By ITU Admin on 23/06/06 at 12:00 am
The European Triathlon family is focusing on Autun on this weekend while the Triathlon European Championships is held there. The Local Organising Committee and the French Triathlon Federation prepared excellent conditions for the teams from all over Europe.
Autun is a small city in the heart of Bourgogne with a history of more than 2000 years old. The event is located at the ancient Roman Theatre for the athletes to feel as gladiators as upon finishing in the race.
The elite races tomorrow promise a real tough and thrilling competition. Water temperature in lake is over 24°C, so the athletes will probably head out for the 2 swim laps without their wetsuits. After the first leg, a tough bike course is waiting for our athletes: 8 laps and some hard uphill sections and sharp corners. We might see some attacks from the strong bike riders in the field like Andrea D’Aquinio ETU Ranking leader, the local favorites and top two finishers in 2005 Frederic Belaubre and Cedric Fleureton. Reto Hug and Jan Frodeno, who would like to take advantage of their excellent biking skills in order to get away from the strong runners – but when it comes to a running race, Filip Ospaly, Maik Petzold and Tim Don will be hard to beat on the hilly profiled running course. The Spanish duo of Ivan Rana and Javier Gomez is also expected to be on the lead.
The women’s race promises some great action as well: defending champ Vanessa Fernandes had some impressive victories this year, Sydney 2000 bronze medallist Magali Di Marco Messmer and the still-young Italian, Nadia Cortassa will definitely do their best to get to the very top of the podium as well tomorrow. Ana Burgos from Spain and Anja Dittmer from Germany will also be in the filed to show their best!
The program started today morning with Annual ETU Congress. The meeting was held under the umbrella of unity on the European continent. The Executive Board announced, that the 2008 European Championships is awarded to Lisbon, Portugal. There were decisions on the day before by the Executive Board on the Long Distance European Championships, which will be held in 2007 in Braschaat, Belgium and in 2008 in Geradrmer, France. The Congress unanimously supported the new ETU Constitution, which is in harmonization with the law Luxembourg, where ETU is registered. Emilio Di Toro was elected to the ETU Executive Board to fill the vacant position. The National Federations fully supported the work of the Executive Board, including the production of the ETU Television shows.
The Friday afternoon was already about the athletes and just about them. The junior events were held on sprint distance on the same course what the elite athletes will test on Saturday afternoon. 2005 Junior World Champion, Anais Moniz from Portugal was the top favorite, but ITU World Cup athlete from Switzerland Daniela Ryf was also an athlete to watch. Abbie Thorrington from Great Britain was the first out of the swim and she managed to stay on the lead during the bike for the first two laps. She was followed by Anais Moniz and as soon as Moniz caught the leader, she managed to escape from the British athlete. Charlotte Bonin was in third position, but by the end of the bike a group of 12 athletes included Ryf and Zsofia Kovacs from Hungary caught her. On the run the French Jeanne Collonge was the fastest but not fast enough to catch the leader. Portugal claimed the first gold medal with Moniz winning. She won comfortably by 17 seconds from Jeanne Collonge and Rebecca Robisch (GER) took the bronze medal.
After the girls, course was ready for the junior boys. A huge filed of over seventy athletes lined up on the pontoon. A long line of athletes entered the transition after the swim and got on the four laps bike course. A small group of 6 athletes managed to break away. On the second lap four other athletes joined this group and they managed together to keep the distance in front of the big chase group. On the run the speed was still on and a group of four athletes turned for the last lap together including Aurelien Raphael and Luis Vincent both from France, Alexandrer Brukhankov of Russia and the Italian talent Alessandro Fabian. About 500 meters from the finish gamagori bronze medalist Raphael managed to push the pace more than the other and he won by 4 seconds over Brukhankov. With the best run of the day Alistair Brownlee from Great Britain got on the podium.
So watch out: the elite event is going to take place tomorrow, which you can join LIVE at www.triathlon.org and www.etu-triathlon.org. Look for the post race story and picture gallery on the website just after the race!!!
Find more details about this event - 2006 Autun ETU Triathlon European Championships