By ITU Admin on 07/11/04 at 12:00 am
Fernandes - Deanaz Win Rio Triathlon World Cup
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: For immediate Release: Heavy rain and a high sea greeted the athletes for the start of the Rio ITU World Cup Triathlon, but it was not enough to dampen the spirits of the athletes, the organisers, or the Brazilian sport enthusiasts.
Joanna Zeiger of the USA led through the 1500 metre swim section and exited the water first with Annabel Luxford of Australia, Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal, Sylvia Gemignani of Italy and Jill Savege of Canada close behind.Liz Blatchford of Australia missed the lead pack by just a few seconds and headed up the chase pack out of the bike to run transition.
Fernandes, Zeiger, Savege and Luxford formed a tight group at the front and by the end of the 2nd lap had a 20 second lead on the chase group of 5 that included Carla Morena, the defending Rio World Cup champion, Magali di Marco Messmer of Switzerland, Sylvia Gemignani of Italy, Sandra Soldan of Brazil and Liz Blatchford.
The chase pack, with Blatchford and di Marco at the helm closed in on the lead quartet eating up 10 to 15 seconds per lap.They finally caught them on the 6th lap and then cruised through the bell lap setting things up for an interesting run. The new chase pack was over 2:00 back at this point and was led by Mariana Ohata.
Di Marco was the first one off her bike, but Luxford had a faster bike to run transition and sped past her onto the 4 lap, 10 km run course.Vanessa Fernandes was second out followed by di Marco and Soldan.
Fernandes moved to the front on the first lap and built up a lead of 20 seconds as Savege, Blatchford and Luxford tried to stay the pace.Di Marco dropped back to 5th at this point, a further 20 seconds back.
Fernandes took charge through the 5km mark leaving no doubt what the end results would be.She glided effortlessly through the final laps to win her second World Cup title of the season.The young Portuguese athlete put together a near perfect swim-bike-run performance under very difficult conditions to end a remarkable season.Besides her win in Rio, earlier this year she won the Madrid World Cup and the European Championships, as well as an 8th place finish at the Athens Olympic Games.Liz Blatchford and Jill Savege won the seesaw battle with Annabelle Luxford to take 2ndand 3rd, with Magali di Marco Messmer rounding out the top 5.
At the start of the mens event, the event organisers were faced with a big challenge due to the high seas which resulted in moving the start to calmer waters.All went off smoothly in the end and predictably the Brazilian swimming ace Paulo Mirashiro led the field through the 1500m course and into the swim to bike transition.He was followed closely by Luciano Farias of Argentina, Courtney Atkinson and Bryce Quirk of Australia, Marko Albert of Estonia, Brazilian team-mates Virgilio deCastello, Markus Ornellas and Markus deSilva, Stuart Hayes of Britain and Hunter Kemper of the USA.
A second group led by hometown favourite Juraci Moreira, and Kazahkstans pride and joy Dimitri Gaag and Daniil Sapunov were just 5 seconds off the pace and formed the chase pack as they started the 40km bike course.
Halfway through the bike the rain subsided which greatly improved cycling conditions.David Hauss of France was the first one to test the possibility of breaking from the bike pack and over lap 3 and 4 he built up a 30 second lead.
As this was happening, Dimitri Gaag moved from the chase pack up to the leaders and then moved through the pack to help reel in Hauss.
Things got very interesting at the start of the 5th lap when hometown favourites Virgilio deCastello and Markus Ornelus broke off the front and built up a 45 second lead.At the same time their team-mate Paulo Mirashiro seems to be doing his job with the big pack preventing any bridging to the leaders and also slowing them down.
However, on the 6th lap Cedric Deanaz of France and Marko Albert of Estonia managed to get away from the big pack and close the gap to 14 seconds on deCastillo and Ornellas.The pack was not able to stay the pace and dropped back to over one minutes by the start of the bell lap.
Deanaz and Albert caught the two Brazilians on the last lap and came into transition with a 1:40 lead on the big group.Cedric Fleureton of France, the winner of last weekends ITU Cancun World Cup was the first from the chase group off his bike, but Dimitri Gaag and Volodomyr Polikarpenko passed him in transition and were first from the group onto the run.With a 1:40 gap to the lead quartet, it is difficult to say at this point if they would be able to catch the less experienced athletes at the front.
On the first lap Deanaz and Albert ran shoulder to shoulder with Markus Ornellas and Virgilio deCastillo dropping off the pace.Bryce Quirk led the charge from the chase group and made up 30 seconds on the leaders on the 1st lap.Kris Gemmell of New Zealand, Dimitri Gaag, Volodomyr Polikarpenko, Hunter Kemper, and Juraci Moreiro were keeping pace with Quirk at this point.
At the 5km mark Quirk and Polikarpenko moved to within 50 seconds of Deanaz and Albert after passing the 2 Brazilians, but time was running out and Deanaz and Albert appeared to be holding their pace.
Cedric Deanaz broke away from Marko Albert at the start of the bell lap as Polikarpenko took over from Quirk leading the charge on the leaders.Marcos deSilva of Brazil who had been sitting quietly in the pack also moved past Quirk, Kemper, Gaag and Gemmell and slowly moved in on Polikarpenko.There was 35 seconds that separated the leaders from the chasers at this point.
For the second weekend in a row, a French athlete won a World Cup title for the first time in their career, as Cedric Deanaz picked up on the win of his team-mate Cedric Fleureton in last weekends Cancun World Cup.He won the title in fine style with an ecstatic Marko Albert taking his first podium finish, just 10 seconds behind Deanaz.Marco de Silva had the run of his life to also reach the podium for the first time in his career.Polikarpenko and Quirk rounded out the top 5.
The Rio ITU World Cup is the final event in the 2004 ITU World Cup Series.A 52 minute television show will be produced by ITUtv and distributed to broadcasters throughout the world in the coming week.The entire show will also shortly be available on http://www.itutv.com/
Congratulations to the Brazil Triathlon Federation and event organisers as well as the ITU Team in Rio led by Enrique Quesada of Spain for staging a successful event under such adverse conditions.
Please visit http://www.triathlon.org/ for complete stories, results and photos from Rio.Requests for high resolution photographs from Rio should be directed to email@example.com
The next event on the ITU calendar is the upcoming Road to Beijing Multisport Conference in Vancouver, Canada, 2, 3 December, and the ITU Congress on 4 December.
Find more details about this event - 2004 Rio de Janeiro ITU Triathlon World Cup