By ITU Admin on 10/02/07 at 12:00 am
A warm, sunny day welcomed the athletes and officials gathering from 13 countries all over Europe in Triesenberg-Steg. This area is well known in Liechtenstein among the cross-country skiers and better and better known among the winter triathletes. There were some new countries represented on the European Championships including Russia with a big contingent immediately.
The day started with the women’s race. Due to the cold night the snow condition was excellent in the morning. All the pre race favorites were on the start line, including the 4-time World Champion, Sigrid Mutscheller from Germany. The athletes completed the five laps run in the stadium area of the venue, so the spectators could see the athletes all the time. The Austrian duo of Carina Wasle and Marlies Penker took the lead and put more and more difference on the rest of the field. The chase group included Mutscheller and Eva Nystrom from Sweden. Wasle took the lead on the beginning of the two laps challenging mountain bike course. She was caught by Mutscheller half way through the bike, but Wasle was able to keep her within 10-15 seconds in front. Mutscheller arrived first to the second transition with a lead of 20 seconds over Wasle. Eva Nystrom changed for the cross-country ski in third position, which was good for her knowing her ability on the ski. She could take over Wasle, but Mutscheller was just too strong also in the third discipline and was able to remain unbeaten this year as well and bring an other European title to her large collection. The silver went to Sweden by Eva Nystrom and the bronze to Austria thanks to Carina Wasle. The young Italian athlete, Germanie Roullet finished first in the U23 field.
Right after the women’s race, the course was ready for the men going for the European title. There were several strong teams on the start line and was very difficult to tell the outcome of the race. On the run, after 2 laps a group of seven athletes were on the lead including Heinz Planitzer from Austria and Andreas Svanebo from Sweden. The day before the race there was an opening ceremony where every team was presented. When the speaker asked the Swedish coach about his athletes, he just replied very shortly pointing Svanebo, that he is the champion of the future. The two leaders could keep their position on the hilly bike coming together to the second transition. At this time of the race Daniel Antonioli from Italy was in third position. On the ski Svanebo found himself alone and far enough from his contenders that he was able to manage to win the European Championships. The ski specialist from Norway, Arne Post came through from the back passing the athletes one by one. The last athlete was Antonioli he was able to pass which meant that Andreas Svanebo became the new European Champion bring the first ever gold to Sweden, Post finished in silver position and Antonioli got the bronze. There were some very close finishes including the athlete between place four and eight with only 9 seconds difference in total. Jo T Nordskar won the U23 event for Norway.
The juniors followed the elite in the afternoon where the gold medals went to Slovakia by Monika Kadlecova in the junior women and to Gjermund Nordskar from Norway in the junior men.
Find more details about this event - 2007 Triesenberg-Steg ETU Winter Triathlon European Championships