Aussie, Frenchmen captures Multisport elite duathlon championships

Australia’s Felicity Sheedy-Ryan, France’s Benoit Nicolas become ITU Multisport Duathlon champs

Australia’s Felicity Sheedy-Ryan won the Multisport World championship elite women’s championship Saturday in two hours three minutes 57 seconds. (Emanuel Sequeira/Western News)

Felicity Sheedy-Ryan of Australia is the new elite women’s duathlon Multisport champion, dethroning defending champ Emma Pallant of Great Britain.

“I wasn’t pushing myself too hard. I thought, (expletive) it, I’m going,” said Sheedy-Ryan. “I’ll just give it a crack. I was really lucky that I was strong enough to hold on.”

The Australian won in two hours three minutes and 57 seconds. Sheedy-Ryan never trailed once she got on the bike for the 40-kilometre leg.

“The course was really hard and I think I was actually lucky this type of course really suits me,” she said. “A strength course and it keeps everybody really honest. I was really happy today.”

Sheedy-Ryan came in with the goal to win but came in recovering from an ankle injury seven weeks ago. That prevented her from being able to run for a few weeks.

Placing second was Margarita Garcia Cañellas from Spain in 2:05:14 and third went to former champion, Pallant, who clocked in at 2:06:12.

Winning the under-23 women’s field was France’s Lucie Picard, finishing in 2:08:10, good for fourth overall. Georgina Schwiening of Great Britain was second in 2:15:22 and third was Sayu Arizono of Japan in third at 2:21:57.

“I’m really happy. It was a hard race,” said Picard. “The running was fast. After the bike was very hard. I do the best I can. I have the U23 title and fourth place.

Two elite and one U23 athlete did not finish, while three others could not finish after being lapped.

France’s Benoit Nicolas captured the elite men’s championship in 1:54:05. Nearing the finish line, he was stopped at the penalty tent as he was among five athletes who received a 15-second penalty for not putting their bikes away properly in the transition area upon starting the run. Nicolas topped Spain’s Emilio Martin by 52 seconds, 1:54:57. In third was Mark Buckingham of Great Britain in 1:55:14.

Nicolas threw his hands in the air celebrating his victory.

“It’s crazy,” said Nicolas, adding that the start of the 10-km run was slow.

He made an adjustment on the bike to get things going but said nobody wanted to push.

“I saw Martin tried to push away,” he said. “I’m very old, I’m 40 and maybe it’s my last race. For me, it was fantastic to go to a world championship.”

Two elite and one U23 athlete did not finish the race. One athlete was lapped.

Winning the age group sprint was Carl Avery (30 to 34) of Great Britain in 58:03. The women’s winner was Kirsten Sass of U.S.A in 1:07:36.

Winning the open wave spring was Elva Guttormsen of U.S.A in 1:18:23. In second was Simon Huntley, the male winner, of New Zealand in 1:18:23. Penticton’s Tyler Laplante came in fourth in 1:25:29.

Winning the junior men’s sprint was Cameron Richardson of Great Britain in 58:47. The junior women’s sprint winner was Delia Sclabas of Switzerland in 1:05:14.

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