to race in Malmö, Sweden in August. “I’m excited to get back to training and improve on my weaknesses for upcoming races.”