A HEREFORD athlete stormed to success at a triathlon event in Ludlow.

Jon Barnes had nearly a minute's lead on his rivals and finished the Storm the Castle event in a time of 1:58.20.

The run-bike-run contest was made even tougher this year and featured a fourth brutal stint up the so-called Lactic Ladder, in between Dinham Bridge and Whitcliffe Common.

“It was great to win the even and nice to see my training is paying off,", said Barnes.

"It was a fantastic course with so many features adding some great bits of personality to the race, definitely the UK’s toughest.

"I loved the brutal climb up to the castle and the Lactic Ladder.

"The castle finish was cool as well and with bits over the bridge allowed for great support from spectators.

"I will be aiming to defend my title next year!”

Barnes, who is a member of the Yonda Racing Team that was set up by Mark Buckingham, who is a training parter of double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee, will now prepare for the Storm the Fort event that takes place in Clun next month.