Charles-Barclay bags PTO European Open bronze as Haug soars to victory in Ibiza

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Haug grabbed glory ahead of Gentle and Charles-Barclay in Ibiza
Haug grabbed glory ahead of Gentle and Charles-Barclay in Ibiza

By Will Jennings in Ibiza

Lucy Charles-Barclay was unable to cap a memorable winning return to racing as Anne Haug’s red-hot run overhauled her advantage and fired the German veteran to the PTO European Open title in Ibiza.

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British star Charles-Barclay, 29, was making her hotly-anticipated comeback and led the middle distance 100km contest for significant periods.

But she failed to maintain her sizeable lead from the swim and bike stages as Haug, 40, leapfrogged her and Australian Ashleigh Gentle to soar to the summit of the podium.

Emma Pallant-Browne, Charles-Barclay’s compatriot, finished fourth as fellow British star India Lee ended seventh in the innovative Balearic battle.

Run by the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO), the European Open marked the first of four events on the annual calendar as the progressive start-up bids to enhance the visibility and profile of the sport.

Charles-Barclay set the unsurprisingly early pace on the swim as she opened up a 24 second advantage heading into the opening transition.

Dutch star Lotte Wilms was second ahead of New Zealand’s Rebecca Clarke as Gentle and Haug sat further back in the field.

Charles-Barclay continued to lead throughout the 80km cycle and looked comfortable ahead of Canadian Paula Findlay, Commonwealth Games team gold medallist Gentle and Wilm.

Haug, the 2019 Ironman world champion, sat almost two and a half minutes behind Charles-Barclay as she left herself with a sizeable deficit to overhaul heading into the 18km run.

And she made a considerable early dent into that task as she soon overtook Gentle to race into second.

That left only the tiring Charles-Barclay to come and after increasingly narrowing her lead throughout the opening 8km, Haug made her decisive move to complete a thrilling late turnaround.

Charles-Barclay, the 2021 Ironman world champion, struggled to maintain the lightning early pace she set on the swim and bike stages and was soon usurped by Haug midway through the six-lap run through Ibiza Town.

And Haug kept her foot on the throttle to surge to a dominant victory and gear up for her next race on home German soil in style.

The PTO European Open races took place on Saturday 6 May, with the men starting at 0815 CET and the women at 0945 CET. Both were broadcast live on Eurosport 2