With a course that features 2,400 m of climbing, much of which is completed in the last 45 km, followed by a four-lap run course that takes athletes over road, gravel and sand, the inaugural Tradeinn International Triathlon was never going to be a speedfest, but that didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm for the race that took place just outside of Girona, Spain, a popular triathlon and cycling destination. (Jan Frodeno is one of many big-name athletes who call Girona home for at least part of the year.) The race, which served as the Spanish Long Distance Championship, managed to attract about 1,000 athletes for the inaugural edition, not to mention some big name pros who got to enjoy a Professional Triathletes Organisation-enhanced prize purse – adding 12,000 Euros to the existing 30,000 Euro purse.
The event also gained some attention because it marked the return to multisport racing for Cameron Wurf (AUS), who has spent much of the last year competing for cycling powerhouse Ineos Grenadiers. Wurf managed to come out of the water in the chase group led by Great Britain’s Sam Laidlow that was about three minutes behind swim leaders Angel Salamanca (ESP) and Slovenia’s Jaroslav Kovacic. The Australian then blasted to the front of the race, managing to open his lead to about five minutes on Laidlow through the first 83 km of biking, but could only gain another minute by the end of the 180 km ride – Wurf hit T2 with a lead of 6:14 on Laidlow and a whopping 18 minutes on Kovacic.
By the halfway point of the run Laidlow had made the pass into the lead, and by 30 km was four minutes ahead. Laidlow would continue to pull away, taking the win in 8:36:29 to Wurf’s 8:44:13. Spain’s Victor Arroyo Bugallo managed to keep Wurf honest as he ran his way to third (8:46:45), with countryman Jordi Montraveta Moya (8:47:58) and Denmark’s Morten Brammer Olesen (8:48:28) rounding out the top five.
Bilham bikes and runs her way to the win
After coming out of the water over 14 minutes behind Spain’s Ivet Farriols Arimont, Great Britain’s Emma Bilham began a cycling and running show that would see her take the women’s title. By the end of the challenging bike course Bilham had moved to the lead, hitting T2 with a gap of two minutes to Spain’s Judith Corachan Vaquera and another British athlete, Niki Bartlett.
Bilham would add to her lead through the run, taking the win in 9:32:11. Corachan Vaquera and Bartlett would race shoulder to shoulder for more than 30 km before the Spaniard would eventually pull clear to take second in 9:37:55. Bartlett rounded out the podium in 9:39:35, followed by Chantal Cummings (GBR) in fourth (10:09:12), with Germany’s Katharina Wolff taking fifth (10:14:37).