Ritchie Nicholls (25) from Montrose, Scotland was crowned the 2012 GE Strathclyde Park Triathlon Champion after finishing ahead of Australian Olympian Brendan Sexton in second and fellow Scot David McNamee in third.
This is the second time Ritchie has taken the title at the GE Strathclyde Park Triathlon as he was also victorious in 2010. This time round, he did make the job slightly harder for himself after incurring a 10-second penalty before the race even started for missing registration.
Ritchie was pleased with the result finishing in 0:50.33 and is looking forward to the final British Triathlon Super Series event in London later this month, he said after the race: “I’m really happy with the race, the first run was really tough, especially when I started 10-seconds back because I missed the start of the briefing. I had to work really hard on the start of the bike stage to make sure I was up with the pack. I worked well on the bike and I felt quite good when I was running. I sat back for the first 800m of the run, just to see what happened. The pack just sat there, so I surged initially, but I thought I wasn’t getting away so I waited up for Bryan [Keane] to go for it, and at the end of the first lap I surged again, this time I got away. I’ll definitely be at the final Super Series event in London.”
The race overall was incredibly close with a lead pack of around 20 riders before a small group of seven athletes broke away. David McNamee, Brendan Sexton and Bryan Keane were first out of T2 but before long eventual winner, Ritchie caught them and then took the lead after the first lap on the run. Bryan waned on the final lap allowing David to take the final podium position.
Second placed Brendan Sexton, who finished 35th at the London 2012 Olympic Games, completed the race today in 0:50.51. He commented: “It was tough; it was a bit warmer out there than I was anticipating. On the bike we worked well as a team, all the boys were doing some of the work and there was a fair bit of talk, as soon as we got a gap we worked to make that bigger so we had an advantage. These races always have good competition and I knew I was going to be pushed to my limits when I came here. Ritchie was incredible today; it is good to see a Scotsman winning in his own country. David really pushed me near the end; I was looking over my shoulder for the last turn.”
In third position, David McNamee (24) from Irvine, Scotland crossed the line in 0:50.56. He liked the challenge of the duathlon, he said: “The duathlon is a tough one, that first 1.3k run is amazing because although its only four or five minutes, if you run too hard you will pay for it for the rest of the race. The best runners were starting 10-seconds behind us, so it meant that Brendan Sexton and I could cruise the first run and wait for them to catch up. We knew they’d catch up; it was just a matter of when. Ritchie is a phenomenal runner, as is Brendan, so just to be up with them is a real boost to the confidence.”
The event is also the penultimate race in the 2012 British Triathlon Junior Super Series with Gordon Benson being the first junior athlete to cross the line.
British terrestrial broadcaster Channel 4 has confirmed it will screen highlights of the race in an hour show on Sunday 16 September.
Following the GE Strathclyde Park Triathlon, the British Triathlon Super Series will conclude at the Virgin Active London Triathlon on 23 September 2012.