Smales, Pallant win 70.3 Staffordshire

Monday 11 June 2018
It is such a difference to bring the race home as a strong swimmer compared to a podium result. Elliot Smales knows how it feels racing from the front, but he knows as well how frustrating it is to get caught later. He ranked third last year in Staffordshire; this year his plan was clear: To keep the strong runners like Cyril Viennot from France off his heels. Once the fog had disappeared at Chasewater reservoir in the morning, the race started with a one-hour delay and a brilliant swim by Smales. He led the field into T1 with his fellow countryman Mark Buckingham behind and a big chase group at his neck, and he kept on breaking away from his chasers on the bike. 

"It was a tough race, but I really enjoyed the course and the crowd support was amazing," said Smales later. That was spoken after Smales had entered T2 less than a minute in front of Bryan Mccrystal with the strong group behind. It was said before he had to battle it out hard on the run again. Smales was a lucky man thanks to fact that he eventually finished with the smile of the day: While George Goodwin and McCrystal outsprinted for second place, his win was not in danger.

After three consecutive victories, Lucy Gossage tried her best to get into the mix in women’s race again. She biked her way into third place, but Fenella Langridge had already made the race extremely fast in the water. With the fastest swim split by far, Langridge put a lot of pressure on co-favorite Emma Pallant who started hammering on the bike. Nikki Bartlett was able to downsize her deficit after a weaker swim on the bike in great fashion to start into the run first with Pallant behind. But Pallant took over control early on the half marathon to nail the win.  

Top 5 Pro Men
1 Smales, Elliot GBR 3:59:23
2 Goodwin, George GBR 4:01:36
3 McCrystal, Byran IRL 4:01:46
4 Viennott, Cyril FRA 4:02:54
5 Toldi, Fernando BRA 4:03:53

Top 5 Pro Women
1 Pallant, Emma DEU 4:16:54
2 Bartlett, Nikki GBR 4:25:02
3 Langridge, Fenalla GBR 4:29:51
4 Herlbauer, Michaela AUT 4:30:37
5 Gossage, Lucy GBR 4:33:12
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