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Team Italy deliver Duathlon Mixed Relay World Championship title in Ibiza

by Doug Gray/Word Triathlon Media

Following up on an agonising relay silver in 2022 and individual fourth place on Saturday, Giorgia Priarone steered Italy safely home to the Duathlon 2×2 Mixed Relay World Championship title with teammate Samuele Anglini on Sunday afternoon in Ibiza

Each leg comprised a fast, intense 2km run along the Santa Eulalia harbourside, straightforward 5km out-and-back bike and final 1km finish, with the men out first and women charged with taking the tape.

It was to be 24-year-old Angelini and Priarone who combined to powerful effect, capitalising on an unfortunate early bike crash between France II and Spain II to dominate the second half of the race. France I crossed for silver after a tense final kilometre between Marion Le Goff and Belgium’s Maurine Riccour set up by Benjamin Choquert and Arnaud Dely.

“I really wanted a medal, but to get this win is really special. We did a really good job as a team. I was under pressure to keep the lead and I didn’t know if I could do that gain after the first leg because I went for it like it was my only race!”

“I am very happy, it’s an incredible result,” added Angelini. “We had to work really hard for this result, and the pressure was on to keep the lead.”

Pace on from the off

The lead chopped and changed over the first two-lap run, Le Bihan determined to hit the front before Choquert took a turn, but it was Angelini in transition first with Jose Ignacio Galvez Ponce of Spain and out onto the first out-and-back bike.

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Their brief break was reeled in and a big group of nine then stuck firm on Cremers wheel and no further major attacks were to come as transition neared. Out onto the run, it was Angelini sticking to his task superbly as Le Bihan delivered another burst, both searing away from the pack with Galvez for company until the Spaniard was dropped ahead of the first handover.

Spanish and French crash opens door

Priarone and Marion Legrand took up the charge Vero in chase, but it was Karin Nieuwenhuijsen lighting up the first women’s run leg to keep Netherlands right in the hunt.

It was early into the bike that the race took a decisive turn as Legrand and Maria Varo Zubiri had a coming together that would took both out of medal contention and give Priarone even more license to attack the course solo.

Again, only Nieuwenhuijsen could match the leader’s speed over the bike and 1km run, but the gap had gone out to an empahtic 23 seconds as Angelini set out for the last time, Le Goff and France a further 7 seconds back alongside Riccour at the halfway handover.

Angelini extends

Picking up the baton for France and Belgium, Choquert and Dely were able to catch Cremers on the opening run and the trio were soon working together on the bike to try and slice down the gap, Le Bihan now over a minute back waiting for news from the course with Gil.

The Dutchman Cremers was looking to use his significant bike power and it was three versus one on two wheels, but Angelini was not about to let slip the advantage, impressively maintaining his momentum and even extending the margin to the chasers by a handful of precious seconds.

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Final handover to take it home

Another massive final 1km effort saw Dely pull clear of Choquert with a rapid final push before passing over duties for the last time, but once Priarone headed out for her second leg, destiny was very much in her hands.

She may have looked spent as she mounted her bike for the last time, but through gritted teeth it didn’t look like there was anything that could stop her and the battle for silver heated up.

Priarone took the final turn onto the blue carpet to soak up the crowd, and behind it was Le Goff who managed to summon one huge last pull of her own and drive clear of Riccour to the silver, Netherlands home in fourth ahead of Team II of Spain.

For the full results, click here.

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