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The director of a Ski & Snowboard tour operator is competing for Great Britain in the Triathlon World Championships – just 18-months after taking up the sport.
Steve La Borde, founder of Winter Sports Company can usually be found powder-hunting across Europe and Canada, but, after winning a spot on Team GB, will be joining Olympic medalist Jonathan Brownlee, 27, at the event in Rotterdam this month.
Steve, 60, got his first taste of victory in July when he bagged first place in his age category at the Ripon Sprint Triathlon.
‘Lifting that trophy in Ripon was an incredible feeling. Then, when I found out I’d made the national team it was a dream come true,’ he said.
Brownlee will be competing in the elite men’s standard length, while Steve will be taking on the world’s top veteran athletes in the age 60-64 sprint triathlon.
Over a 750m swim in Rotterdam harbour, 20km bike ride and 5km run, he will battle to bring home a medal for team GB.
It’s an incredible achievement for the amateur athlete, Steve has always enjoyed keeping fit during the off-season, but only competed in his first sprint triathlon in May 2016 when he took part in the Wadebridge Sprint triathlon, coming 138th overall, in 1hr 40mins.
Steve said, ‘I’d rented a bike, and thought I’d see how I did. It wasn’t a great time, but as I crossed the finish line I knew I could do better’.
Next, the ambitious sportsman took part in the notorious Helvellyn triathlon, one of the world’s toughest triathlons.
Steve continued training, spending most last winter on the slopes in the daytime and working out in the gym after the lifts closed. Upon returning to the UK, based at Winter Sports Company’s office in Cornwall he ramped up the training, ‘I bought a second-hand wetsuit and bike and trained for the open water swim in the sea. Cycling up the Cornish Hills really built my stamina up, and despite being a runner my whole life, the bike is now my best section.’
After coming fifth at the Redcar sprint triathlon – a championship qualifying round – in August, he got the stunning news. Steve had qualified after finishing in 1hour 14mins, shaving an incredible 26mins off his first attempt.
Since, Steve has been recruiting businesses to sponsor him, including his own, The Winter Sports Company.
The Triathlon Store in Hayle is one of Steve’s proud sponsors, and is also providing a top of the range, custom, hand built Scott Foil bike with the latest lightweight 630g Zipp wheels. He’s also working with experienced swimming coach Lee Stanbury from the Cornish Swimming Academy in Newquay.
‘Whatever the result, competing in a Team GB suit will be the experience of a lifetime,’ he said.
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