By Masa Takaya on 25/06/11 at 3:54 pm
Emmie Charayron (FRA) once again reigned supreme as a European champion, this time in the women’s elite division at the 2011 ETU European Triathlon Championships. While Charayron won the 2009 Junior European Championships, she failed to medal last year as a competitor in the elite division.
However, she changed that this year with a beastly run to win the elite title with more than a minute run to spare. The French woman even had time to slow down to pick up her country’s flag and give a few high five’s along the way.
“I’m very, very, very happy,” Charyron said. “It was very good to race here. It was a very hard race because it was hot, I am very pleased to win. I remember my first junior title and I wanted to do the same here.”
Early on in the race, top swimmers Sarissa De Vries (NED), Margit Vanek (HUN), Jodie Stimpson (GBR), Hollie Avil (GBR) and Aileen Morrison (IRL) looked to make a break on the bike, but were shortly caught by the chase groups. Although Charayron was nearly a minute down after the swim portion of the race, she pushed the pace of the second chase group to catch the lead pack after three laps on the bike.
The two chase groups fused into a large pack of more than 30 athletes to make up a heavy lead pack. Throughout the bike, it was anybody’s game, as the women played a giant game of cat and mouse, each jostling for positions in the front of the pack. The bike portion saw no less than fiver different leaders in it’s eight-lap course.
Mateja Simic (SLO) looked to be a strong contender for a podium position, as one of the most consistent athletes in the swim and bike segments. Despite coming out first in T2, it didn’t take long for her to be overtaken. Charyron wasted no time in unleashing her speed on the run, quickly demolishing the competition.
After the first lap, Charyron owned a 20-second lead, a pace which she maintained throughout the run. By the halfway-mark, she owned a 40-second advantage. She managed to increase her distance even more, running smoothly to a comfortable minute and a half win.
“I was in the second group out of the water, but we rode so hard to catch up,” Charyron said. “On the run, I felt very good and it was amazing”
Midway through the run, with Charayron out of sight, it became clear the race was for a podium position between Ainhoa Murua (ESP), Vendula Frintova (CZE), Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA). While Mazzetti rode strong in the lead pack, she battled back from a six-second deficit after the first lap to join the chase run group.
The three ran together through the final turn, when Fritova and Mazzetti switched into high gear and sprinted towards the finish, leaving Murua behind. Going stride for stride, Frintova found some extra strength in the final 100 meters to sail past Mazzetti for the silver.
“I didn’t want to finish fourth,” Mazzetti said. “I wanted a medal. To finish third is a great result.
I am very happy. In the winter, when I was training, I was dreaming of this race – the European Championships. I am very happy.”
Find more details about this event - 2011 Pontevedra ETU Triathlon European Championships