Galea,Pace win race one

Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 12:18

Birkirkara St. Joseph’s national triathlon champion Keith Galea and Athleta Pembroke’s aspiring young triathlete Hannah Pace carried the honours in the first race of the Birkirkara St. Joseph Triathlon Series sponsored by Festina and The Cyclist of San Gwann. After a number of years, this Series moved from the Coast Road to a course in Kalkara, a move that was well received by the 74 participants.

Following his poor performance in the national duathlon (run/bike/run) championships last month, Keith Galea returned to winning ways in an unassailable manner. He was pushed all the way by none other than the former champion Dermot Galea. The two Birkirkara triathletes battled it out to the final segment of the 5-kilometre run, with Keith having the final say with a 19-second margin. Both triathletes were out of the 750-metre swim in 11 minutes, 32 seconds,closely followed by Graham Borg of Athleta Pembroke. However it was Mellieha’s national duathlon champion Fabio Spiteri who seriously challenged the two leading Saints on the bike. Spiteri even managed to register the best bike segment, cycling the technical 20-kilometre course in 32 minutes, 8 seconds. This outstanding performance on the bike was not good enough to pull back the leaders. Keith Galea registered a time of 33 minutes, 8 seconds on the bike, and Dermot Galea clocked 32 minutes, 56 seconds. The final 5-kilometre run saw these top three triathletes entangled in an epic surge towards the finish line. Keith Galea finished the race in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 1 second, ahead of Dermot Galea (1:04:20) and Fabio Spiteri (1:04:50).

Hanna Pace’s second place in the national duathlon championships earlier on this year proved to be no fluke as she managed to beat her opponents in this first race of the series. This young triathlete, who has also won a place in the national team, outclassed both the national triathlon champion Danica Bonello Spiteri of St. Patrick’s and the national duathlon champion Michelle Vella Wood of Birkirkara St. Joseph to win comfortably in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 31 seconds. Both Pace and Bonello Spiteri finished the 750-metre swim in 11 minutes, 53 seconds, with Vella Wood in third place visibly struggling to keep the pace. The Athlete Pembroke girl stepped into a higher gear in both the 20-kilometre bike segment and the final 5-kilometre run, to be the first to cross the finish line. Bonello Spiteri finished second in 1 hour, 12 minutes, 30 seconds, and Vella Wood finished third in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 18 seconds.

Present for this race was the Kalkara Mayor Ms. S. Chircop and the President of the Malta Triathlon Federation Mr. C. Dalli.

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