By ITU Admin on 26/04/03 at 12:00 am
ITU Media Release: 26 April 2003
Tim Don Wins His First World Cup in St. Anthony’s.
The 2 lap swim section of the mens event illustrated the talent of the 75 strong field as more than 50 competitors were out of the water within a minute of Frank Bignet of France who led the swim and exited the 1500m course in 17:55. He was followed closely by Shane Reed of New Zealand, Joachim Willen of Sweden, Simon Lessing of Great Britain, and Stephane Poulat also of France.
Once onto the 9-lap bike course, a large, fast group manipulated the twists and turns of the 9-lap 40km bike course with a certain degree of grace and dexterity. Matt Reed of New Zealand, who exited the swim in 53rd position, but who posted the fastest transition was the first one to play the role of brave heart by trying to break off the front. He was followed by Doug Friman of the USA, Jose Merchan of Spain and Richard Allen of Great Britain. At one point Reed had a 10 second lead on the 50 athletes chasing him. By the latter stages of the bike segment, Friman, Merchan and Allen also were able to shake off the big group and they joined Matt Reed at the front.
The chase group was led by Brian Fleischmann of the USA, Simon Lessing of Great Britain, newcomer Andy Potts of the USA, Ritchie Cunningham of Australia and the current World Champion, Ivan Rana of Spain.
Jose Merchan was the first one off his bike and through transition onto the 4-lap, 10km runcourse, followed by Matt Reed, Doug Friman and Richard Allen. The chase pack of multitudes blew through transition almost 20 seconds back, setting things up for a very interesting run segment and finish.
Merchan held on valiantly as long as he could during the first 5000m, but the cunning fox-like Greg Bennett and veteran Volodymyr Polikarpenko of the Ukraine quietly moved through the field to take control of the race. They were joined by Frederic Belaubre of France, the 2000 World Junior Champion.
For lap 3, Bennett and Polikarpenko ran shoulder-to-shoulder, leading everyone to believe that the two would lead down to the wire it was not to be. Great Britains Tim Don came through with the 2nd fastest run split of the day, just as he did last year in Alpharetta where he won the World Duathlon Championships. In the dying moments of the event, Don pushed past Bennett and Polikarpenko, and neither had enough in the tank to meet the challenge. 11 seconds was all that separated Vlodymyr Polikarpenko and Tim Don at the finish. Greg Bennett was 3rd, 4 seconds behind Polikarpenko. Frederic Belaubre of France was 4th and Maik Pezold of Germany was 5th an impressive five different flags in the top 5.
An interesting fact about the mens results is that for the first time, all finishers were within the 5% cut-off to earn valuable World Ranking points. The pace is quickening, and our athletes are getting faster and faster - 14 countries were represented in the Top 25 finisher, with less than 2 minutes separating from 1st to 15th.
The World Cup Circuit
takes several weeks off now and will pick up again on June 8th in Tongyeong,
Korea, and Gamagori, Japan on June 15.
Find more details about this event - 2003 St. Petersburg ITU Triathlon World Cup