By ITU Admin on 05/06/06 at 12:00 am
The sun was shining bright today for the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and the City of Madrid as the seventh edition of the newly renamed 2006 BG Triathlon World Cup series rolled into town today. In the womens race, Vanessa Fernandes blew both the spectators and the competition away, running through a 1 minute 45 second deficit off the bike to win the 2006 Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup in a time of 2:06:08. Rising star Andrea Hewitt from New Zealand finished second with local favourite Ana Burgos from Spain finishing third in times of 2:06:42 and 2:07:00 respectively.
I am happy for my race that I won, said Fernandes. My fan, my father was here. First time he has seen me in a World Cup. It was very special.
There was energy in the air at this first qualifying event for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as the ITU had announced their partnership with the global natural gas business, BG Group. The new worldwide partnership will place significant resources and investment to support the sports development and bring more athletes from around the world to world cup events.
I think it is very good to put more money into helping the athletes in their preparations, said Fernandes. I have to say congratulations to the ITU and thank you.
Out of the sixty-nine competing female athletes, a group of eleven came out of the water together lead by Sarah Groff (USA) with the likes of Hewitt, Joelle Franzmann (GER), Ainhoa Murua (ESP), Sarah Haskins (USA), Helen Tucker (GBR), and Jessica Harrison (FRA). Fernandes and Burgos were in the second pack out of the swim and had to work hard on the bike to bridge the twenty second gap.
Even though there were many strong cyclists in the chase pack including the likes of Anja Dittmer (GER), it took over five laps to catch the leaders. As the group came together and before the chase pack could rest, Hewitt and Sarah Haskins (USA) broke off the front and quickly established a gap of thirty seconds. By the end of the 40km bike, these two athletes had a 1:45 lead.
My coach told me not the work on the bike, concentrate on the run, stated Hewitt. It didnt work out that way.
Hewitt and Haskins went out together but were caught within 5km by a flying Fernandes. The course was filled with elated Spanish fans cheering on the athletes as they ran through the rising temperature.
[Fernandes] caught me on the second lap, said Hewitt. I tried to stay with her for a kilometre.
Fernandes quickly ran to the front and never looked back, winning easily and taking her share of the prize money which has been increased to US$100,000, following BG Groups additional contribution of $20,000.
Other notables were Nicky Samuels (NZL) who had a personal best fourth place finish and Helen Tucker (GBR) rounded out the top five. Dittmer, who after finishing second in Mazatlan three weeks ago, managed an eighth place finishing. Her teammate Franzmann crashed on the bike course and could not finish.
Results, pictures and audio are available on Tricast Live!
2006 ITU Madrid World Cup Elite Women
1.FERNANDES, Vanessa (POR)2:06:08
2.HEWITT, Andrea (NZL)2:06:42
3.BURGOS, Ana (ESP)2:07:00
4.SAMUELS, Nicky (NZL)2:07:18
5.TUCKER, Helen (GBR)2:07:30
6.DOLLINGER, Eva (AUT)2:07:44
7.HARRISON, Jessica (FRA)2:08:05
8.DITTMER, Anja (GER)2:08:11
9.FRINTOVA, Vendula (CZE)2:08:13
10.DAMLAIMCOURT, Marina (ESP)2:08:28
Find more details about this event - 2006 Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup