Reigning Pan Am Games gold medalist Julie Ertel of the United States won her first career world cup in Cancun, highlighting a gold-bronze finish for the Americans. Frances Carole Peon celebrated her birthday with a fantastic sprint finish to edge out Sarah Haskins for the silver and her first career world cup podium.
I am absolutely ecstatic. Training was very good this fall and then two weeks before this race we had terrible fires in California and I started my taper much earlier then normal, said the recently married Ertel, formerly Swail, whos husband was in Cancun. My husband was so supportive. Every lap he yelled at me, Im so proud of you. Although he would have yelled that if I was last too.
On a blustery morning in Cancun, 41 elite women ran into the warm waters of the Playa Langosta for the non-wetsuit swim. The windy conditions coupled with the long shallows created tough swim conditions for the women and benefited the strong American contingent. The first five women out transition one were from the United States led by Jasmine Oeinck, silver medalist from this years Under23 world championships.
I expected to be out with the first group at the end of the swim and I was surprised to see we got gapped just as we rounded the last buoy, recalled Ertel. When I got on the bike I had a decision to make. Do I really throw it out and try to catch the group ahead. And we did.
Out onto the flat 40-kilometer bike course, a lead group of ten women materialized. That pack included defending champion Anja Dittmer of Germany, Carole Peon of France, and a pair of Brits, Jodie Swallow and Kerry Lang. World number three Samantha Warriner was relegated to the chase pack after a tough swim and struggled to make up time on the bike. After the second lap, the chase was already facing a 2-minute deficit that ballooned to more than four minutes when they headed into T2.
After a fast transition, Peon was the first to head out onto the 10-kilometer run course with Bennett close behind. After taking the initial lead, Bennett faded back in the second lap as Ertel surged ahead and never relinquished the lead. Ertel adds the Cancun title to her breakthrough year in which she also was crowned U.S. National Champion. In all the United States placed five in the top ten.
We had our strongest team here, said bronze medalist Haskins. I believe this is the first time in a long time that there have been two American women on the podium.
Im really proud of the entire American team. It was a great team effort, said Ertel.
2007 Cancun BG Triathlon World Cup - Women’s Results:
Gold Julie Ertel (USA) 2:03:22
Silver Carole Peon (FRA) 2:03:33
Bronze Sarah Haskins (USA) 2:03:33
4 Jodie Swallow (GBR) 2:03:37
5 Laura Bennett (USA) 2:04:14
6 Sarah Groff (USA) 2:04:18
7 Anja Dittmer (GER) 2:04:41
8 Kerry Lang (GBR) 2:04:42
9 Jasmine Oeinck (USA) 2:07:18
10 Juri Ide (JPN) 2:07:56
On the mens side, Simon Whitfield won his third world cup title of the year and the tenth of his career in a thrilling sprint finish with fellow Canadian Paul Tichelaar who earned his first world cup podium. Volodymyr Polikarpenko of the Ukraine took the bronze, preventing a full Canadian podium sweep with Brent McMahon in fourth place.
I came here with limited fitness so I conserved as much as I could. It was fun to have three Canadians in the top four. Thats a great sign, commented Whitfield, who raced his first ITU race here at the 1995 Junior world championships. Its the evolution of where we are trying to get to. It was 12 years ago I was first here [Cancun] by myself and now Im here with a team thats placing.
Although the sun came out in the afternoon after the womens race, the gusting winds were still swirling strong, making it difficult and unpredictable conditions for the men. Whitfields teammate Colin Jenkins led the men out of the water and into T1. On the fast 40-kilometer bike course, a group of 15 men pulled away from the field building its lead with every lap. By the fifth of eight laps, the lead grew to more than two minutes.
On the 10-kilometer run course, it boiled down to a battle between the Russians and Canadians. Alexander Brukhankov and Yulian Malyshev were pushing hard for the podium but the Canadians stayed in front of the group. With approximately 400 meters to the finish line, Tichelaar tried to break away but Whitfield kept him in his sights and used his signature strong finishing kick to pull ahead of his compatriot and take the win by only one second.
Simon was looking relaxed the whole race and was definitely the man to beat, said Tichelaar on the final sprint with his boyhood idol. 400 metres to go I took out the sprint and Simon was the only one able to come with me. Its amazing to finish one second behind the guy Ive been idolizing my whole life.
With the win Whitfield tightens his grip on the number two ranking in the world which puts him in position to earn a solid share of the US$250,000 bonus pool which will be finalized after the season finale in Eilat, Israel on December 1.
I used to joke that it didnt matter to me but thats just because I wasnt placing high in the overall rankings, said Whitfield. For sure this weekend was about securing second and a win here certainly does that.
Gold Simon Whitfield (CAN) 1:52:05
Silver Paul Tichelaar (CAN) 1:52:06
Bronze Volodymyr Polikarpenko (UKR) 1:52:08
4 Brent McMahon (CAN) 1:52:09
5 Yulian Malyshev (RUS) 1:52:12
6 Samuel Pierreclaud (FRA) 1:52:42
7 Reinaldo Colucci (BRA) 1:53:11
8 Stuart Hayes (GBR) 1:53:26
9 Alexander Brukhankov (RUS) 1:53:41
10 Dmitry Polyansky (RUS) 1:53:51
|Results: Elite Men|