August 10, 2015
Cheetham and Serrano win big in Europe
Going into the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Dublin race, Brit Susie Cheetham was picked as one of the favourites for the top spot on the podium, and she did not disappoint - winning by a decisive seven minutes over Kiwi and former ITU World Cup overall champion Sam Warriner. In the same way, Spaniard Roger Serrano was in the lead for the Xterra Europe series title going into Xterra Czech after achieving either a podium or 4th place in every Xterra race he'd entered so far in the series.
For Cheetham, after coming third out of the water, she worked hard on the bike to close the 2.24 gap on the leading pair and by mile 40 she'd done just that. After reaching the front she continued to increase her lead, with a 2 minute lead on Warriner by T2, and Switzerland's Emma Bilham an even further 8 minutes back. On the run Cheetham really set herself apart, extending her lead with a 1:23:00 half marathon for a clear win. Warriner finished comfortably in second with a 1:27:54 with the final podium spot going to Germany's Sonja Tajsich who ran her way into third place.
Over in Czech Republic, after a string of good results so far in the series, Roger Serrano needed just to podium to all but clinch his title as the European Xterra Champion. And that is just what he did! With a solid race all the way on a hot day in Prachatice, apart from misjudging a climb and being in the wrong gear so having to unclip and run up a hill with his bike, Serrano came home in 2nd place just over 4 minutes behind the Aussie winner Ben Allen but with a comfortable lead of not quite a minute over Swiss 3rd place getter Jan Pyott. Although the series is not yet over, there isn't really anyone in points contention who can challenge Serrano for his lead in the races that are left, so for now Roger Serrano can feel pretty safe that he will be crowned the Champ come the end of the series!