Chichester hosts its annual triathlon on Sunday – and local ace Dan Bailey wants to make it his own.
After a second place and a third in previous years, Bailey is out go one better this time.
He’ll be among numerous local triathletes joined by others from farther afield for the event, with Chichester Westgate Triathlon Club well-repesented in both the senior triathlon and the Try-a-Tri event for beginners.
The triathlon is preceded on Saturday by the Chichester junior aquathon.
It’s been a quiet start to the season for Chichester-based Bailey. A half-marathon win in Portsmouth, an elite training camp in Lanzarote and several podium finishes in the early running season have led nicely into the triathlon season for him.
His first triathlon this year was a world qualifier. He finished second in the senior category, qualifying with ease. But he missed the European championships in June through a lack of funding.
Bailey travelled to Bedford for a high-standard Olympic-distance triathlon. With a tough 1,500m river swim against the current, Bailey exited the water in 18th place, 90 seconds behind the leaders.
With a fast but technical 42km bike, Bailey moved up to the top ten before the three-lap 10k run.
Bailey surged out of transition and started to reel in other athletes, posting the fastest 10k in a time of 34.20 he overhauled the field to finish third – and first in his age group.
Bailey is looking to dominate on Sunday and said: “After I finished second and third in previous years, I feel confident a first place is in my grasp.”
Chichester Westgate Triathlon Club members are looking forward to competing in their home event.
It is expected that 35 club members will take part in the standard race, although two – Mike Cooper and Jason Davis – will not be able to compete. As staff at the leisure centre, they will be helping run the event.
Eight club members will give the Try-a-Tri a go, – some doing a triathlon for the first time.
Organisers would appreciate support from spectators and encourage anyone to come down and watch the event, centred on Westgate Leisure Centre and the Chichester College fields.
The first wave starts at 7am and the last wave around 11am.
The chairman of CDC, Cllr Peter Clementson, will present the prizes on the playing fields.
Saturday’s junior aquathon for eight to 16-year-olds is at the same venue, starting at 1pm. About 150 have entered.