For the second year in succession, the Russian athletes swept to victory in Antalya as Alexander Bryukhankov and Arina Shulgina claimed victory at the ETU European Cup.
With the Russian Federation using this event to finalise their selection for the upcoming ETU European Championships the pressure was really on all the Russian competitors and twelve athletes finished in the top ten of each race.
In the Women’s Elite race, Arina Shulgina defended her title from last year and led home a Russian podium ahead of Elena Danilova and Alexandra Razarenova.
Shulgina’s victory was the result of pure guts and determination, having left T1 some twenty-five seconds behind the leading bike group. Gradually, over the 40km ride, the gap was closed and she exited T2 to dominate the run and go into the history books as back to back ETU European Cup winner in Antalya.
Andrey Bryukhankov and Ivan Tutukin sandwiched France’s Dorian Coninx on the Elite Men’s podium, with seven Russian’s in total finishing in the top ten.
The top five positions of the men’s race were pretty much decided by the swim. Conditions had changed quite dramatically and the winds made the waves very difficult to fight.
The first lap saw Russian domination with Igor Polyanskiy leading Bryukhankov out of the water. Denis Vasiliev was just behind him followed by Andrey, the younger Bryukhankov and a hatless Coninx.
That leading group of the two Bryukhankovs, Vasiliev, Polyanskiy and Coninx set out on the bike and over the first few laps increased their lead to over a minute before the wind picked up and reduced that lead to 45 seconds as they approached T2.
Out on the run Alexander Bryukhankov burst out of transition and extended his lead to 20 seconds but Coninx was hanging onto the chasing Russians.
A stunning performance from Tutukin saw him catch up the lead group on the run and having battled from the chase pack he will be delighted to secure a podium finish.
ETU Antalya European Cup Results: