ITU: Pevtsov, Jeffcoat take titles in Chengdu World Cup
by Courtney Akrigg/ITU Media; Photos by Janos Schmidt/ITU Media
It was the perfect finish for Azerbaijan’s Rostislav Pevtsov who, after claiming the silver medal three years in a row in the Chengdu ITU Triathlon World Cup, ran away with the gold medal in today’s men’s final. Taking out fifth place in the semi-final heat the day prior, Pevtsov mastered the super sprint format on day two of racing to earn the top spot on the podium, a race goal the Azerbaijan came here to conquer.
The super sprint race format comprises a 400-metre swim, 10-kilometre bike and finishes with a 2.5-kilometre run.
In the men’s race Olympian Pevtsov’s dream came true, after being second on the podium for three consecutive years he was finally able to step up on top of the podium and be awarded with the gold medal.
“I am so happy. I finally got first here and it was a perfect day for me. I came here to try and win and I did it. It’s the best moment for me,” said Pevtsov.
Frenchman Felix Duchampt claimed the honourable silver medal and Mexico’s Rodrigo Gonzalez produced a stellar race to cap the podium with a bronze medal.
The pace was established from the dive off the pontoon with Richard Varga (SVK) recording a slick 6minutes-4seconds swim across the super sprint distance.
Varga led the men out of the water and onto the bike course but it wasn’t long before the entire field merged to ride the distance together. The lead rider switched from Varga to Marcel Walkington (AUS) to Tony Smoragiewicz (USA) however no rider tried to separate the group and the men came into transition in a frenzy and onto the run.
Gonzalez made the move by attacking early for what was destined to be a furious running race. The field was split up everywhere with Gonzalez, Duchampt (FRA) and Pevtsov running together. Gonzalez took it up a notch and tried for a final attack but Pevtsov and Duchampt pounced and sprinted for the finish.
“It was in the last 400-metres of the run I decided to break away and go for it,” added Pevtsov.
The Frenchman, Duchampt, took second place in the men’s semi-final on Saturday and Gonzalez won his round proving that both men will be the ones to beat on the World Cup circuit and suited to this style of sprint racing.
“Before the race, there were no favourites. It can be anyones race. My swim wasn’t so good, there was a lot of fight. On the bike, it was one big group, I tried to save as much energy as I could. On the run, it was a lot of guys together and in the last few hundred metres Rodrigo Gonzalez made a move and it was only Pevtsov and I that could follow and then I knew it would be a podium. Rostislav Pevtsov was stronger today and credit goes to him. It’s my second podium at a World Cup and I am happy with second,” Frenchman Duchampt commented.
The energy inside the purpose built triathlon precinct in Chengdu was remarkable and excitement levels were high as the crowd cheered on the world class athletes across a furious super sprint format.
“It’s a really interesting format. For the fans if they’re not used to triathlon they can be really excited about seeing the race and for the triathletes we are constantly alert and if you get distracted for asecond you can lose the race. It’s exciting. It was a good race and I am also happy for Rostislav (Pevtsov) who after three years of getting second he finally got the win and to be sharing the podium with Felix,” Gonzalez said.
In equally strong performances Daniel Hoy (NZL) and Hungary’s Gabor Faldum finished in fourth and fifth position respectively.
Hungarian’s Bence Bicsak, who produced a strong performance in yesterday’s semi-final, finished in eleventh position in today’s World Cup super-sprint final.
In the women’s final Emma Jeffcoat, from Australia, continued her impressive World Cup success and was crowed champion in the super-sprint final. Jeffcoat proved that she’s Australia’s rising star on the move. The Australian earned the gold after racing across two days of competition at the 2018 Chengdu ITU Triathlon World Cup.
“The smile is back again. I am really happy with the win,” exclaimed Jeffcoat.
Joining Jeffcoat on the podium was America’s Tamara Gorman who earned the silver medal. The young American capped her 2017 season with a striking performance at the World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam with a gold medal in the U23 race.
Finishing off the medal count is Fuka Sega from Japan who also produced a solid semi-final heat the day prior with a fourth place finish.
Jeffcoat, comes from a strong Australian ocean swimming background, led the women through the swim. Out on the bike course the field of women separated immediately into three distinct groups.
Gorman, Jeffcoat, Sega and Bianca Bogen (GER) led the race and Australia’s Tamsyn Moana-Veale and China’s Mengying Zhong were at the front of the chase group riding 15-seconds down from the leaders.
The lead group of women recorded a quick transition, of approximately 20-seconds, to stride out on the run course.
Jeffcoat surged ahead to break away from the field and come away with the World Cup win today. Her race was perfect and the talented Australian dominated all three disciplines of today’s race.
“It was always my strategy to use my strong swim and bike to get away. I was always ready to be adaptable no matter what happened. The ideal situation played out today. The four of us worked really hard from the start. I really love the sprint and super sprint format! It’s hard from the go and that’s how I race,” Jeffcoat said.
Gorman, who won the 2017 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup in a similar sprint race format, displayed resilient performances across both days of competition verifying the young American triathlete launches into this season in her best form.
“It worked out perfectly coming in today. I was pretty confident with a really relaxed yesterday and I was happy to go out there and go hard the whole time,” said Gorman.
Japan’s Sega, who wears the bronze medal today, improved impressively on her 2017 performance here in Chengdu where she crossed the line into 20th place.
“I am so happy with my race today, it was my best,” commented Sega.
Bogen sprinted across the finish line to secure fourth place today and Hungary’s Zsofia Kovacs crossed in fifth position.Follow us
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