Magic Meller completes duathlon success in style

Series winner Piotr Meller, left, with event organiser Rob Piggott. Picture: Neil Marshall
Series winner Piotr Meller, left, with event organiser Rob Piggott. Picture: Neil Marshall
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AN IMPRESSIVE final race from Piotr Meller saw him complete an exciting Portsmouth Duathlon Series with the overall victory.

That was after a problem with his bike in the build up almost threatened to derail his glory bid.

The dedicated Portsmouth Triathletes racer borrowed a machine from a friend and won the third event by nearly four minutes.

His time of 1hr 34min 36sec for the 10k run, 24k cycle, and 5k run course, around the seafront in Southsea, was a great way to end the series.

A scorching bike leg of 37.06 helped put the seal on the win and he was able to enjoy the final run.

His overall time for the three events of 3hr 53min 44sec was nearly 14 minutes faster than second-placed Michael Hawkes who recorded a time of 4.07.42 and third went to Simon Johnson in 4.08.34.

Meanwhile Kelly Stokes, also of Portsmouth Triathletes, saw off a strong challenge from defending champion Emma Jolley.

Her victory was sealed in a thrilling race as she finished in 1.50.05 with Jolley chasing hard in 1.50.14.

Stokes had an overall time of 4.33.16 for three races.

While Jolley, who won the series in 2015 and 2016, finished second with a time of 4.34.55.

Rachel Fair won the battle for third spot on the podium with her overall time being 4.51.55.

Lauren Civill-Holt was fourth as she just missed out on a podium spot after a good series, while Victoria Ayriss was fifth and Angela Agate sixth.

The exciting competition and great atmosphere showed why organiser Rob Piggott rates it as one of his best events.

He said: ‘I couldn’t ask for better, it was a brilliant finale.

‘Piotr had some problems with his bike in the build up to the final race but he ended up getting a better bike thanks to his friend Dan Winkworth.

‘He was always going to go fast anyway.

‘I’m pleased for Piotr. He has been knocking on the door after finishing ninth in 2015 and fifth last year.

‘He was ecstatic to get the win and he gave me a big hug.’

Jolley has been running so well and she completed the 10k in 38.38 and the 5k in 19.39, while Stokes did 45.20 and 23.23.

However, on the bike Jolley clocked 50.47 and Stokes completed the 24k course in 40.20, as well as picking up nine precious seconds in transition.

Piggott added: ‘The way I saw it unfold was Emma go steaming ahead on the run and she got back to transition nearly seven minutes ahead.

‘Kelly was more than 10 minutes quicker on the bike to get back in front and although Emma was nearly four minutes faster on the final leg 5k run it wasn’t quite enough for her.’

Don’t miss The Sports Mail on Sunday for more duathlon pictures.