By ITU Admin on 29/07/06 at 12:00 am
Spectators of every age came out to cheer on athletes from all over the world on Sunday as Corner Brook hosted the 2006 ITU Duathlon World Championships. The last event of the TRI-FEST 2006 schedule, held in ideal sunny conditions was far from ordinary as Elite, Under-23 and Junior athletes braved the tough and hilly course this city offers. The 400 volunteers excelled again in presenting a faultless race for the world’s best duathletes.
The Junior Elite Women started the day of races with a 5 km run and 20 km bike ride followed by a 2.5km run. Rebecca Spence of New Zealand was first to cross the finish line with a start to finish win in a remarkable time of 1:02:23. Not far behind was Kirsten Sweetland of Canada who’s parents are native Corner Brook folk; she took second in her division with 1:05:35, while Sarah-Anne Brault of Canada nabbed third with a time of 1:06:35. The Kiwi’s victory took her 3 minutes and 11 seconds ahead of her nearest rival and with the World Cycling Championships just around the corner and the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Lausanne not far away Spence really has to be a force to be reckoned with.
For the Junior Elite Men, Steven Duplinsky of the United States blazed through the course in another start to finish win with a time of 56:40:00. Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee grabbed second with a time of 57:19:80, while close behind him was Jose Estrangeiro of Portugal with a time of 57:36:80.
Both Spence and Duplinsky added World Junior Duathlon crowns to their Gamagori World Triathlon titles.
The sunny conditions late on Sunday morning provided the Elite and U23 with an ideal setting for the 10 km run, 40 km bike and 5 km run. Competitors in the men’s wave gave it their all. Indeed a staggering 22 athletes went under 32 minutes for the opening 10k, which was run over an amazingly tough course.
The Elite and U23 were mixed on this wave, as they were for the women and it was a strong first run from the Portuguese athlete Silva that took him into the main peleton. Speeds hit 80km per hour on parts of the course as the athletes sped along the Corner Brook roads.
In the U23 Sergio Silva of Portugal won in his division with a time of 1:51:48 and Belgium’s Bart Aernouts took second, with a time of 1:52:30. It was the Swiss, Sven Schelling, who was defending his title, but today he had to settle for third with a time of 1:53:07.
The Elite Under- 23 Women did exceptionally well with Miek Vyncke of Belgium claiming first in a time of 2:12:30. Her performance was even more impressive when you think that she was defending her title and carrying a niggling leg injury. She had initially lost contact with Andrea Horak, RSA, who led from the gun, after being set off on the race with a fine choral rendition of the African anthem by her supporters.
Horak finally came in second in a time of 2:13:09, while Catherine Hogan of Canada, to the delight of the home crowd, took third with a time of 2:23:09.
Amongst the Elite women there was much speculation as to whether the Italian team of the British team would dominate. They lined up, they took their mark and BANG!!!!
2006 UK Champion and 2006 World Long Course silver medalist, Catriona Morrison from Great Britain, who was here to better her silver medal from Newcastle in 2005, lead the first run, with a commanding 34:53 10k and then worked hard, hard, hard on the bike to show the World that she is the best and the fastest over all three legs. Her bike time was 2:30 ahead of chasing athlete Lucy Smith from Canada, who took silver in the Worlds exactly 10 years ago! The gutsy Scot posted a final solo run of 18:27 to win by a staggering 3:21.
Morrison crossed the finish line in a time of 2:04:18. Taking second place on the podium was Lucy Smith from Canada with a time of 2:07:40. Nabbing third was Michelle Lee of Great Britain. Lucy Smith had additional reason to smile by coaching Sweetland to her Silver medal. Canada was jubilant.
The 2006 ITU Duathlon World Championships Elite Male division finished early Sunday afternoon with Leon Griffin of Australia taking the top spot with a time of 1:50:44. A fast-moving peleton saw the athletes spin around the course in breakneck speed but the daring break away by three athletes on the fourth of six laps saw Griffin along with David Senn Of Switzerland, and Fausto Dotti from Italy to enter transition 1:20 ahead of a large group of chasers.
The crowds thought that the event was decided but amongst this chase group were the two Belgian athletes; Jurgen Dereere and Rob Woestenborghs. Tom Lowe of Great Britain, Jose Garcia of Spain and Lino Barruncho of Portugal followed in. Jurgen Dereere took off in pursuit of Griffin posting the fastest run split to come within ten seconds of Griffin. Teammate Woestenborghs claimed third in a time of 1:51:05.
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Click here for age group results (.xls)
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