Norwich triathlete Sophie Alden sets sights on elite events after British Championship success in Cardiff
- Credit: Tracey Alden
The sun shone even brighter for Hellesdon triathlete Sophie Alden when she touched down in Spain after the biggest senior victory of her career so far.
The 19-year-old is currently getting stuck into a two-week warm weather training camp in Banyoles, Catalonia, as she tries to build on winning the women's crown at the British Elite Triathlon Championship in Cardiff.
After a fast start to the 750m swim Alden was caught by the chasing pack but regained control during the 20km run and 5km cycle to finish 12 seconds clear in an overall time of one hour, two minutes and 22 seconds.
'I won junior national championships but this was a step up into the seniors, so I was going into the race not really knowing what to expect,' Alden explained.
'I'd been training really well so I knew I was going into it in good form but it just felt mad when I crossed the line. I've never lifted the winners' tape up before because when you win junior events you're at the end of the senior race, lower down the overall order.
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'So after getting to lift the tape I was buzzing!'
The former Hellesdon High School pupil won the women's junior title at the British Triathlon Championships in 2016 and is part of Triathlon England's Talent Squad.
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Last year she finished third at the ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup in Lausanne, Switzerland, and now the Loughborough University human biology student has her sights set on qualifying for big events later this year.
Next up is the European Senior Sprint Championships in Estonia, starting on July 19 in Tartu.
'I'm hoping to use my swimming strength to my advantage because I know there are going to be some fast swimmers there,' Alden continued. 'I want to get away from the field rather than get swallowed up in the big pack, then it's about working hard on my running and cycling, just trying to go from strength to strength.
'At the end of the season it's the under-23 world (in Australia in September) and European championships (in Israel in October), so I'm really hoping to qualify for them. I've got to keep working to prove that I'm capable for selection.'