Two in a row for Bonello Spiteri
The second race of the Go & Fun BSJ Sprint Triathlon Series took place in sweltering conditions on Sunday morning on the Salina Coast Road.
Similar to last week’s season opener there was a strong crowd.
The 750m swim took place in relatively calm waters.
As expected first out of the water was Bernard Sant, who improved on last week’s timings. He was followed by Shaun Galea, Hannah Cutajar and Malcolm Vassallo – the latter two also registering substantially better times than those of the previous week.
Setting off on the bike segment, one could be forgiven for thinking that last week’s podium trio would be back, however, as the race progressed Galea’s pace, uncharacteristically, started slowing down making way for last week’s third placed Josef Bonavia and fifth placed Joseph Galea.
With Bonavia registering once again the fastest bike segment for the day and Galea closing in on him as well, it was going to be an interesting race as they took off on the five-kilometre run.
Sant put a determined stride in an attempt to keep the gap achieved from the swim firmly between them.
However, Bonavia and Galea kept closing in on him, with Bonavia overtaking him at the 2.5km turnaround point.
With the possibility of a first victory, Bonavia kept a determined and focused pace to cross the finish line in one hour two minutes 42 seconds – an improvement of 50 seconds over the previous week.
Behind them the battle was not over. In the end, it was Galea who crossed the finish line in second place, with Sant finishing twenty-three seconds behind him.
In the females’ race, Hannah Cutajar was the first female out of the water. Twenty-seven seconds behind her was Danica Bonello Spiteri, who also registered a minimal improvement from last week’s swim time.
Cutajar took the lead on the bike segment, however Bonello Spiteri edged her way past Cutajar in the second lap. Bonello Spiteri maintained her lead until the very end of the five-kilometre run to register her second consecutive win of the series, with a 31-second improvement.
Meanwhile with last week’s third placed Lara Buttigieg out of competition due to injury and fourth placed Lindsey Zammit not taking part, third place was up for grabs.
The evergreen Suzanne Farrugia registered the third fastest bike split, however, in the end it was Anjelika Ruggier who took the final place on the ladies’ podium.
Malta Triathlon Federation president John Vella presented medals to the top three winners at the end of the race.
The third race of the Go & Fun BSJ Sprint Triathlon Series takes place on Sunday, September 6 on the Salina Coast Road.
MEN: 1. J. Bonavia 1:02.42; 2. J. Galea 1:03.05; 3. B. Sant 1:03.28.
WOMEN: D. Bonello Spiteri 1:06.07; 2. H. Cutajar 1:07.29; 3. A. Ruggier 1:21.36.