By David Peddie on 11/12/13 at 7:05 am
Danylo Sapunov has finished on top of the ETU Points List for 2013 to claim the number one spot for a third successive year.
The Ukrainian is the first to admit he has had an unremarkable year, but he has been rewarded for his all round consistency over the last three years as well as being able to produce a big performance in key races.
Sapunov said: “I am certainly happy. It is a great success for me. I didn’t really think I would come out on top as I didn’t win any European Cups.
“After the Olympic year, I wanted to relax so I deliberately missed the World Series races.”
Despite this, Sapunov performed well in the big European races, finishing 9th at the European Championships in Alanya and 7th in a Premium Cup in Banyoles.
These results, coupled with Sapunov’s record over the past couple of years, in which a percentage of points roll over to this year’s list have helped the Ukrainian to maintain his position at the top of the rankings.
From next year, the Points List will continue but the ETU have announced a new European Ranking system which will reward the best performing athletes for a calendar year.
Sapunov agrees that the change is a fairer system but maintains that he should be rewarded for his consistency and hard work over a longer length of time.
He said: “During the last three years, I have competed for this title, took part in competitions to get European points. This title is very important for me, my team and sponsors.”
Looking ahead to 2014, the Ukrainian is excited by the prospect of racing on home soil for the first time in a European Cup race as Dnepropetrovsk will host an ITU European Sprint Cup in May and Kiev a full Olympic distance European Cup in June.
“Surely, I will take part in these competitions,” said Sapunov. “It is a great success for our country to host two International European Cups.”
Vicente Hernandez (ESP) and Vladimir Turbaevskiy (RUS) finished second and third behind Sapunov in the ETU Points List.