Michelle Parsons racing for Team Tri UK on Sunday clinched her first overall victory of the season in a half iron distance triathlon at the Diga in Nibbiano, Italy.
The event was being held for the first at the picturesque setting at the Nibbiano Dam and started with 1.9km swim in the lake created by the dam and then a two lap bike course totalling 82km including some significant climbs around the surrounding area before finishing with a two lap run totalling 20km.
Michelle was competing against a field of only Italian triathletes and was soon out of the swim in 12th position in an impressive time of 34 minutes and 21 seconds. Her deficit to the leader at this point was almost ten minutes but she soon started to work her way through the field and by the end of the first lap she had reduced that deficit to just 1 minute 30 seconds and almost into the overall lead. By the end of the second lap she had not only taken the overall lead but she had built a lead of almost 7 minutes. She recorded the fastest bike split of 2 hours 41 minutes and 53 seconds. Some 10 minutes quicker than the next fastest female biker of the day.
Onto the run and the warm weather turned to drizzle. This didn’t stop the Tri UK athlete from keeping her significant lead even though the chasing Italian athletes closed the gap slightly Michelle came home in an overall time of 4 hours 36 minutes and 52 seconds. Her run split was an impressive 1 hour 20 minutes 38 seconds for the 20km undulating run.
The winner of the male event was Daniel Weil from Switzerland in a total time of 4.11.53. second place was Phil Parsons from Worcester Triathlon club in 4.12.41.
Kevin May had a quite a unfortunate first puncturing at the start of the bike course and then losing a contact lens and costing him a significant amount of time. He continued on to finish strongly in a time of 4.49.10 in 44th place overall.
The day before the half iron distanced race was a shorter distanced event attracting an impressive field of over 200 hundred athletes and some of the country’s elite triathletes.
Two of Michelle’s Worcester Triathlon Club fellow members were local athletes veteran Les Bailey and Iain Jennings. Both were recovering from recent illnesses and both produced impressive performances. Jennings came home with a strong run to finish in a time of 1 hour 19 minutes and 32 seconds to finish 32nd overall and Bailey once again won his age category in a time of 1.49.05.
Next weekend Michelle is competing the National 50 mile time trial championships.