Portorose, Slovenia – For the elite races athletes from over 20 countries gathered together to get important points and the valuable prize money.
Before the elite jumped into the water, the first round of the ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup was held on sprint distance. The Hungarian athletes dominated on the race and the winners were Zsofia Toth and Gabor Faldum (both from Hungary)
Christian Ruderer from Germany was the fastest on the swim, managing a lead of over ten minutes over Andrew Fargus of Great Britain and Zvonko Cubric of Croatia. The field came out of the water in a big, long group. Ruderer remained in front on the early stage of the bike. A large group formed as catching the leader and became a huge pack with over 40 athletes in it. In the fourth lap of the 5-lap bike course Andrea D’Aquino and Ruderer made a successful breakaway and managed over a minute lead for the run.
D’Aquino was fast enough to keep his lead on the run and after a silver medal a week ago; he managed to win the event. Ruderer was caught on the run, but other German athletes moved onto the podium, Muetschard to second and Cierpinski to third. Former multiple World Cup winner, Martin Krnavek from Czech Republic came on fourth and getting better and better form.
During the men were on the bike, the over 20 women dived into the cool waves of the Sea. During the swim and the bike nobody could build any gap on the lead, so a group of 12 athletes started the run together. After a bad season in 2005 Beatrice Lanza from Italy showed a good form and immediately took the lead on the run and finally managed to get gold, while Zelenkova (silver) and Delphine Pelletier from France (bronze) succeeded too; they completed today’s podium.
So today, another great venue has been introduced to the triathlon family, with the potential to host great events in the future with some improvements on the venue layout. The Adriatic ambiance and the hospitality of the local organizing committee was received with pleasure by athletes and team officials.