Photo finish in Tiszaujvaros!!
A huge field of men marched into their starting position as both the temperature and cheers from the crowd moved sharply upwards.
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The predicted match-up between Craig Walton of Australia and Benjamin Sanson of France did not really materialize as Csaba Kuttor of Hungary and Courtney Atkinson of Australia were able to stay with the pair through the entire swim. Kuttor exited the swim first, much to the delight of the thousands of home-country fans that lined the banks of the river, with Sanson and Walton just behind. Courtney Atkinson and Christian Ruderer of Germany just missed the train leaving the transition and slowed to wait for the horsepower in the group behind.
Germanys Jan Frodeno led the chase group onto the bike along with Sander Berk of the Netherlands, Hiroyuki Nishiuchi of Japan, Dmitriy Gaag of Kazakhstan, Kris Gemmell of New Zealand and Brad Kahlefeldt of Australia.
The 10km stretch from the river to the town is flat and straight. During this leg the trio at the front built up a lead of almost 40 seconds, and the expectation from everyone was that they would increase their lead on each of the 6, technical laps through the streets of the city.
But this was not to be. Jan Frodeno and Kris Gemmell did the unexpected they created enough energy at the front of the big chase pack to prevent the Walton group at the front from getting away.
Walton tried to repeat his victory on this course 2 years ago by building up an incredible lead, but the only reward he received was the bike prime on both the 2nd and 5th lap.
Despite the thundering cheers from the crowd each time Csaba Kuttor passed the stadium with Walton and Sanson, even their enormous energy was not enough to allow the trio to get away and their lead was held to around 40 seconds.
Kuttor was the first off the bike and onto run course with Walton and then Sanson on his heels. Although he and the crowd did their best to keep him in the lead the charging hordes from behind were no match for any of them.
A pack of men who do not settle for anything less then the podium were quickly moving in on the leaders as first Sanson and then Walton were picked off. The only one left in the lead was Kuttor after the first lap as Kahlefeldt, Gaag, Frodeno, Gemmell and Atkinson moved closer and closer to the Hun at the front.
By the 5 km mark Kuttor was passed by first Kahlefeldt and then Frodeno, Gemmell, Gaag and Atkinson. But if the crowd was disappointed, they certainly didnt show it as their enthusiasm and appreciation quickly shifted to the splendid athletic performance at the front.
As Attila the famous race announcer stirred the crowd into a frenzy, another amazing sprint finish unfolded in Tiszaujvaros. Within the final 500 metres Frodeno, then Gemmell, then Atkinson ever so slightly dropped off the pace as Kahlefeldt and Gaag picked it up with breath-taking speed from muscles that had now been pumping for almost 2 hours in 33 degrees heat.
In the end it took the officials, the finish line video and the timing company to sort out the winner. Although Kahlefeldts hand crossed the line first, his torso did not, so Gaag stood on top of the podium for the first time this year. Atkinson held off Gemmell and Frodeno to round off the top 5.
As the thunderous applause from the triathlon-crazy fans subsided and the organising committee led by Dr. Gabor and Gergley Markus along with their well-oiled triathlon organizing machine congratulated each other, the celebrating crowd moved into the city square for an evening of multi-sport celebration.
As the 5 week swing through Canada and Europe draws to a close, thoughts turn to Gamagori, Japan where in 4 short weeks the triathlon world will gather for the 17th ITU Triathlon World Championships.
Related Event: 2005 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup
|Results: Elite Men|
|Results: Elite Women|