The ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championship started in Barcis this morning at 8.00 on a summer, sunny and hot day. During the first run section after 16,5 km all around the Barcis lake, there was the first meaningful selection with the three favourite men: the Belgian Benny Vansteelant, made a gap of 30 seconds on the New Zealander’s surprise Mark Bailey and the Italian Alessandro Alessandri, the chasing group followed them with an other 1:15 minutes down. Frenetic rhythms were among the first runners who entered the transition area and went out to face the hard 80 km bike course.
In the first 20 km of climb to S. Osvaldo pass (at the turning point to the downhill) the partial men table records the Belgian Benny Vansteelant at the top had a lead of 42 seconds in front of the New Zealander and a new group composed by Alessandri, Armand van der Smissen, Marcel Zamora, Joerie Vansteelant with an other 1 minutes behind.
In the women race (they started 8 minutes after the men), the Ukraine Tamara Kozulina was leading the first 16,5km run section and immediately after her, there were Annie Emmerson, Erika Csomor, Reka Brassay, Ulrike Schawalbe, Inmazulada Pereiro, Yvonne Van Vlerken and Mariska Kramer.
During the bike segment Benny Vansteelant increased his lead km by km and managed to have a lead of 8:45 minutes (!) in the front. He knew he could have an easy second 11km run. The chasing group of 8 athletes followed him into the second transition lead by his brother Joeri. Although they realised that the winner of the race will be Benny Vansteelant, the group started run an outstanding second 11km for the other two podium places. At half way through the second run Vansteeland still had 5:40 minutes lead ahead of Zamora from Spain and 6:10 minutes ahead of Mark McKay from Great Britain. The silver medallist of the Debrecen Duathlon European Championships Armand van der Smissen came 4th 6:40 minutes behind the leader.
On the second run the first four remained in the same position and Benny Vansteelant became World Champion again with a very impressive performance, specially on the bike. The Spanish Marcel Zamora became second and Mark McKay took the bronze medal to Great Britain. Van der Smissen finished fourth, Dirk Strothmann from Germany fifth and the young Vansteelant Joeri came sixth.
In the womens race the lead group became smaller and smaller on the bike. Four athletes took the lead close to each other after the first 40km included Erika Csomor, Annie Emmerson, Ulrike Schwalbe and Tamara Kozulina. This four athletes splitted into two couples by the end of the bike: Schwalbe and Csomor in the front and Emmerson and Kozulina as the chasing group 20 seconds down. After the first lap of the second run Schwalbe managed a 5 seconds lead ahead of Csomor. Emmerson followed them within 1 minute and Kozulina in at other 30 seconds. On the second run Csomor came up to the front and run side by side with Schwalbe for a while and about 1km before the finish Csomor managed to take the lead alone and win the race. Schwalbe came 7 seconds behind her and Emmerson took the bronze medal.
Benny Vansteelant: I had plan before the competition. I was confident, because I knew that others will not be able to follow me. The only mistake I made that I should have run slower during the first run. I had my hardest moments during the second run. I find the Long Distance racing easier to win, because it is more matter of tactic. My best moment was when I found myself alone in the front. I was really surprised when my advantage was growing so fast on the bike. I expected that someone will catch-up with me on the second run, therefore he tried to be as strong as possible at the end. This was one of the best courses I have ever done.
Erika Csomor: I am very happy and really tired, but I am still racing in my mind. In the Long Distance you have to be smart and control yourself to win a race. In Debrecen I was not mentally prepared and I was not satisfied with the outcome. This helped me to find more energy in the training before Barcis. Todays race was hard because the hot weather conditions. I had some hard time on the beginning of the second run, but I was fighting with myself. I told myself that I have to manage to go on, because I felt mentally strong.
1.Benny Vansteelant (BEL) 3:40:59
2.Marcel Zamora (ESP) 3:44:46
3.Mark McKay (GBR) 3:45:49
4.Armand van der Smissen (NED) 3:46:20
5.Dirk Strothmann (GER) 3:47:43
6.Joerie Vansteelant (BEL) 3:48:01
7.Simon Jensen (DEN) 3:49:21
8.Koen Maris (BEL) 3:49:29
9.Fausto Dotti (ITA) 3:49:52
10.Alesandro Santamaria (ESP) 3:50:04
1.Erika Csomor (HUN) 4:14:33
2.Ulrike Schwalbe (GER) 4:14:40
3.Annie Emmerson (GBR) 4:16:40
4.Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 4:18:07
5.Yvonne van Vlerken (NED) 4:18:47
6.Nicole Klingler (LIE) 4:23:29
7.Ana Casares (ESP) 4:24:58
8.Andrea Ratkovic (USA) 4:27:46
9.Mariska Kramer-Postma (NED) 4:29:43
10.Brassay Reka (HUN) 4:30:07
|Results: Elite Men|
|2.||Marcel Zamora Pérez||ESP||03:44:46|
|4.||Armand Van Der Smissen||NED||03:46:20|
|Results: U23 Men|
|Results: 25-29 Female AG|
|Results: 30-34 Female AG|
|3.||Liezl Van Der Merwe||RSA||05:14:42|