Paul Amey, winner of the inaugural edition: "This is more fun than an Ironman!"
The participants are happy with the organisation of the competition, next edition in September 2010.
The inaugural Challenge TriStar200 Andalucía Doñana Challenge developed dramatically uniting the provinces of Huelva and Cadiz and through the Doñana National Park. Paul Amey (GBR) and Italy's Martina Dogana are the first winners of a unique race that has very positive resonance from the more than 200 participants who were up for the challenge of this new competition format.
One of the great innovations, the start of the peloton cycling, has facilitated a good battle between several riders who decided to break away in the ascent to Medina Sidonia. Thomas Darby (FIN) had a 12 seconds lead ahead of Ramon Garcia (ESP) and Austrian Alexander Wilhelm Franc, while Paul Amey (GBR) would take the lead from kilometer 110. On the women's side, Tiina Boman (FIN), Martina Dogana, Christel Robin (FRA) and Nieve Infante from Andalucía dominated the bike leg.
After crossing the River Guadalquivir Paul Amey was still in the lead and none of his pursuers, including Spaniard Marcel Zamora who managed to make up a lot of time on the run, could close the gap. The renowned British triathlete Amey completed the 200 miles of the Doñana Challenge in 6:09:40. "It was fantastic; it's more fun than an Ironman! It has been a real challenge to feel the loneliness in Doñana, and running on the beach on sand has been a new experience. I will definitely participate in more events of the TriStar series!" Marcel Zamora was also satisfied with his participation in the TriStar200 Andalucía and remarked "it is a very attractive and interesting event that will attract many more participants for the next edition - it is perfectly organized. Alejandro Santamaria completed the podium three minutes behind Zamora.
Italy's Martina Dogana (6:55:48) won the sympathy of many people congregated at the finish line located on the beach of Matalascañas, Almonte. Dogana showed an impressive run despite her crash on the bike leg, leaving Boman Tima from Finland almost seven minutes behind on the beach. "This race was amazing, I am truly impressed. The cycling part was wonderful, and I am delighted that I came to Andalusia and that I could take away the win."
One of the priorities for the organizers of the TriStar200 Andalucía, Star Events and the Empresa Pública de Deporte Andaluz, with the initiative of the Regional Ministry for Tourism, Trade and Sports of the Regional Government of Andalusia, was to create a top level sports competition that should soon find a fix date in the race calendar for the years to come. The focus of the event is on environmental protection and sustainable development while acting socially responsible. Eco-responsible solutions suggested by 4vita have been implemented in the race, while 30 euros from each entry have been forwarded directly to Livestrong, Lance Armstrong's Foundation to fight cancer.
After 169 kilometers of cycling on the roads of the province of Cádiz (Cádiz-Sanlúcar), participants swam 1 km to cross the River Guadalquivir. After exiting the water, athletes ran 30 km on the sandy beach of the Doñana National Park in the Huelva province, and finished at the Matalascañas beach in Almonte. The second edition of TriStar200 Andalucía will take place in September 2010.