Buckingham makes podium at World Duathlon Championships in Canada

The Elite Men’s race included three times World Champion Emilio Martin of Spain who won the European title this year, silver medallist Benoit Nicolas and Benjamin Choquert the French Champion who all race on the professional duathlon circuit in France.

The race started on Lakeshore Drive, Penticton by the side of the Okanagan Lake and comprised a four-lap run course of 10 km, a 5 lap bike course of 40 km with 700m of climb on each lap and a final 2 lap run course of 5 km. Mark Buckingham and GB U23 athlete Richard Allan quickly moved to the front of the race and set the pace which they maintained throughout the first run with Buckingham completing the 10k course in 30.56. After a swift transition he went into the lead on the first of five laps and as he attacked the first climb noticed he’d opened a gap on the chasing pack, so decided to commit to a solo effort. At the end of the first lap he had a lead of 30 seconds, but by the end of lap two this was only 20 seconds and after 30 minutes hard cycling the chasing group had organised themselves and caught Buckingham. On lap four two of the pre-race favourites, Martin and Nicholas made a break and nobody would help Buckingham to bridge the gap, so by the time they arrived in T2 for the final run there was a gap of 59 seconds. Buckingham completed the bike course in 1.07.47, but as he set off on the final 5 km run suffered badly with cramp in his hamstring due to his efforts on the bike. The cramp was so bad he had to stop twice on the first lap losing valuable time to his rivals. On the final lap he rallied and went in pursuit of Yohan Le Berre another Frenchman who had moved into third place. The two leaders, Nicolas and Martin both had to stop for a 15 second penalty for not racking their bikes correctly in transition, which added to the drama. Nicolas went on to win in an overall time of 1.54.08 and Martin clinched the silver medal in 1.54.57. Mark Buckingham was able to catch Le Berre in the last 400m and with 200m to go they sprinted to the finish with Buckingham managing to hold his form through the line completing the run course in the second fastest time of 15.47 and an overall time of 1.55.14, just 17 seconds behind the European Champion, Emilio Martin.

This was a good result for Buckingham and the second time he has won a World Duathlon bronze medal after his success in Adelaide, Australia in 2015. The race in Adelaide was his last race before an 18-month break due to injury. Mark is planning to contest the Elite Aquathlon on Friday and the Long Course Triathlon on Sunday at the ITU Multisport World Championships Festival in Canada.

Below is a link to a short video of the race highlights: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfbw6obGS_o

Emilio Martin, Benoit Nicolas and Mark Buckingham ITU World Duathlon Championships in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada


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