Serving as the Spanish Long Distance Championship, the inaugural Tradeinn International Triathlon set just outside Girona featured a tough, technical bike course with 2,400 m of climbing and a four-lap run course along the coast that took athletes over a mix of road, gravel and sand. With those type of conditions, the race wasn’t destined to be a speedfest – as evidenced by British athlete Sam Laidlow’s winning time of 8:36:29.
Spain’s Angel Salamanca led out of the water in 40:49 with Slovenia’s Jaroslav Kovacic nine seconds behind. Laidlow led a chase pack just under three-minutes back that included Australian Cameron Wurf, who was back to competing in multisport racing after a year of returning to his cycling roots with Ineos Grenadiers.
It didn’t take long before Wurf was able to use his impressive bike skills to pull clear of the rest of the field during the challenging second leg of the race. By the 83 km point of the bike he was almost five minutes up on Laidlow and a shade under 10 minutes up on Kovacic. Laidlow managed to keep the gap from growing too much, though, no-doubt using his background of growing up in the French Alps to great advantage over the final big climbs in the race. By the end of the ride Wurf was 6:14 up on the Brit and almost 18 minutes up on Kovacic.
Wurf initially held Laidlow off on the run – through 10 km the gap was still over four minutes, but one lap later the gap was down to 1:32. By the end of the third lap Laidlow was well out in front with a lead of over four minutes on the Australian.
In the last lap the two front runners consolidated their positions, but the battle for third went back and forth between Kovacic and Spaniards Jordi Montraveta Moya and Victor Arroyo Bugallo. In the end Laidlow took the day in that 8:36:29 winning time, Wurf hung tough for his 8:44:13 runner-up finish, while Arroyo Bugallo (8:46:45) got to the line a little over a minute up on Montraveta Moya (8:47:58). Denmark’s Morten Brammer Olesen finished fifth in 8:48:28.