Rothwell’s Bret Crossley is taking the silver linings from a difficult Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea, as he finished sixth in the men’s wheelchair category writes Milly McEvoy.
Crossley suffered two lots of bad luck on the course round the city centre and waterfront but battled hard to come in a time of 1:08:36 as the best of the Brits.
After successfully conquering the swim – which the 49-year-old admitted to be his hardest discipline – Crossley came out of his chair on the transition before suffering more misfortune on the bike – but took heart from the crowds who turned out to support.
“To be honest with you the performance was disappointing,” Crossley said. “I felt like I’d done a quite good swim and then unfortunately, flew out of my chair as I was being pushed up the ramp.
“My front casters caught the lip of the ramp, and I don’t know how long it took to get me back in the chair.
“Then out on the bike, after you've done the four laps, and it's like maybe a flat 2km back to transition, there is a bit of a lip you go up.
“And as I flew up that my left leg flew out of the footplate, and then my foot hit the ground and kicked a spasm off in my leg.
A brilliant performance from Mel Nicholls to finish 4th in the women’s PTWC at her first international event. 👏
Bret Crossley was 6th in the men’s PTWC followed by Josh Landmann in 7th. 🙌
Race winners were Lauren Parker (AUS) and Florian Brungraber (AUT) 🥇#WTPSSwansea pic.twitter.com/HlsOkTvm1m
— British Triathlon (@BritTri) August 6, 2022
“That took me a while just to get it settled and go back in so lost more time. But the transition seemed to go quite well and on the run was hard today, it was really easy to crash if you just overcooked a corner and a couple of times, I got close.
“But it was a home race, lovely day for it, I’m a bit gutted I couldn't have gone better. It's a shame, but still brilliant to compete for GB and see where we go from here.”
Austria’s Florian Brungraber took victory in a time of 1:00:15, with Giovanni Achenza of Italy and France’s Ahmed Andaloussi rounding out the podium.
Despite his difficulties, Crossley came out of the bike in sixth but saved the best to last as he completed the 5km run in 14:19, the third best time overall.
He added: “I'm not getting any younger, but I've still got a couple of years left in me, so I'll be trying very hard to earn a place to come back here next year for sure.
“It was fantastic. The crowd support was terrific, some people when I was out on the run, they were someone shouting from their car ‘go on GB’ and that was nice.
“It's a great venue, it really is. I just wish some of the road surfaces were a bit smoother. I was getting shaken to hell coming over but that tends to be British roads most places!
“You have to put up with it but it's a fantastic occasion.”
The Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea - Britain's first ever standalone World Triathlon Para Series event - headlined a week-long para sport festival in the Welsh city, which also included the first ever International Paratriathlon Conference. Interested in getting involved in paratriathlon? Visit the get involved page on britishtriathlon.org