Michelle came out of the Royal Victoria Dock swim some 1:50 down on the swim leader Guernsey’s Samantha Herridge .
photo John Coxon
Jodie Swallow exited second with Australian Annabelle Luxford and Heather Jackson just a second behind. Leeds and Bradford’s Jessica Towl exited next followed by Leanda Cave , Bridge and Hollie Avil all in front of Dillon. By the end of the bike race , Michelle on her new ultra-light Trigon bike had worked hard to pull it all back and out of T2 trailed Luxford by a mere 15 seconds and it was obvious that she would not settle for less than the win.
photo John Coxon
And with that familiar tough blistering running , by the 5 k mark on the dockside run she had taken a comfortable lead over Luxford and Whitcombe and never looked threatened all the way home to a well deserved victory. Andrea Whitcombe kept ahead of Luxford to come home in second with Jodie Swallow finishing fourth. Talented youngster , East Grinstead Tri Club’s Emma Bright came home 10th with Hollie Avil 11th. Karen Sindall came out of the swim looking distressed and rocking and was forced to withdraw.
It has been a remarkable year for Michelle with no fewer than seven podiums including second and third place respectively in the ITU World Cups in Lisbon and Madrid and second in the World Duathlon Championships, Hungary. The London Tri win in front of the home must have been especially sweet for Michelle and no wonder she was ecstatic in the finish area. 2006 had been a grim year for her, hitting an all time low in the autumn when a degenerative back injury threatened her career.
In fact she was given medical advice in October to quit the sport. Michelle admitted that , back then , her life was in turmoil ; she was gutted she might have to give up the sport she loved. She’d had a successful career behind her for which she was so grateful but still had unfulfilled dreams and what she called “unfinished business” and , typically , she never gave up the belief that she could get better and stronger. Shuffling around her home when she could barely walk she decided to get a second opinion and was thrilled when the consultant confirmed that, with a tough specific therapeutic exercise regime she would be able to compete at the highest level again. Commenting on her win, a jubilant Michelle told us "I've been so hungry for this win, I've been visualising winning it for some time. I am just so happy; the last couple of years haven't been so great for me at the London Tri and today it all came together.
I felt so strong and the crowds were amazing, thank you so much to everyone for their support."
Michelle is now looking forward to the World Cup in Hamburg, September 1st and to the World Cup in Beijing September 16th. For more news and latest results check out Michelle’s website
London Triathlon 2007 Women's Results:
1. Michelle Dillon, GBR
2. Andrea Whitcombe, GBR
3. Annabel Luxford, AUS
4. Jodie Swallow, GBR
5. Leanda Cave, GBR
Fourth is no good enough