Abbie's Havana great season

IPSWICH triathlete Abbie Thorrington has continued her good form by clinching a national cycling title.Abbie, 17, finished first in the Youth Team-Trial Championships, held in Nottinghamshire - it was the first time she had entered a national cycling competition.

IPSWICH triathlete Abbie Thorrington has continued her good form by clinching a national cycling title.

Abbie, 17, finished first in the Youth Team-Trial Championships, held in Nottinghamshire - it was the first time she had entered a national cycling competition.

The Kesgrave High School pupil only decided to compete in the event at the last minute,

having just returned home from holiday.

Abbie said: “I had just got back from a holiday in Cuba and I was not going to do it but I am glad I did.

“I had never taken part in a national cycling race before and I just went to see how I would fare against others.”

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Each of the 43 competitors, aged from 13 to 17, set off at minute intervals over a gruelling 18.6-mile course. Abbie finished in 52 minutes to win the event, 27 seconds ahead of her nearest rival.

“It was very hilly and quite windy on the day, but it was the same for everyone,” she said.

“You do not know how everyone else is doing as they are a minute in front of you. You just have to race your hardest and ride your own individual race.”

Abbie is regarded as one of the country's finest young triathletes and in May she entered the European Youth Triathlon in Italy.

This included swimming 400m, cycling 10km and running 2.5km. She finished as the top British competitor but was just outside the medals in fourth place.

Abbie, of Worcester Road, Ipswich, starts training most mornings at 5.30am with a two-hour swim before cycling six miles to Kesgrave High School where she is a pupil. After a day studying

geography, sports science and psychology, she bikes home before heading off on another lengthy run or bike ride.

Abbie is a member of the 53/12 multisport club in Colchester but does most of her training in and around Ipswich. She lives near the Gainsborough Sports Centre and regularly goes running on the field there.

Abbie started competing when she was ten and hopes to become a professional athlete or a PE teacher. She is in the last year of her studies and hopes to go to university at Loughborough or Bath.

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