Ireland's Aileen Reid got a 'reality check' at the European Games today

The Derry woman fell in to a chasing pack that didn’t want to chase Olympic champ Nicola Sprig.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

LEADING IRISH TRIATHLETE Aileen Reid finished in sixth place at the European Games in Baku this morning.

The Derry woman was ultimately left frustrated by a chasing pack on the bike who were unable or unwilling to match her desire to chase down the leaders.

And once Olympic Champion Nicola Sprig had herself well positioned at the front of the field, the Swiss star was a clear favourite from well before the halfway stage.

Sprig duly claimed the first ever European Games gold for Triathlon, finishing in 2:00.28, just over a second ahead of the Netherlands’ Rachel Klamer with Lisa Norden edged in to bronze place by two hundredths of a second.

Aileen Reid on her way to finishing sixth Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

After a slight error where she was caught on the wrong side of  the halfway buoy during the swim Reid emerged in to T1 in 10th place, 24 seconds off the leaders.

With the Peloton offering little in the way of support, an echo from her experience at London 2012, Reid was unable to make much of a dent in Sprig’s lead and by T2 she trailed by 2:39.

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Reid still managed to keep going in the soaring temperatures in Baku, completing the 10km run in 35:37 for a total time of 2:03.58, three and a half minutes behind the first ever Olympic and European Triathlon champion.

Asked specifically about the positives she took from the race by (along with odd questions about being impressed with Azerbaijan), Reid said:

“The positives that I will take is that it was a reality check, and I know what I need to work on, which I have always known, but it is an important reminder ahead of the test event in Rio this year.

“I know it will be a tough bike course, so it is a reminder that is what I need to work on and I now have a whole year and a little bit to make my biking a lot better.”

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Sean Farrell

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