A LEDBURY -based triathlete has finished fourth Briton home in his age group in the European Cross Triathlon Championships in Sardinia.

Leslie Dalley, who is 49 and works in Hereford has been a triathlete for just three years.

"I had to start from complete scratch with both the running and, with more difficulty, the swimming," he said.

"However, I already had a good base fitness on the bike after riding for many years and this has helped my continuing progression from complete novice."

A string of strong results last year qualified him to represent Team Great Britain in his age group at the event , which comprised a very aggressive 1,500m sea swim, a 30k mountain bike, with tough climbs, rocky descents and loose sandy sections. Then followed by a tough off-road 10k trail run, on rocky trails, lagoon bridge crossings and sandy beaches.

"I was delighted to complete the race in 2hrs 58 mins, with a pb of 27 mins in the swim," he said.

"My final position was 75th overall out of all ages, 15th in my age group and 4th Brit home.

"It was a fantastic experience and a race that I will remember for many years.

"And to represent my country among all the other nations was something I only dreamed of."