STEVE YATES has completed the English and British Middle Distance Age Group Triathlon Championship double.

Having lifted the Triathlon England national title in the 50-54 years group at Ashford in July, Steve travelled to the spectacular surroundings of Rutland Water in Leicestershire at the weekend as one of the favourites for the equivalent British Championship.

And the triathlete from Daglingworth delivered in style to complete the 1.9km open water swim, 90km bike and 21km run in a total time of 4hr 17min.

That was also good enough for a top 20 (19th) position overall from the 748 starters. There were 686 finishers.

"The weather conditions were surprisingly good on the day – despite a forecast of thunder storms and heavy rain," said Yates.

"We started at 7am with a two-lap swim which also featured an 'Aussie exit' at the end of lap one when competitors come out of the lake and have to run 25 metres before diving back into the lake to start the second lap.

"I managed to exit the swim in fourth place (32min 20sec) and headed quickly out on to the two-lap bike course in an attempt to chase down the three leaders.

"The bike route was hilly but on good road surfaces which made for quick times and very hard racing.

"I knew there were some really fast runners in my category so decided to put the hammer down on the bike. I caught and passed two of my main competitors to head back into Transition Two after 2hr 17min on the bike and in second place as we started the half marathon run course.

"I took the lead early on lap two of the run but could see that some guys were quickly chasing me down. Fortunately, I held on to finish the run in 1hr 25min (total time 4hr 17min) and just two minutes ahead of my nearest challenger."

Victory meant that Steve has now collected four British triathlon titles.

He added: "As always, I'd like to thank Ride 24/7, Cirencester AC & Tri Club and Cotswold Leisure for their continued support."