Weekend Wrap-up: Powerman Duathlon World Championships, Edmonton ITU World Triathon, Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl, Aboitiz TRI2016-Philippines

See:  Reed, Lawrence take titles at 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championships

Pooley and Odeyn win

text by Raphael Galliker

Emma Pooley, the British lady living in Hausen am Albis in the canton Zurich and the Belgian Seppe Odeyn won on Sunday at the 28th Powerman Zofingen the 2016 ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships. Pooley sets a new record: She wins the world championship title for the third time in a row. There was no new track record this year. In the women’s race Emma Pooley/GBR (1.), Nina Brenn/CH (2.) and Susanne Svendsen/DEN (3.) made it for the podium. In the men’s race Seppe Odeyn/BEL (1.), Felix Köhler/GER (2.) and Søren Bystrup/DEN (3.) stepped on the podium. Over all there where around 1,400 competitors over the whole Powerman Zofingen weekend which was about the same amount as last year.

Very lucky was John Raadschelders, the president oft he IPA (International Powerman Association). These were the best world championships ever, everything was perfect!  Also very pleased with the Powerman Zofingen weekend was Stefan Ruf, the president oft he local organising committee:  We had around 1‘400 people starting which is about the same as last year. Especially the Powerman CHARITY was a big success because with 200 participants we could double the number of last year. I was very lucky that Natascha Badmann, the six times Ironman Hawaii winner was doing the 5 km run as well.


Jonathan Brownlee back on top in Edmonton

text by Erin Greene

Two-time Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee returned to the ITU World Triathlon Series podium for the first time in more than a year when he won World Triathlon Edmonton over a sprint distance course on Sunday.

In the final race before the Grand Final, the win pulled him within 235 points of Edmonton silver medallist Mario Mola in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, meaning the battle for the world title will be furious in Cozumel in two weeks’ time.

Despite battling illness before Edmonton, Richard Murray managed to hang tough the entire race for bronze.

“It hasn’t really changed much, it’s all about Mario in Cozumel now,” Brownlee said of how his finish affect the hunt for a World Championship title. “It’s a good result, but it’s all up to Cozumel. Hopefully he’ll (Alistair) help on the swim and bike, we’ll see what kind of shape he’s in. But ya it’ll make a big difference.”

Richard Varga kicked off the day with a splash, leaving the competition in his wake when he secured a sizeable lead out of the one-lap 750m swim. Training partner Jonathan Brownlee followed Varga out of the water next, along with Aaron Royle (AUS0, Matthew Sharpe (CAN) and Matthew Roberts (AUS).

But it was only Varga, Brownlee and Royle that blasted through the first transition in top form, dropping Sharpe and Roberts for an early break on the four-lap 20km bike.

Behind them, Murray made it out of T1 in fourth position 20 seconds back, while Columbia Threadneedle rankings leader Mario Mola suffered a 40-second deficit out of the swim.

However, a determined Murray motivated his group to cut the gap to the leaders down to 12 seconds midway through the bike, while Mola managed to bridge his group up to the chase with two bike laps to go.
Although the chase inched within six seconds of the leading trio into T2, a slow transition from Mola meant Brownlee had the opportunity to jut out ahead on the first of three run legs. He quickly put 10 seconds between himself & the chase.

It was a pivotal point in the race, as Brownlee blasted away, and never slowed down. Although Mola pulled himself back into second position by the second lap, it wasn’t enough to shut Brownlee down, as the Olympic silver medallist increased his lead to 18 seconds onto the bell lap.

From there, it was Brownlee’s race to win, which he did by 16 seconds. Behind him, training teammates Murray and Mola went shoulder to shoulder until Mola unleashed his speed on the last half of the last lap. Murray, who was sick with flu entering Edmonton, took bronze.
“Unfortunately my swim wasn’t good today. I had a bit of a fight there, but I tried to survive, I saw where I was and thought ‘we’re going to have to work,’ which we did,” Mola said. “Then I found the energy to come second today, Richard was very strong. Now it’s time to look at the math and see what we have to do and try to achieve our best result in Cozumel.”

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USA sweeps women’s WTS Edmonton podium

text by Erin Greene

For the third time in history, the US women completed a clean sweep of the ITU World Triathlon Series podium when Summer Cook, Sarah True & Katie Zaferes went 1-2-3 at World Triathlon Edmonton. It was the first time Cook made it to the WTS podium, which she did with a smoking & strategic run.

“For me a lot of today was just finding the mental willpower to keep myself in the race and put myself in the position to have a strong result,” Cook said. “I dnf’d last year with hypothermia. I knew I had to come in today extra prepared for the conditions. I didn’t think I had a chance at all on the last curve on the last lap and then I started to believe that I had a chance.”

The American team shone from start to finish in Edmonton on Sunday, with five of the top 10 women out of the swim coming from the US team. While it was Jessica Learmonth (GBR) who took an early lead on the one-lap, 750m swim, with Flora Duffy (BER) tucked right behind her, the group largely hailed from the US with Tylor Spivey, Kirsten Kasper, Cook, True, and Zaferes in the mix.

Together with Mari Rabie (RSA), Lucy Hall (GBR) and Carolina Routier (ESP), a nine-deep pack jumped on their bikes early and hammered out a pace that saw them score a healthy 30-second advantage after the first of four bike laps on the 20km sprint course.

