Aussie Matt Hauser dominates in Rotterdam to win Junior World Crown
Aussie Matthew Hauser added another world championship title to his resume after claiming victory as the Junior World Champion at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final. While in July he was a member of the Mixed Relay World Championship team where he earned his first world gold, Hauser repeated his success by delivering a dominating performance in the grand final to collect his second world title of the year, this time in the junior men’s race.
“It means a lot mate. I really wanted to turn around from last year’s poor result in Cozumel. I just executed the process and everything worked out well for me on the day. It has been a 12-month preparation for me and I have had a few setbacks, but it has been great year all-around in total, two world titles now for me with the team mixed relay, it is just unbelievable,” Hauser said of how he felt about winning the championship.
Claiming the silver medal was Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca, earning medal rights in his first world championship race. While third then went to Ben Dijkstra of Great Britain, who repeated the junior world championship bronze that he also received in Cozumel last year.
The junior men’s race kicked off the second day of competition at the grand final Rotterdam event. While the early morning start brought with it some rain clouds, the energy was bright and sunny as the first round of world champions would be crowned.
The roster of 79 men dove into the water to take on just a one lap 750-metre swim. Hauser led out of the water and through the first transition. With a tight group of men trailing just behind him, it made for conditions for the lead bike pack to contain double digits in riders.
Once onto the lap portion of the bike, the front pack grouped 12 men together with Hauser leading the charge. After only one lap down the group whittled down to nine, which contained names such as Hauser, Vilaca, Vetle Bergsvik Thorn (NOR), Endre Espedal (NOR), Chase Mcqueen (USA) and James Chantler (GBR).
The pack then stayed together, gaining ground on a small chase pack led by Dijkstra who was 22 seconds back.
Entering into the second transition area, the leaders had increased their gap to about 48 seconds to get in front on the run.
Hauser and Espedal took off once on foot and started inching away a healthy lead. However, Hauser wasted no time and quickly broke away from Espedal and became the race leader.
His lead then never faltered and he carried it home to the finish line to snag his first junior world title.
The battle for the remaining spots on the podium was behind him. Vasco pushed hard on the first run lap to position him in second, which he held onto to earn the silver. While Dijkstra had a breakthrough run to finish off the podium. After lap one he was still in the seventh position after having to make up time from the bike. It was in the final kilometre where he picked off three men in front of him to enter the finish chute in third overall.