PortAventura Challenge Salou has its first champions. Joe Gambles (AUS) and Marina Damlaimcourt (ESP) have written their names in gold letters on the first page of the event’s history.
As expected, the Challenge Salou course lent itself to a very fast race. Antony Costes led a large group out of the swim that included Gambles, Timo Bracht (GER), Ritchie Nicholls (GBR) and Miguel Ãngel Fidalgo (ESP). Gambles soon took the lead on the bike and posted the fastest split of the day in 2:04:35 with a blistering average speed of 43.4 km/h. Coupled with a run split of1:11:55 this was enough to give him the victory, crossing the line in 3:39:00. Behind him Nicholls, Costes and Fidalgo were enaged in a battle for the podium. Once again, Nicholls’ showed his strength on the run, with a 1:08:40 securing him second place in 3:40:11. Costes rounded out the podium in third place in 3:42:41.
In women’s race, Catherine Jameson (GBR) had a strong lead out the water in 23:26 with Damlaimcourt in second nearly two minutes down. Jameson continued to hold onto her lead on the bike, riding a 2:20:53, the fastest of the day by nearly five minutes. However, she wasn’t to have her way on the run and Damlaimcourt started eating into her lead, along with Sarah Loehr Munoz (ESP) and Susie Cheetham (GBR) in what become a fierce battle for the finish. In the end Damlaimcourt took with the win in 4:13:14, just six seconds a head of Cheetham with Loehr taking third in 4:14:12.