By World Triathlon Admin on 05/06/05 at 12:00 am
Vanessa Fernandes has just won the 2005 ITU Madrid World Cup in stunning fashion, easily beating off all opposition in the challenging midday heat to storm to her third ITU World Cup win in Madrid, making her the only woman to ever win here. Annabel Luxford of Australia climbs to the top of the ITU world rankings table by taking second place today. Meanwhile home favourite Ana Burgos took the final spot on the podium.
The water temperature for the two lap 1.5 km swim was a balmy 24 degrees for the athletes. The athletes then raced on a challenging hilly 40 km bike course before finishing with a flat 10 km run.
An addition to the 2005 World Cup series is the ITU primes. This cash prize is to be given to the leader after the first lap of the swim, after lap one of the 40 km bike and the second last lap of the bike at the ITU Madrid World Cup. Sarah Groff of the USA picked up the first prime of the day.
Meanwhile Fernandes and Joelle Franzmann of GER swam together behind Groff with a chase pack of Ainhoa Murua of Spain following a few seconds back. Newcomer Groff led the entire swim and reached Transition #1 first to head out onto the bike course alone but she was soon caught by the two veterans Luxford and Fernandes.
Annabel Luxford picked up the second prime of the race as the leader of bike lap #1 while she and Fernandes made their move on the second climb to get even more of an advantage. The usually strong cyclist Franzmann and Groff could not stay with them and soon the third pack was closing in on the two comprising the chase pack.
Meanwhile, at the front of the race, Fernandes and Luxford continued to increase their lead over the chase pack. Luxford picked up the third prime for leading through the second to last lap on the bike. By the time, the two leaders went into Transition 2, they had over 2:30 on the chase pack which included Ana Burgos and Ainhoa Murua both of Spain, as well Virginie Jouve and Tania Haibock. The third group was over 5 minutes back.
Out of Transition 2 Fernandez simply breezed ahead as she entered the first lap of the run.
From there she slipped into cruise control, and began looking as if she was on a Sunday fun run, nonchalantly smiling and waving at the crowd as she ran. On her way towards the finish line she looked fresh enough to do the whole race over again. In the race for the remain posium places, late surge by Spain´s Ana Burgos, excited the local crowd, but Luxford hung on gamely to stay in second place, with Burgos finishing in 3rd. However, the day belonged to Vanessa Fernandes once again, as she notched up a win on this picture perfect World Cup course. At only 19 years of age, who would bet against her winning here again should the games come to Madrid in 2012?
The men’s field was also strong with Great Britain’s Tim Don winning the gold in a sprint finish over the Ukraine’s Volodymyr Polikarpenko. Reto Hug of Switzerland was third and ITU World Cup series leader Hunter Kemper of USA just missed the podium in fourth place.
Stefan Poulat of France won the men’s first ITU prime by being the first on the first lap of the swim but by the end of the swim Hirano Tsukasa of Japan, Marko Albert and Ivan Vasiliev were the first out of the athletes. A long line of athletes followed them into Transition #1. By the time the athletes were on their bikes the group had come together.
Young Christian Ruderer of Germanay won the sprint for the first bike prime over the large pack of 50 athletes that formed. Sylvain Sudrie of FRA made a breakaway but after getting 13 seconds on the pack was soon caught again. It wasn’t until the fourth lap when a small group of Reto Hug, Andy Potts of USA, Ivan Rana and Jose Merchan of Spain and Peter Croes of BEL got a few metres advantage over the group but again the peloton caught the leaders.
Then it was Axel Zeebroek of BEL and Hungary’s Csaba Kuttor’s turn to try to get away. By getting a 40 second lead, Zeebroek won the final prime of the day but the group had caught them again by the end of the bike. Zeebroek led into Transition #2 with 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Sven Riederer of Switzerland and Ivan Rana close behind him.
As in many recent Men´s Races, it was all destined to come down to the run, and there the cream rose to the top with Hunter Kemper (USA), Ivan Rana (ESP), Tim Don (GBR), Cedric Fleureton (FRA), and Volodymyr Polikarpenko (UKR) staying in close contention. However, as the run leg progressed, Don and Polikarpenko took the initiative, and began to move away from the pack, with the surprise addition of Reto Hug (SUI) in 3rd. With 500 metres to go, it looked as if an intense sprint finish would materialise between Don and Polikarpenko, but Don simply slipped into another gear and took the victory with ease – much as he had done against Hunter Kemper at the ITU Honolulu World Cup.
Ever the charmer, Don lapped up the adulation of the enthusiastic Spanish crowd as he and Fernandes received their Medals from VIP guests Prince Feisel of Jordan and ETU President, Marisol Casado. Both Don and Fernandes have now put themselves firmly in line to finish 2005 as World Cup ranking leaders.
The ITU World Cup series next makes it Canadian swing with the next race in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada on July 17, 2005. For more information on the ITU World Cup or the International Triathlon Union, please see www.triathlon.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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