WORLD champion James Coleman triumphed at last weekend’s Castle Combe 9Bar Chilly Duathlon as he continues his preparations for a big year of competition.

Coleman, from Westwood near Trowbridge, won gold in the 25-29 age group at the last year’s Duathlon World Championships in Canada and held off the challenge of Alan Murchison to cross the line first in 45 minutes 44 seconds.

The winner has next month’s British Elite Duathlon Championships, as well as this year’s age group World Championships in May, in Pontevedra, Spain, in his sights but was delighted with a local victory.

“I had a few niggles coming into the race but as soon as we set off, I forgot what was hurting. I only entered the race last week as I wasn’t sure I’d be ready for it,” said Coleman.

“The headwind was brutal on Sunday, but my attacking style in crits off the front of the pack certainly helped me clock a decent bike time and gain the necessary seconds. After the second transition, anything but a win and I would have been disappointed.

“It was great to have my mum, dad, brother and girlfriend there to watch and cheer me on too – it makes all the difference having a support team there.

“As I won gold in Ottawa, I have automatically qualified for the World Champs in Pontevedra in May, with my employers OnePoll sponsoring me again.”

Trowbridge’s Chris Roxburgh also achieved qualification for Pontevedra after competing alongside Coleman in Canada last year but had a less enjoyable Chilly experience at the weekend as he suffered a hefty fall.

Roxburgh dusted himself down and crossed the line in tenth place (48:32.6).

“One of the timing mats blew up as I went over it and I went absolutely flying. It was a completely freak accident and my wrist was all black and blue afterwards,” he said.

“When that happens, you can either give up or keep going. My wrist hurt but I just kept on going, which I was happy about.”

Devizes’ Billy Dyer (50:03.9) and Trowbridge’s Dan Ford (51:20.4) were 18th and 26th respectively.

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