By ITU Admin on 08/08/05 at 12:00 am
ITU Long Distance Triathlon Championships 2005 – Fredericia, Denmark.
Sunday 7th August 2006
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This weekend saw the staging of the 2005 ITU Long Distance Triathlon Championships in Fredericia Denmark. The weekend of festivities saw not only some fantastic racing in the main event but a junior, XL and XXL Duathlon surrounded by a true festival atmosphere and topped off by the presence of the Crown Prince Frederik who handed out the winners medals and mingled with the crowds.
Unseasonal weather had brought water temperatures down from 17.5’ on the Wednesday to a mere 14’ on Saturday triggering possible contingency plans for shortened swims on race day. However favourable tides on Sunday night had brought in some warmer water to bring temperatures up to a chilly 15’. The elite race was able to be kept at the full 4k distance but for safety the Age Group athletes had a shortened 3k swim.
Shortly before 7AM the high quality, 56 strong men’s elite wave entered the water to do battle with the famed jelly fish and head off on the first of the 2km laps followed 3 minutes later by the 40 female elite.
A group of four elite men came out of the swim with a 1 minute lead over a chasing pack of five athletes. First into transition with a sensational swim time of 48mins 22 seconds was Stephan Bignet from France, followed in his footsteps by Gianpetro Defaveri (ITA), Bryan Rhodes (NZL) and Charly Loisel (FRA).
Out onto the fast relatively flat 3 x 40k lap bike course the two French athletes established a 30 second lead after lap one but then some changes took place with Stephan Bignet pulling out and Loisel taking the lead. However Torjborn Sindballe’s power on the bike was starting to show and by lap three he had taken the lead, coming into T2 with a 4 minute advantage over Loisel and 5 minutes over Francois Chabaud (FRA). They were followed a minute later by a group of three riders including Xavier Lefloch (FRA) and Marino Vanhoennacker (BEL). Another minute after that a group of nine riders including Jonas Colting (SWE) and Victor Zemtsev (UKR).
After lap 1 of the 4 lap run Sindballe, who had picked up a knee injury in training, had to pull out much to his own bitter disappointment and that of the Danish crowd who hold him in such high regard. Also pulling out early on the run was Loisel which left Vanhoennacker to take the lead with the chasing Zemtsev, Colting, and Lefloch.
After over 5 ½ hr of racing there were only seconds between the first three building up to an exciting, very tight finish,. The battle for the line and the title of World Champion was however won by Viktor Zemtsev in a total time of 5hrs 41mins 39 seconds, followed a mere 9 seconds later by Vanhoennacker, and to take third place Lefloch a mere 5 seconds later.
Meanwhile in the women’s race the swim was headed out by two athletes; Linda Gallov (USA) and Eva Novakova (CZE) in a time of 50mins 49 seconds and 50:49 respectively. Two minutes behind was Kathleen Smet (BEL).
Out on the bike Gallov was able to hold her lead for the first lap but Smet had eyes on the podium and by T2 had managed to put in a cushion of around 3 minutes over Gallov.
Once onto the run Smet built steadily on her lead whilst behind her Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) and Tina Bowman (FIN) were having excellent runs; Carfrae put in the fastest run split of the day in a time for the 30k of 1.59.03.
Smet was however fully focussed and in the end came home to take the title of World Long Distance Champion by over 8 minutes from Carfrae in silver and 10:47 ahead of bronze medallist Bowman.
The Team Gold Medals went to Great Britain in the shape of Abigail Bayley, Bella Comerford and Rachel Horn; whilst the male team prize went to France with Xavier Lefloch, Julien Loy and Francois Chabaud.
Find more details about this event - 2005 Fredericia ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships