Spirig, Tayama conquer Eilat in season finale
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Nicola Spirig of Switzerland won the 2007 BG Triathlon World Cup finale in Eilat, Israel, with a finish time of 2 hours 2 minutes and 42 seconds. After a hard fought 2007, Spirig grabs her first world cup win in the season closer. Twenty-eight seconds behind in second place was Juri Ide from Japan with her first-ever world cup podium as well. In third, another 11 seconds down, was Annabel Luxford of Australia.
I feel absolutely great, its such a good way to finish the season, said an elated Spirig, a former Junior World and European Champion. Im extremely happy, it was a great year for me. I have eight top-tens in the World Cups and the bronze medal at the European Championships so I think it was a breakthrough year for me.
The extremely strong cyclist Spirig used those skills today, jumping to the lead early in the bike with 19 other women including pre-race favourites Luxford, Elizabeth May of Luxembourg, Samantha Warriner of New Zealand and Julie Ertel of the United States. The efficient group of 20 worked together over the 40-kilometre bike course to increase their lead to two minutes on the chasers. The three medals would be decided from this group.
Immediately out on the run course, Spirig would take off with only Japans Ide able to go with her. Both women had their sights on their first world cup podium. Late into the run many women began to fade as the unassumingly hard bike course began to take its toll on their legs. This was not the case with Spirig, however, as she pulled away from Ide over the final two kilometres to cross the line first, ending the 2007 season with a bang as she catapults to sixth overall in the rankings.
Despite her best efforts, Warriner was unable to make the top nine she needed to move to second in the rankings, she finished 13th, and remains in third place in the end of the year rankings. At the conclusion of the 2007 womens season, Portuguese superstar came away with her second BG Triathlon World Cup series crown in a row with rising Aussie, Emma Moffatt in second.
2007 Eilat BG Triathlon World Cup Womens Top Ten:
Gold Nicola Spirig (SUI) 2:02:42
Silver Juri Ide JPN)2:03:10+:28
Bronze Annabel Luxford (AUS)2:03:21+:39
4 Jodie Swallow (GBR) 2:03:26+:44
5 Ainhoa Murua (ESP)2:04:02+1:20
6 Julie Ertel (USA)2:04:12+1:30
7 Akane Furutani (JPN)2:04:21 +1:39
8 Kathy Trembley (CAN)2:04:23+1:41
9 Evgenita Matveeva (RUS)2:04:25+1:43
10 Jessica Harrison (FRA)2:04:35+1:53
History was made in the mens field as Hirokatsu Tayama became the first Japanese athlete to ever win an ITU World Cup. Last years Asian Champion broke the tape with a time of 1 hour, 49 minutes and 47 seconds. His previous best in a World Cup result was a 7th place finish in his native Japan at the 2006 event in Ishigaki. Ukrainian Volodymyr Polikarpenko was 46 seconds behind Tayama for the silver, taking his 22nd career World Cup medal while Russian phenom Alexander Brukhankov came across the line for the bronze, putting an exclamation mark on his own breakthrough year.
Off the bike, Tayama bolted out of the second transition and left the rest of the field behind. The gamble paid off as no other man would catch him for the remainder of the race. Tayama was runner-up at this years Asian Championships, finished 13th at the Athens Olympics and 5th at last years Asian Games in Doha. Japan has hosted 28 World Cups in ITU history, more than any other country but had never seen a gold medalist until Tayamas victory today. At the finish line he celebrated with a dance and later a tearful phone call back home. Dmitry Polyansky of Russia and Duarte Silva Marques of Portugal both finished inside the top five, the best of each of their careers.
With the win, Tayama rockets up the world rankings and finishes the year at number 26 from 57. Polikarpenko moves up one spot to number six which drops Brukhankov down to seven. But no one was going to catch world number one Javier Gomez in the rankings. With four World Cup titles in 2007, the Spaniard secured his second straight World Cup series title.
2007 Eilat BG Triathlon World Cup Final Mens results:
Gold Hirokatsu Tayama (JPN) 1:49:46
Silver Volodymyr Polikarpenko (UKR) 1:50:32
Bronze Alexander Brukhankov (RUS) 1:50:36
4th Dmitry Polyansky (RUS) 1:50:44
5th Duarte Silva Marques (POR) 1:50:47
6th Andriy Glushenko (UKR) 1:50:59
7th Oliver Freeman (GBR) 1:51:03
8th Richard Stannard (GBR) 1:51:06
9th Matt Reed (USA) 1:51:13
10th Axel Zeebroek (BEL) 1:51:22
Related Event: 2007 Eilat BG Triathlon World Cup
|Results: Elite Men|
|5.||Duarte Silva Marques||POR||01:50:47|
|Results: Elite Women|
|5.||Ainhoa Murua Zubizarreta||ESP||02:04:02|