Arnaud Dely crowned European duathlon champion


Arnaud Dely took the European gold medal in this discipline that combines cycling and running, while in the women's race, another Belgian, Jeanne Dupont, finished in second place.

Coimbra, Portugal, was the venue for this year's European Triathlon Duathlon Championships (5 km walk, 20 km bike and 2.5 km walk).

At the age of 27, Arnaud Dely had already won a number of honours in this discipline before finally claiming the title of European champion at the end of a perfect race.

Breaking away from the peloton on the third lap of the 5 km bike race to form a leading trio with two Dutchmen, the Belgian cyclist soon set off on his own before the transition to the final running section, and was never troubled again.

"At one point, I took the risk of leaving the pack and it paid off! I needed to make the bike race tougher, and the two Dutch riders had a vested interest in riding with me in the hope of a podium finish or a place. When I heard we had a 20-second lead, I thought we were making good progress, even though I looked back and saw that the peloton wasn't that far away. It wasn't until 500 m from the finish, when I was told I still had a 20-second lead, that I really believed it. It's incredible! I would like to thank all my team-mates on the Belgian team for the enormous amount of work they have done behind the scenes. They jumped on every attempt by the French and Spaniards...," enthused the new European champion.

Jeanne Dupont, European vice-champion!

In her first appearance at the European Championships, Jeanne Dupont came second in the event, behind France's Legrand, who beat her in the sprint, but ahead of Spain's Varo. At the age of 21, the Namur native, last year's Belgian champion, has achieved a remarkable feat.

Congratulations to these two Belgian athletes!