By Merryn Sherwood on 27/12/12 at 5:00 am
Yesterday we brought you the most impressive swims of the year. Today, it’s on to the second discipline of triathlon – the bike. Whether they conquered challenging courses or made effective breakaways, these athletes were prepared to perform.
Germany’s Anne Haug in World Triathlon Series Stockholm, and World Triathlon Grand Final Auckland
The overall 2012 world championship silver medallist and Auckland Grand Final winner had an impressive breakthrough year largely due to her tenacious biking. More than once in the series Haug bridged up solo from the chase to the leaders, and of those Stockholm and Auckland were particularly impressive. Haug said during the year that this skill had evolved from a history of poor swims.
“When I started the first time in the World Cup, I was always the worst swimmer and so I always had to catch up,” she said before London. “So it’s just the way I was always racing because if I want to have a chance I have to go all out on the bike to have a chance. So of course I want to improve my swim so I can save my energy for the run, but it’s getting better and better.”
Russia’s Ivan Vasiliev in ITU World Triathlon Sydney
While the field in Sydney was missing some of the big stars that didn’t make Vasiliev’s performance any less impressive. With a good result all but confirming Russia’s three places at the London Olympics, Vasiliev went hard off the front with James Elvery of New Zealand and then stayed there until almost the end for a career high sixth place finish. He emerged as one of the strongest bikers of the year, also going off the front with the Brownlee brothers in Kitzbuhel.
Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson at the Guatape World Cup
The Guatape World Cup is known for its incredibly challenging course that is set at altitude. But it proved to be no problem for Stimpson, as she powered away on the first lap towards both her first World Cup podium and win. The Brit gained an insurmountable two-minute lead midway through the bike. By the time she hit the run course, she had an astonishing three minutes on the next competitor.
“It’s fantastic,” Stimpson said of her win. “The crowd was awesome. The weather was nice and warm. The course was hilly, which made it even better, it makes a proper triathlon.
Stay tuned tomorrow as we review some of the most massive runs we saw this year.