Midway through the bike, the chase, which included Great Britain pre-race favorites Vicky Holland, Non Stanford, and Jodie Stimpson, chipped four seconds off the gap to pull within 26 seconds. However, the work on the second lap went unnoticed as the leaders gained it back on the next lap for a 31-second advantage onto the bell lap.

A slow transition saw Duffy suffer a five-second deficit out of T2 while Kasper capitalized on the opportunity to run out in the top position. But it was her teammate True that gunned it early on the three-lap 5km run. Desperate to turn her 2015 Edmonton silver into gold, Duffy did early work to catch up to the American women.

They ran as a trio for one of the laps before True took off, dropping Duffy and the rest of the competition. However, a surge from Cook, who had struggled to stay in the lead group on the bike, saw her run the field down late in the run.

As she passed Zaferes, then Duffy, she had only to pick off True, which she did in the final 500 meters. True held strong in second to redeem a disappointing performance at the Olympics, where she was forced to withdrawal.

“I knew I had some fitness. It was a question of whether or not my body was going to be able to handle racing,” True said. “As an athlete you never want to start a race not knowing if you can get through it. I was pleased I could get through and more pleased that I could show a bit of fitness. I’ve had a pretty difficult year and it was nice to have a result that I’m pretty proud of.”

Behind her, Zaferes found some final speed to run down Duffy for bronze, meaning Duffy just missed the podium, keeping all of the medal hardware in Team USA’s name. Apart from the US having swept the podium twice before, only Australia has swept the WTS podium previously.

Fourth was enough for Duffy to hang onto her position as the leader in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings, but sets the stage for a tough battle on who will be the 2016 ITU World Champion in Cozumel at the Grand Final in two weeks’ time.

“I think there will be a little bit of math done to see what needs to be done in Cozumel,” Duffy said. “I would love to win the Series, it’s been really cool to have strong numbers all year. But realistically, I never expected it. So whatever happens in Cozumel, it’s been a fantastic year.”

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Guilio Molinari (ITA) wins ETU European Championship Race

At 09:00 am the professional athletes started their competition. Former German competitive swimmer Florian Angert came with a small lead into the first transition area. Approximately 50 seconds behind him a small group with the favorites Giulio Molinari from Italy and Briton David Mcnamee. Also in the leading group Austrian Luis Knabl.

On the bike Molinari quickly headed to the front. After 25 kilometers, he took the lead from Angert. Just two minutes behind Thomas Steger. Through kilometer 60 no changes in the field. As in the past years Molinari puts the hammer on the bike with more than one minute in the lead. Behind him Germand Florian Angert and another two minutes back Thomas Steger.

After 2:28:56 hours Molinari finished the bike course as leader and went on his final half-marathon. 90 seconds behind Molinari Angert went on the run course. As best Austrian on rank three Thomas Steger starts his run. After the first round it seems to become an exciting duel for rank two. Steger took already more than a minute on the first lap but has to serve a 30-second time penalty because he abridging the path in the transition area. After the third lap Thomas Steger sit out his penalty, after the close to gap to Angert to 20 seconds.

Molinari took this years European Championship title with a lead of one minute on Florian Angert. Rank three took Thomas Steger.

Molinari: “A dream. Last year in Italy, I was not able to win, but I wanted to win this title in Walchsee. All good things come in threes! The Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl is an awesome race. I look forward every year to this competition “.
Florian Angert cannot find the right words for his success “crazy and if someone would have told me this today in the morning, I would have laughed at him. It feels very surreal to me.”
“For me, the third place feels like a victory. After my penalty, it was a struggle. Iam really happy about the third place.” Thomas Steger after he crosses the finish line.

Julia Gaier (GER) wins Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl

The ladies started five minutes behind the men at 09:05 am. As the first athlete the Italian Margie Santa Maria run out of the water. Just a few seconds behind her the German Julia Gaier, who took the lead on the bike after six kilometers. Behind Gaier, Kim Morrison and Lisa Hütthaler pushed really hard to catch Gaier but could not close the gap. After 60 kilometers the gap between Gaier and Hütthaler was about two minutes. Kim Morisson was another two minutes behind Hütthaler.

Gaier lead the field into the second transition are. Her lead was more than four minutes in head of Lisa Hütthaler and  another two minutes ahead of Maja Stage-Nielsen from Denmark. After about 10 kilometers Stage-Nielson overtook Lisa Hütthaler. Julia Gaier was unbeatable today and took her second European Championship title. Behind Geier Stage Nielson took the second place in front of Lisa Hütthaler.


Regan, Brown take wins at Aboitiz TRI2016

Ben Regan of Fitness First Triathlon team took the overall title at the 2016 Aboitiz Tri held in Batangas, Philippines.  Regan dominated  with a time of 2:08:58 to win by over 7 minutes over runner-up Neil Adrian Aynera of One Triathlon Team (2:15:56).  Capturing podium for 3rd was Mervin Rencel Santiago of Sante Barley with a time of 2:16:21.

On the women’s side, Ani De Leon-Brown won on the strength of her women’s best bike split of 1:18:18 on a difficult hilly course to win over runner-up Maria Danielle Infantado of One Triathlon Team.  Brown finished with a time of 2:43:34, winning by 2 minutes and 58 seconds over Infantado (2:47:36).  Celma Hitalia of Century TriHard bagged third overall, combining her 3rd-best bike split and 2nd-best run split to finish in 2:54:05.

Over 500 triathletes participated in the event held in Pico de Loro Resort in Nasugbu Batangas.



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