Andrea Nightingale has retained her age group title at the 2022 World Triathlon Multisport Championships – Long Distance Age-Group Aquabike after finishing nearly nine minutes ahead of her closest rival.
Andrea , who is sponsored by Ravenscroft, competed in the 60-64 age category against 11 other competitors and after a 2km swim, 80km bike ride and 800m run, she crossed the line in 3.08.59, eight minutes and 46 seconds ahead of Lori Selby from the USA with GB triathlete Jane Wiley coming third.
The swim in the Danube River saw 61-year-old Mrs Nightingale go 100m too far but a quick transition and a strong performance on the bike gave her the advantage in the unexpected run at the end.
“I didn’t realize the Danube had a strong current and although there wasn’t any tide, the wind had whipped up the water so it was pretty much like a lumpy sea! I thought I had had a terrible swim. I found some feet going into the current which was brilliant but when we turned the waves were breaking over us and I found myself on my own. I was really cross which probably made me work a bit harder. I was out the water in 38 minutes which at the time I thought was rubbish so I was determined to have a great transition,” she said.
The ride followed the Danube through fields and pastureland with very little protection from the wind.
“It was fantastic. A tail wind for the first 40km and I thought I could break 60 minutes without too much effort and keep the power for the 40km return leg. I turned at 58 minutes and then it became real. There was no rest from the wind, which was pretty brutal. Luckily my tactics had paid off and I continued to pick my way past riders and just had the short 800m run to the finish.
She added that this year’s race was very different to the 2021 competition. “Last year there were only four in the category so it was a completely different experience this time and much harder to work out where you were in the race. I have been training really hard this year after what was a rubbish end to 2021 thanks to a broken wrist and Covid but I was determined to be as fit as I was last year,” she said.
“I have been training 12 – 14 hours a week on top of working full time but I believed my Entire coach had prepared me well. Thankfully all the training paid off and I am absolutely delighted to have retained my title.”
Andrea ’s next event is the UCI World Age Group Time Trial and Cycling Championships in Trento, Italy, next week and then the European Aqua-Bike Championships in Spain, the following week. She ends the season with the Olympic distance aquabike at November’s World Triathlon Finals in Abu Dhabi.