CIRENCESTER’S Jenny Manners put up the performance of her career to win the British Elite Standard Distance Triathlon Championship in Windsor on Sunday.
Despite enjoying a top class season, 23-year-old Jenny came into the event with low expectations after a rare below-par display at the Blenheim Triathlon the previous weekend.
But she put that behind her with a superb effort in the 2014 Triguard Windsor Triathlon, bizarrely backed by a cacophony of cowbells which had been handed out to spectators on the packed streets of Windsor by Swiss Tourism.
“Yes, we even found a cowbell in our prize bags,” said Jenny.
“It was an unexpected win as I had not been happy at Blenheim when I finished only 13th in the combined junior and senior race.
“But Windsor went well from the start. I came out of the swim in fourth place and I worked hard on the bike section to be part of the leading group of six.
“It was on the run phase when the race really unfolded. I let the leaders get away while I stuck to my pace and I was sixth on the first of the three laps.
“But on the second lap I started to pick off the leaders and with 800 metres to go I caught India (Lee) to take the gold.”
Manners’ time of 2hr 05min 51sec took top spot on the podium by just six seconds from her fast-finishing Loughborough University team-mate Lucy Smith, with whom she had won gold for Team GB at the World University Triathlon Championships in Brazil earlier this year.
The only athlete she failed to catch was overall Windsor winner Emma Pallant, who is competing under the ITU banner for 12 months after opting to come out of the GB programme.
The victory sets Manners up perfectly for the Mercedes-Benz 2014 ETU Para-Triathlon European Championships in Kitzbühel, Austria this weekend, when she bids to win gold for the third time in four years, albeit with a new partner.
Manners and her former cohort, the visually-impaired athlete Charlotte Ellis, are featured on the front page of the official race guide having won in both Pontevedra (2011) and Eliat (2012).
Manners hopes that the girl she will be guiding, Alison Patrick, who is new to the sport, can be just as successful.
In only their second international competition together, Alison and Jenny took the silver medal in the PruHealth World Para-Triathlon event in London’s Hyde Park.
“Alison can only improve after London, said Jenny, “and I think we are serious medal candidates again this week in Austria.”
THE 2014 Triguard Windsor Triathlon will be broadcast on Channel 4 at 7am on Sunday, June 29.
JENNY MANNERS races on a bike supplied by Performance Cycles in Poulton.