Julie Derron takes the day at Europe Triathlon Championship Valencia

(Photo: Triathlon Today)

A great race for Julie Derron saw the Swiss athlete win gold at the Europe Triathlon Championship in Valencia. With about five km to go on the run, she took off and her chasers didn’t get her back withing reaching distance. She shared the podium with Germany’s Annika Koch, who took second, and Britain’s Sian Rainsley, who finished in third.

“The start was really rough… There was a log of fighting in the water, and I was surprised how well I still got out of the water,” Derron looks back at her race after the finish. “It was a good start of my race. I quickly caught up with the first group. We worked quite well together – most of us – and on the bike we created a big gap to the second group. That was really important to me. […] On the run, I just took off. I tried to keep the pace high and I dropped as many girls as I could.”

During the swim, it was Italy’s Bianca Serengi who really made the difference. She created a lead of about one minute to her competitors, but with a big group chasing her down on the bike, it didn’t take long before she was caught. On the bike, the front pack worked together very well, which made it hard for the second group to try and close the gap. By the time the first athletes reached T2, the second group had more than two minutes deficit.

In the first part of the run, Derron, Koch and Rainsley found each other. In kilometer three to five, it were only Derron and Koch, who were left in front, and by the time the athletes hit the 5k mark, Derron saw her chance and took off. Nobody was able to join her, and that meant it was Derron who broke the tape. Koch maintained her second place. Rainsley fought hard for third with Poland’s Paulina Klimas. It was Rainsley who took bronze and Klimas settled for the “chocolate” medal.