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AFD cross country team hail Euro stars

Aldershot, Farnham and District's Men's and Women's both recorded impressive finishes in the European Club Cross Country Championships in Portugal

Mike Neighbour
The Aldershot, Farnham & District Men's and Women's teams flew the flag for Britain in the European Championships in Portugal

Aldershot, Farnham & District's Men's and Women's flew the flag for Britain on the European stage this weekend - and did the nation proud.

The six-strong teams contested the European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country Championship in Albufeira, Portugal at the weekend, going head-to-head with the best clubs and runners on the continent.

Both teams put up a fantastic performance against larger, heavier-financed European clubs with the dominant ladies finishing a magnificent fifth, just 10 points behind third place, and the men eighth.

In stark contrast to the weather back home, the runners turned out in glorious sunshine with the senior ladies out first first to take on the 6,175m course over a short loop and three long loops at the end.

A group of eight, including AFD pair Steph Twell and Lily Partridge, went out in front with Georgie Bruinvels, Emily Wicks, Amy Griffiths and Louise Small all in a chasing group, 

With 1,500m to go, Twell held third and Patridge fifth with Bruinvels, Wicks and Griffiths all in and around the top 20, although Small, as a result of injury and fatigue, was struggling.

But in the final 1,000m, a group of four Russians made a group move - much like track cycling move -  passing both Twell and Partridge - to secure the team prize.

In th end, Twell led the AFD home in a magnificent seventh, two places ahead of Partridge, with a fast finishing Griffiths (20th), Bruinvels (24th), Wicks (26th) and Small (42nd) ensuring the team came in fifth behind the Russians, Italians, Spanish and Turkish.

Similarly, the pace was fast in the senior men’s race, but AFD lived up to the billing, coming in an impressive eighth.

Tom Wade led the team home in 30th ahead of Ian Bailey (37th), Joe Wade (41st), Adam Clarke (46th), Chris Rooke (70th) and Steven Connor, a late replacement and recovering from injury, in 82nd.

The event was won by Ethiopian Mohamed Moustaoui, running for Ales Cevennes of France, ahead of Spain's Ayed Lamdassem and Daniel De Silva of Holland. 

 

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