KEIGHLEY triathlete Jimmy Lund has shown no signs of rust on his return to action in the UK, and is now getting ready to try and conquer Europe.

With the start of the season delayed by Covid, Lund’s first real race of 2021 saw him come second in the prestigious British Triathlon Senior Super Series at Hetton.

That has allowed the Loughborough University student to qualify for European Cup events in Spain and Portugal later this year.

He followed that Hetton performance up with a fifth place finish in Leicestershire last Tuesday in the second Super Series event, and is off to compete at the French Grand Prix this weekend.

After a whirlwind few weeks, Lund said: “It was good to get second place at Hetton, as the Super Series is an elite event which attracts British athletes with a big reputation from university level.

“It’s all about getting selection for European Cups, for which you need to finish in the top three.

“I did that, so now I’ll be racing in Barcelona and Quarteira in European Cup events later this year.”

He added: “Mallory Park I finished fifth last week, but that was still a decent result.

“I’d say the standard is higher now in 2021, as more people have decided to do triathlon since Covid, so it’s more competitive.”

Next on the agenda for Lund is that French Grand Prix event in Châteauroux this Saturday.

The 21-year-old said: “France will be my first race abroad since 2019, and it’s slightly different to the Super Series events.

“The French Grand Prix races are the highest standard of triathlon in the country, and they attract top level competitors from other nations.

“You get athletes turning up from the World Series which shows just how competitive the fields are.

“It will be good to go up against people of that calibre and I hope it enhances my performance level.”

After France comes those European Cups in Spain and Portugal.

Explaining why they are so important to up and coming young triathletes like himself, Lund said: “European Cups act as a pathway to World Series level.

“You do the European Cups to get points to go to World Cups and World Series.

“At the very top of triathlon in Britain, it’s lottery funded, and the European Cup is a stepping stone towards all that.”

Two names have been seen as the gold standard in British triathlon over the last decade, in West Yorkshire brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

Unsurprisingly, the duo have inspired Lund’s journey to date, as he said: “A few years ago I was a national standard swimmer and mountain runner.

“But seeing Alistair win gold in 2012 and 2016 at the Olympics made me think about putting all that together and doing triathlon.

“I joined the Yorkshire Triathlon Academy, which is supported by the Brownlee Foundation, and that really helped me develop my skills in all three disciplines.”