Birkirkara St. Joseph’s Keith Galea Wins the Agones Sprint Duathlon for the Fourth Consecutive Year

On Sunday 12th February, the 2017 multisport season kicked off with the traditional draft – legal Sprint Duathlon organised by Agones SFC in conjunction with the Hal Safi Local Council. The race was held on the Safi circuit and consisted of a 4.4-kilometre run, an 18-kilometre cycle and a 2.2-kilomtere run.



As expected Malta champion and Birkirkara St Joseph top triathlete Keith Galea pulled out of the group from the early stages.  However Shaun Galea and David Agius Lia took up Galea’s early pace and the three of them entered together T1, covering the first 4.4-kilometre run in a time of fifteen minutes, nine seconds. The Saint’s reply in the bike segment was even more punishing, attacking immediately from the very first kilometre. Both Shaun Galea and David Agius Lia replied in kind by staying hot on the champion’s heels.

Galea persisted and had the power to attack continuously trying to build a gap on his two rivals. However both Shaun and David were all eyes on each and every Galea’s tactical move, keeping him well in sight. Then Galea decided to slow down the pace and rest his legs for the final run. All three triathletes covered the bike segment in 32 minutes and seven seconds.

The battle was now on in the final 2.2-kilometre run.  Agius Lia decided to start the run at a very fast pace leaving Shaun Galea practically out of the race. The Birkirkara man only managed to hang on to the new leader. As the race progressed towards its final stages, emotions were running high as Agius Lia’s lead increased to almost 50 metres.  It had to be a show of real character with a massive effort for the Saint to dig deep into his reserves to launch a final attack on the leader.  This he did with aplomb.  Not only did he close the gap, he even managed, in the final 100 metres, to open a devastating sprint which killed all hopes Agius Lia might have had of claiming the crown from the clutches of the champion.    Galea opened his 2017 account with a victory in a time of 55 minutes and 28 seconds, just five seconds ahead of worthy contender Agius Lia. Shaun Galea held on to third place in 56 minutes and three seconds.

Speaking to bkarastjoseph.com after the race Galea said that he was very happy with his performance. He was expecting such a tight race, although at one stage he saw victory slipping away knowing too well that normally he wouldn’t turn on a strong final sprint finish. He explained how this year he changed completely his approach to his training regime by trying to build his form gradually in order to reach his peak in June in time for the European Triathlon Championships. Galea said that this victory was significant, consolidating his training programmes, particularly his running. The BSJ champion showed his gratitude towards coach Ivan Rozhnov, his brother Dermot Galea, his wife Elizabeth, his daughter Elise and the rest of his family, his sponsors www.garminmalta.com, BBB Cycling Malta, Jaycee Malta, Team Barry Malta International Challenge Marathon, Starbene 24/7, Sarracino Café, Lucida Laundry, his club Birkirkara St Joseph, the Malta Triathlon Federation, the Maltese Olympic Committee and Sport Malta for the constant support.

Birkirkara St. Joseph noted Galea’s successful week, as not only did he bring the first honours to the Club, but he was also shortlisted for the finals of the Sportivi Nazzjonali Awards in the People’s Choice Category organised by SportMalta.  In mid-week he was shown recognition for his success in the Sicily Triathlon Series 2016 in a meeting with the Hon. Prime Minister of Malta Dr. Joseph Muscat.  Birkirkara St. Joseph urges everyone to vote for their champion by visiting: www.sportmalta.org.mt/peoples-choice-awards-2017



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