Olly Simon will double up later this year for two huge Ironman races.

The veteran triathlete had already qualified to race at the Ironman World Championships in Kona and will now compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice five weeks before.

Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 was a sellout UK race with 60 slots for the World Championships with a host of UK and European athletes trying to qualify by performing well in their age groups. Olly, now in the 40-44 age group, was fighting for one of 6 slots in his age group.

Starting the season with the first two televised Welsh super series races in South Wales which helped sharpen him up ready for Staffordshire 70.3 - he delivered a near perfect performance to take first in his age group and second overall in the age group race.

Olly said after: "It was a tough race, perfect conditions and I just missed out on the overall win in the age group race by 1:30 as my run is still not back to its best.

"I was so happy to put together the best race I’m capable of at the moment and I enjoyed racing against some of the best athletes in the UK.

"I wanted a good race in September sometime to build up to racing in Hawaii and Nice was too good to miss out on, it will be a good test against the best amateur athletes in the world over my favorite distance."

Olly has raced in France before and knows from experience that it will be a tough bike course with a hot run to follow.

"I hope to put together a strong performance in my 40-44 age group on a course that the best professional athletes in the world will be on to."

The ex-professional Ironman athlete still holds the Welsh Ironman record but has been plagued by injury in recent years, and consistency with training has proved difficult.

With big races to come in 2019 he hopes to stay injury free and continue to build up to both World Championship races and show he can still race at the top level after 20 years of racing in the sport.

Olly thanked local businesses that have helped support him this season - namely Mike's Bikes, Big Brums, Drain force Ltd, W B Griffiths & Sons Ltd, Aermech Ltd, Eddie Rocks and Leelavadee Thai massage.

Full race report for Staffordshire at Ollytri.wordpress.com.