The spring has arrived ten days ago, and we noticed that here at Kuopio. The wind changed its direction every minute, the temperature was going up, and the snow changed into rain as soon the sunlight touched the clouds.
But this was the only difficulty for the people in Kuopio to set the race. Although it was raining, everything was more than correct here. It is easy to imagine, when lot of people can be seen on the streets riding bike on the snow. Outside the city, cross-country skies are used as the normal way of transport for smaller distances. Here, the winter triathlon part of the daily life.
The Kuopio ski stadium has four(!) ski jumps and all the facilities are also made for the cross-country ski races according to FIS requirements. This was the perfect site for the ITU Winter Triathlon World Cup Final.
The race was expected very interesting, as the athletes in most of the top positions of ITU World Cup ranking were still open.
The main competition expected among the men, between the current World Cup leader Antonioli/ITA and the second Holme/NOR. Holme needed to win in overall that Antonioli could not win this race and for him the best way was winning it. The four laps run, almost 8 km on the snow was very fast from the 1st km. The lead group was formed very soon with 8 men, including all the favourites. At the end of the second lap, the Italian fell behind the group, showing that end of the long season wasn’t the same for him as beginning was. Holme was in the lead to control the race and he was followed by Jarmo Rissanen from Finland, Pavel Jindra from Czech Republic and Christian Frommelt from Liechtenstein.
The bike was well marked with a good combination of power and technical aspects and was rideable 100%. Just out of the transition Holme took the lead and besides him the young Frommelt could keep the pace. This couple rode together with Jindra on 3rd, Rissanen 4th and Peter Barton from Slovakia catching them from behind.
Once they changed for the skis Holme demonstrated why he became the World Cup winner. He left Frommelt behind and crossed the finish line with almost 3 minutes difference. A sprint finish was decided between the 3rd and the 4thz position. Peter Barton came onto the podium and Jarmo Rissanen 4th.
There was a tight finish as well in the women’s race between Sarka Grabmullerova from Czech Republic and Jutta Schubert from Germany. The one who crossed the finish line in first position moved to the second position in the overall ranking. The overall winner - Sigrid Lang - was not in Kuopio. From the beginning of the race Schubert took the lead and at the end of the first running lap she had 20 seconds of lead ahead of Grabmullerova. In the next laps the difference between the athletes did not increase, but they arrived almost together back to the transition. They rode together passing each other for the complete bike segment. Camilla Hott-Johansen was always 3rd more than 2 minutes behind the leaders. Schubert escaped in the last lap and got into the transition with 35 seconds of lead. Grabmullerova is known as a better skier than Schubert and at the early stage of the cross-country ski segment she decided the competition in her favour.
Kuopio was the last stage of the 2005/2006 season. We can foreseen the 2006/2007 with international races on at least three continents included Oceania, Americas and Europe. Stay tuned for more information on the next season!
KUOPIO WORLD CUP RESULTS MEN
1 Alf Roger Holme NOR 0:26:39 0:35:15 0:30:59 1:32:32
2 Christian Frommelt LIE 0:26:27 0:35:25 0:33:19 1:35:10
3 Peter Barton SVK 0:27:38 0:37:31 0:31:00 1:36:08
4 Jarmo Rissanen FIN 0:26:28 0:38:49 0:30:57 1:36:12
5 Pavel Jindra CZE 0:26:40 0:37:06 0:33:13 1:36:58
KUOPIO WORLD CUP RESULTS MEN
1 Sarka Grabmullerova CZE 0:30:14 0:44:34 0:36:02 1:50:50
2 Jutta Schubert GER 0:30:14 0:43:59 0:39:22 1:53:34
3 Camilla Hott Johansen NOR 0:32:14 0:45:37 0:36:59 1:54:49
4 Katja Koivulahti FIN 0:36:42 0:48:50 0:40:25 2:05:56
5 Imke Höfling FIN 0:37:27 1:04:48 0:40:50 2:23:05
ITU WINTER TRIATHLON WORLD CUP. FINAL STANDINGS. WOMEN
1 Lang, Sigrid GER 2200
2 Grabmullerova, Sarka CZE 1770
3 Schubert, Jutta GER 1760
4 Pauli, Gabi GER 1595
5 Wasle, Carina AUT 1550
6 Hott Johansen, Camilla NOR 1507
7 Weydahl, Lydia NOR 1168
8 Penker, Maria E. AUT 987
9 Lamastra, Giuliana ITA 963
10 Koivulahti, Katja FIN 810
ITU WINTER TRIATHLON WORLD CUP. FINAL STANDINGS. MEN
1 Holme, Alf Roger NOR 2080
2 Antonioli, Daniel ITA 1855
3 Post, Arne NOR 1708
4 Barton, Peter SVK 1557
5 Bauer, Sigi AUT 1455
6 Frommelt, Christian LIE 1295
7 Roderer, David GER 1288
8 Schrenk, Thomas GER 1057
9 Planitzer, Heinz AUT 1015
10 Frank, Stefan GER 987
|Results: Elite Men|
|1.||Alf Roger Holme||NOR||01:32:31|