Strong first professional victories for Harry Palmer and Daisy Davies at Challenge Wales

Harry Palmer takes his first ever professional win at Challenge Wales (Photo Credit: Huw Fairclough / Challenge Family)

Daisy Davies (GBR) and Harry Palmer (GBR) both took their first professional wins of their careers today at Challenge Wales in convincing style with Palmer crossing the line in 3:56:12 and Davies in 4:37:45.

In the men’s race, Josh Lewis (GBR) led out of the water in 24:13, nearly a minute ahead of Iestyn Harrett (GBR). By the halfway point of the bike, Will Draper (GBR) had ridden up from 14th to first, destroying the two-minute lead Lewis had over him although Lewis did not let him go. Draper came into T2 with a 20 second lead over Lewis and 1:50 on Palmer. However, by the end of the first of three laps, Palmer had run up into second, while Lewis lost time and was now nearly a minute down on Draper. As they headed out onto the final lap, Palmer had taken the lead and was now just under two minutes ahead of second place Draper. Meanwhile, Lewis seemed to have dropped off the pace, over three minutes down in third. And that how the standings remained, with Palmer taking his first professional win in 3:56:12, followed by Draper in second in 3:59:45 and Lewis in third in 4:00:42.

In the women’s race, Rosie Weston (GBR) exited the swim in the lead in 26:37, just seconds ahead of Davies and Abi Bedwell (GBR). At the halfway point, Davies had a minute’s lead over Tina Christmann (GER) who had ridden into second along with Lizzie Rayner (GBR) who was just seconds behind. Davies maintained this lead throughout the bike and headed out on the run over a minute ahead of chasers Christmann, Rayner and Bedwell, all of whom were only a few seconds apart, setting the scene for a good battle on the tough coastal run course. While Davies seemed comfortable at the head of the field, extending her lead over the first lap, the battle for second and third was underway with Rayner, Bedwell and Christmann all in the mix. As the women went into the final lap, it had become Davies’ race to lose with a massive 4:54 lead and she went on to take the win in 4:37:45, the remaining podium places behind her were still being fought for. In the end it was Rhianne Hughes who was the big mover, flying up into second place, crossing the line in 4:39:44 while Bedwell rounded out the podium in 4:44:56. However, Hughes was later disqualified for outside assistance, moving Weston up in to the final spot on the podium with a time of 4:46:19.