Unperturbed by torrential rain that threatened to interrupt the inaugural ITU World Cup race in Cartagena on Sunday, France’s Pierre Le Corre won gold ahead of Sven Riederer of Switzerland and Le Corre’s countryman Dorian Coninx.
Le Corre clocked a rapid 1:45:40 on the flat, seafront course despite a deluge that began in the second lap of the bike race, tumbling roadside barriers and sending spectators scurrying but fortunately not dampening the athletes’ enthusiasm.
“We [he and Dorian] wanted it to rain, to make it easier for us, but we had to be careful on the turns so as not to fall off,” a soaked Le Corre said after the race.
Riederer raced in 1:46:09, with Coninx finishing in 1:46:17 after being second out of the water. Russia’s Alexander Bryukhankov finished fourth after leading the field in lap one of the run, and Felipe Barraza of Chile finished fifth after being third in the swim, in second place after the first lap on the bike and lying fourth in the first lap of the run.
“It was a lot of fun and great to finish second in my last World Cup race of the year,” Riederer said.
Asked if he thought the heavy rain would lead to the race being stopped due to the hazard, he said nobody would have been able to stop the athletes from finishing the race.
“I don’t like the heat, like in Cozumel last week,” he said, a race in which he finished 40th.
Slovakia’s Richard Varga clocked the fastest swim and crossed the line first on the bike, but failed to keep up the momentum in the run and finished sixth.
A cooler than expected and overcast morning gave way to a cloudburst as the riders completed the first bike lap, which rapidly flooded the road, while gusts of wind tumbled roadside barriers.
USA’s Hunter Kemper completed the fastest run, in 21:08, while none of the six Colombians competing in the city’s inaugural race, and who were cheered on by crowds of excited locals, finished inside the top twenty.