By Erin Greene on 26/05/14 at 2:51 pm
For the second time in four years, Spain will welcome the world’s top multisport athletes to its country as it prepares to host the 2014 Pontevedra ITU Duathlon World Championships on Saturday. An all-star cast of duathletes is set to hit center stage in both the men’s and women’s races across a 10km run, 40km bike, 5km run course.
While Susanne Svendsen (DEN) will wear the No. 1 on Saturday, she’ll be hard pressed to keep that top spot with longtime successful duathlon veteran Sandra Levenez (FRA) next to her. Levenez has been on the podium each of the last five years but has failed to ever win. However with recent winners Ai Ueda (JPN), Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS) and Katie Hewison (GBR) missing from the lineup, it could be the year for Levenez.
Svendsen, however, will be a strong contender for the podium with the women’s race fairly wide open. While new to duathlon, Monica Calderon (COL) lines up as one to watch having finished in the top 10 in her home country last year. Sabrina Monmarteau (FRA) will add valuable support to compatriot Levenez while she also goes for her own podium performance.
Rob Woestenborghs (BEL) is back to re-lay his claim as the fastest man on foot and bike after winning the title in Cali lsat year. The Belgian won both the long and short distance race last year, ending a four-year dry spell of medals in the shorter race.
However, he will have his work cut out for him with Spain’s own Emilio Martin second on the start list. Martin won the race in 2012, but lost major ground to Woestenborghs on the bike last year which proved pivotal to defending his title.
Despite having a low starting number, Benoit Nicolas (FRA) is one of the men to beat. The Frenchman is speedy down the finish chute and scorched to the final podium place last year, giving him his third consecutive Duathlon World Championship bronze medal.
One of the few duathletes that contests triathlons regularly, Etienne Diemunsch (FRA) returns to duathlon after just missing the podium two years ago. He was the U23 champion in Gijon in 2011 and with age on his side, look for him to mix it up the leaders. Likewise, Sergey Yakovlev (RUS) and Sergio Silva (POR) are consistent threats in this race.
In addition to the elites, Pontevedra will welcome age group, paraduathlon, junior and U23 competitors. The elite and U23 women will compete at 15:00, while the elite and U23 men will go off at 18:00.
Live timing will be available pontevedraduatlon2014.com.
Find more details about this event - 2014 Pontevedra ITU Duathlon World Championships