Portsmouth Duathlon Series challengers to move up a gear

Emma Jolley.  Picture: Burnett Photography
Emma Jolley. Picture: Burnett Photography
Pompey hero Svetoslav Todorov returns to Fratton Park on Saturday

Pompey favourite back at Fratton Park

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Emma Jolley will aim to get her Portsmouth Duathlon Series title defence off to a flying start on Sunday.

The popular race organised by Rob Piggott starts at 8.30am.

Neil Collins in duathlon action. Picture: David Brawn

Neil Collins in duathlon action. Picture: David Brawn

Jolley won the title in 2015 and is hoping to improve on her times.

The first leg of race one is a 5k run from the transition point at Speaker’s Corner, in Southsea.

Next is a 15k bike ride before a second 5k run to finish.

It’s been a great start to 2016 for Jolley, who lives in Southsea.

She won the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon and got second in the Selsey 10k.

She has also managed to get some training in on the bike.

Jolley said: ‘I am looking forward to it – as long as it is not too windy or cold!

‘As with last year’s racing, there is going to be some tough competition and while it would be lovely to defend my title, my main aim in this series is to try to complete all the runs, cycles and transitions a bit quicker than last year.

‘My training and running has been going really well since the series last year.

‘And I have managed to fit in a little more training on the bike, too. So I’ve just got to hope it can all come together on the day.’

Great Britain international age-group triathlete Neil Collins, from Southsea, and 2015 duathlon series runner-up Patryk Huczkowski will both be in action in race one.

A big contingent from Portsmouth Triathletes will also be racing, including Piotr Meller, who finished ninth overall in the series in 2015.

Collins has been training well since he completed his 2015 season at the World Triathlon Championships in Chicago.

He said: ‘It’s been a fairly quiet winter apart from the Portsmouth Ultra 50k which was a great departure from the usual swim, bike, run.

‘It’s great to see a packed start-list for Sunday and the weather is looking good to be dry and cool for the race.

‘I’ll be looking to stay in the front group at the start and then blast out a good bike leg.

‘Hopefully the second run won’t hurt too much and I’ll be smiling at the finish.

‘Good luck to everyone taking part and here’s to a safe and successful season for the Pompey crew and all our visitors.’

Race two of the series takes place on Sunday, April 17 and race three is on Sunday, May 8.