Press Release - 2003 ITU Madrid World Cup

by World Triathlon Admin on 21 Sep, 2003 12:00

ITU Media
Release: 21 September 2003 For immediate release

Madrid, Spain: Race Synopsis: Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal, and Hunter Kemper
of the USA both posted dramatic wins in the Madrid ITU World Cup today with spectacular
sprint finishes. Fernandes gave Portugal her first World Cup victory in Triathlons
history by surging ahead of Mariana Ohata of Brazil within metres of the finish.
Spains Pilar Hidalgo delighted her home-country fans by taking third. Hunter
Kempers finish in the mens event was even more dramatic as 6 mens
sprinted for the line as thousands of Madridian cheered on their hero and current
Triathlon World Champion Ivan Rana. Ukraines Vladimir Polikarpenko was
2nd a repeat of last weeks performance in the Nice ITU World Cup
with (believe it or not) exactly the same finish time. New Zealands Craig
continued his climb up the World Rankings by finishing 3rd.

The story in detail: In preparation for the Athens Olympic Games Triathlon, athletes
are looking for hot and hilly events to test their metal, and that
is exactly what the Madrid ITU World Cup delivered.

In the womens event Sheila Taormina of the USA led through the 2 lap   1500m swim in Lago de Casa de Campo with team-mate Becky Gibbs-Lavelle and Italys   Sylvia Gemignani on her toes. By the swim to bike transition Taormina had a   23 second lead, with the eventual winner Vanessa Fernandes 43 seconds back at   this point.

Once on the bike, Taormina waited for some support and was soon joined by teammates   Susan Williams and Gibbs-Lavelle, Fernandez, Jodie Swallow (GBR) and Gemignani.   The chase pack of 13 was led by Pilar Hidalgo and was a mere 14 seconds back   after the 1st of 5 laps. Kelly Handel of the USA led the second chase pack that   also included Olympic Champion Bridgette McMahon  a further 1:30 back.

By the end of the 2nd lap, Hidalgo had led the chase pack up to the leaders   to form a group of 19 at the front. Austrias Kate Allen now became the   leader of the chase group that was 3:16 back by the half way point and well   out of contention.

Hidalgo pulled the leaders through most of the remaining 2 laps and was the   first one through the second transition and onto the 4 lap, 10km run course.   Taormina took over at the front for the first lap, with Fernandes and Williams   on her shoulder. The lead settled down by the 5km mark, with Fernandes and Hidalgo   being joined at the front by Brazils Mariana Ohata and Germanys   Joelle Franzmann. The troika of Ohata, Fernandez and Hidalgo slowly pulled away   from the others, setting things up for a dramatic finish.

It was the young Portugueses day, adding her first World Cup title to   this years credits that include European Junior Triathlon Champion and   World Junior Duathlon Champion. She managed to out-sprint Mariana Ohata in the   finish straight for the win, with Hidalgo a few second back. Joelle Franzmann   continued her strong season by finishing 4th with Jodie Swallow 5th.

A jubilant Vanessa Fernandez said in the post-race interview, I prepared   for those hills on the bike, and they came very easy for me. I just cant   believe that Ive won my first World Cup!

A very tearful Mariana Ohata told the press after the race that she was so   sad about her performance in last weekends Nice ITU World Cup that she   phoned her parents in Brazil and told them she wanted to come home! Fortunately   they convinced me not to give-up, so now I have a silver medal to take home   to them.

In the mens event, Spains World Champion and hero Ivan Rana led   through the 2 lap swim and was first into the swim to bike transition, sending   a wave of enthusiasm through the huge crowd that had gathered under the shade   of the 250 year old Tamarix Gallica trees which have made Casa de Campo an internationally   famous botanic reserve. It was the transition-savvy Simon Thompson of Australia   who scampered through the mlange first followed by Rana and Vladimir   Polykarpenko of the Ukraine.

The lead pack was almost 40 riders with the Spanish team of Rana, Xavier Llobet,   Jose Merchan, brothers Hektor and Eneko Llanos working their magic at the front.   Stefan Vukovic of Germany, Andrea DQuino of Italy and Levi Maxwell of   Australia were also taking their turn at the front of the huge pack.

Newcomer Reinaldo Colucci of Brazil and Dimitri Gaag of Kazakhstan where leading   the charge of the chase pack, but by the half way point had fallen out of contention   almost 2 minutes back.

With 2 laps to go DQuino and Merchan joined forces to attempt a get-away,   with Xavier Llobet and Hektor Llanos controlling the chase pack. The leaders   managed to build up a 36 second lead before being pulled back in before the   end of the bike.

Ivan Rana was the first off the bike with Germanys Maik Petzold and   Switzerlands Sven Riederer on his heels. Again, the speedy Simon Thompson   was first through the bike to run transition, with Rana, Unger, Reto Hug of   Switzerland, and American team-mates Hunter Kemper and Michael Smedley close   behind. Craig Watson of New Zealand soon moved forward to take the lead, and   by the 5km point 13 athletes were still running together at the front. Rasmus   Henning of Denmark took over at the front at the 7km mark along with Cedric   Fleureton of France, as Filip Ospaly dropped off the back to make it 12 still   in contention for the podium.

On the final lap, Richard Stannard of Britain and Eneko Llanos fell off the   back as Rana, Kemper, Polykarpenko, Watson and Unger continued shoulder to shoulder   at the front. In the final metres Hunter Kemper found that extra gear and snatched   his first World Cup title of the season from the others. Vladimir Polykarpenko   continued to play bridesmaid by racking up another 2nd place finish, while Craig   Watson managed to fend off Ivan Rana for the final step on the podium.

A delighted Hunter Kemper said in his post-race interview, Ive   finally found the kick Ive lacked in other sprint finishes. I have never   felt so good on the runon the last lap I even had time to find my wife   in the crowd and wave to her.

A disappointed Ivan Rana said, My head just wasnt there today.   4th is fine I learned a lot!

The first-ever World Cup event to be staged in Madrid was a resounding success,   with congratulations all around from officials, dignitaries and sponsors. Everyone   agreed that this is a definite cannot miss on future World Cup   circuits.

Related Event: 2003 Madrid ITU Triathlon World Cup
21 Sep, 2003 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Hunter Kemper USA 01:50:02
2. Volodymyr Polikarpenko UKR 01:50:04
3. Craig Watson NZL 01:50:04
4. Ivan Raña Fuentes ESP 01:50:05
5. Daniel Unger GER 01:50:05
Results: Elite Women
1. Vanessa Fernandes POR 01:59:32
2. Mariana Ohata BRA 01:59:41
3. Pilar Hidalgo Iglesias ESP 01:59:48
4. Joelle Tesche GER 01:59:55
5. Jodie Swallow GBR 01:59:56
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