By Courtney Akrigg on 12/05/19 at 8:11 am
It was the perfect result for Australia’s Matthew Hauser return to racing. Hauser, who, after injury, produced a striking semi-final set-up and capped the weekend with a powerful performance in the final, to claim the gold medal in the 2019 Chengdu ITU World Cup.
Germany’s Laura Lindemann won the semi-final yesterday and went on to dominate the elite women’s race to take the tape and be awarded champion status in Chengdu.
Chengdu ITU Triathlon World Cup finals for elite men and women covered a super-sprint race format, featuring a 400m swim, 10-km bike course followed by a 2.5-km run.
Elite men’s race recap
In the men’s race Japan’s Takumi Hojo led the field of strong men through the swim and into the first transition of the day.
A strong group of men quickly established the lead group, riding away from the field. The leaders included Hojo, Matthew Hauser from Australia, Felipe Barraza from Chile, USA duo Ben Kanute and Seth Rider, Germany’s Valentin Wernz and Canada’s Alexis Lepage.
On the second lap it was a group of eight riders working together including Kanute, Rider, Barraza, Hauser, Max Stapely (ITU), Australia’s Matthew Roberts and Lepage. An unfortunate crash on the hill, saw New Zealand’s Trent Thorpe retire from the race
On the final stage, no rider tried to separate the group and the men came into transition in a frenzy and onto the run.
Hauser, Kanute, Lepage, Barraza and and Hojo commenced the run together but the Australian made an immediate impact, striding away from the group.
In the closing stages of the two-lapped running course, first place was already decided.
Hauser was in a league of his own as he hit the blue carpet and celebrated victory.
“It feels good to be back racing and doing what we do best is such a thrill. To be back after a year of non-ITU racing and to come away with the win, I couldn’t ask for anymore. I am just over the moon.
“Chengdu is fantastic. I won here in 2017 and to come back two years later and do the same performance, I am ecstatic with it. It’s such a great facility out here, great course,” said Hauser.
The final podium spots were still up for the taking, with Kanute, Lepage and Barraza battling until the blue carpet. In a ferocious sprint to the finish it was Kanute who snared the silver medal with Lepage earning bronze and a first world cup podoum finish for the Canadian.
“I am elated and relieved. I didn’t have my strongest race yesterday and I was lucky to get an automatic spot. I just wanted to come back today and give it my all,” said Kanute.
“This is my best result in a world cup ever so I am really happy with that,” Lepage said.
Barraza, ASICS World Triathlon Team representative, produced a striking race and finished in fourth place.
Rider, representing team USA, crossed the line in fifth place.
While Hungary’s Bence Bicsak, who produced a strong performance in yesterday’s semi-final, finished in twelfth position in today’s World Cup super-sprint final.
The energy, inside the purpose built triathlon precinct, in Chengdu was remarkable while the excited crowd cheered on the world class athletes, across a furious super sprint format.
Review the elite men’s final results.
Elite women’s race recap
In the elite women’s race it was Australia’s swim specialist Danielle Defrancesco who led the field of women through the first lap of the swim in the 2019 Chengdu ITU Triathlon World Cup. Ye Jin Park from Korea was closely behind followed by New Zealand’s Sophie Corbridge and Belgium’s Valerie Barthelemy.
DeFrancesco and Ye Jin exited the water together, in the A final in Chengdu, with a group of strong athletes hot on their heels including Barthelemy, New Zealand’s Corbridge and Germany’s Laura Lindemann.
Two groups of women quickly formed out on the bike course. The leaders included the likes of DeFrancesco, Barthelemy, Corbirdge, USA’s Renee Tomlin, Hungary’s Zsofia Kovacs, Australia’s Sophie Malowiecki and fellow Australian team member Romy Wolstencroft, who was able to hold the pace.
As the women completed the 10-kilometre bike course, it was down to a final 2.5-kilmometre running race to determine the podium.
Lindemann, Barthelemy and Tomlin produced quick transitions and entered the course together.
The trio had had set themselves up with powerful super-sprint performances, with strong swim and bike combinations, so it was down to the leg power.
Lindemann showed off incredible form after winning yesterday’s semi-final and stormed home to claim victory in today’s A final of the elite women’s race in Chengdu.
“I am really happy and had fun today. I like the course, I like the race and I like to race short distances.” said Lindemann.
It came down to a blistering sprint finish which saw Tomlin claim the silver medal, an encouraging performance for the USA triathlete who has had a disappointing start to the season with illness.
“I am rally happy to come back to Chengdu and to grab the second spot. It’s exciting to put the pieces together,” said Tomlin.
Finishing off the medal count was Barthelemy, representing Belgium, who was overjoyed to earn the bronze medal. The Belgian has returned to racing after a major injury and was thrilled with her performance.
“Words can’t really describe. I had a pretty major back accident and this is my first race back and best ever result. It means so much more than just a third place. It’s what I had to go through to get her to be able to race, I am really grateful,” said Barthelemy.
Tamsyn Moana-Veale, from Triathlon Australia, sprinted across the finish line in fourth place while Kovacs claimed fifth position and showcased strong form across the multi-race format.
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