Under clear skies, and cool spring-like temperatures 52 Elite men and 22 Elite women from 12 different countries competed in the first ITU triathlon event of the year, the ITU Vina del Mar Continental Cup, in Vina del Mar, Chile.
The Pacific Ocean showed its typical power by challenging the athletes as they entered the ocean with high rolling waves, making the swim one of the toughest portions of the race. The bike course that took the athletes along the coast of this beautiful Chilean port was a technical one requiring strength and control. The run took athletes along the coastline with views of some of Vina’s famous landmarks along the way. Crowds of spectators lined the streets to cheer the athletes.
Keiko Tanaka of Japan came into the women’s race as the favourite and pushed the pace on the bike from the front. In the end the race was to be defined in the run where Elisabeth Bravo of Ecuador showed her running prowess to win the race by 6 seconds in 2:06:51. Margaret Shapiro of USA took a proud and close second and Keiko Tanaka took third with 2:08:19.
Things were a little more uncertain in the men’s race before the start, but the defining moment of the race was in the swim when 5 leaders exited the water within 20 seconds of each other and formed a bike pack that held the others at bay until the run. The five were Argentineans Luciano Farias and Gonzalo Raul Tellechea, Alessandro Fabian of Italy, Francesc Godoy of Spain and American Chris Foster.
It was the run once more that defined the winner, and Alessandro Fabian of Italy took first place in 1:50:06 with Francesc Godoy of Spain second in 1:50:22; and third went to Luciano Farias of Argentina in 1:50:31.
|Results: Elite Women|
|4.||Romina Palacios Balena||ARG||02:08:42|