French dominate at the 2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships.

By Paul Groves | 04 Jul, 2019

2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships
Post-race report by Bethan Hall

3 gold medals were won by the French in the Elite Women, Elite Men and Junior Men races.  Italy also did extremely well, with 1 gold, 2 silvers and 2 bronze medals.

For many of the athletes racing yesterday, the hottest day of the year so far in Romania, this was their 2nd race of the 7 European Championships to be held here in Târgu Mureș over 9 days.   The athletes who competed in the Cross Triathlon on Saturday did not have the advantage of knowing the course over the others however, because it was a different course and town to where the Triathlon was held.

The Elites, U23s and Age-Groupers ran 2 laps of a 3.5km course (7km) biked 4 laps of a 5.1km course (20.4km with an elevation gain of 177m per lap) and then ran 1 lap of the same run course (3.5km). The Juniors and Para athletes did half the distances, but they all ran in the blistering heat of the midday sun.

Overall, the course was hillier than the Cross Triathlon course, which may have been a game changer for stronger cyclists. The weaker swimmers and stronger runners who competed in the Cross Triathlon had their chance to shine on the Cross Duathlon course.  Those that competed in the relatively flat Sprint Duathlon on Sunday hoped their legs had recovered in time to face the hills on the bike course.  In this heatwave, the athletes were glad of the shade from the trees, but this did not stop the immense heat, and race director Peter Klosz greeted the athletes at the finish line with cold water to pour over them.

2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships | Elite Women

6 of the 9 women on the Elite start list also competed in the 2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships on Saturday.

The Cross Duathlon Elite Women’s race was won by Morgane Riou (FRA).  She was favourite to win after becoming Transylvania 2019 ETU European Cross Triathlon Champion, a title she won here just a few days ago.  She was looking to add Cross Duathlon Champion title to her Triathlon title, and will take home a nice pair of matching gold medals. 

Looking at the start list, there were many women with potential to get on the podium.  Eleonora Peroncini (ITA) was also on the podium on Saturday as runner-up of the 2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships.  Peroncini has numerous good results in Cross Triathlon, this was her first ETU Cross Duathlon.  Sandra Mairhofer (ITA) took bronze at the 2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships on Saturday and she was also eager to add to her medal collection.  Laura Gomez Ramón (ESP) has had an unfortunate start to the 2019 season, with a crash and puncture in Pontevedra ’19 Cross Triathlon and a DNF on Saturday.  She was looking to turn her luck around and get a good result, but unfortunately after a really good start, she abandoned the Cross Duathlon race too.

One who did not make an appearance on Saturday and arrived with fresh legs is Yulia Surikova (RUS), she has had a couple of fantastic results in winter triathlon, coming 2nd place in both the Cheile Grădiștei ETU Winter Triathlon European Championships and the Asiago ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships earlier this year.  With 50 degrees difference in the temperatures between the winter events and today’s heatwave, it was interesting to see how she would perform in the heat rather than in the snow.  Unfortunately, due to a technical issue on the bike, she DNF.

Riou was in the lead from the start, entering the 2nd lap of the 1st run she was followed by Surikova, Gomez and Marta Menditto (U23).  On the bike, Gomez started to drop back and Peroncini passed Menditto on a steep hill.  By the time they arrived at the finish, Riou had a clear win, and Sandro Mairhofer (ITA) had sneaked into 2nd place in front of Peroncini who took bronze.

2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships | Elite Men

We saw some familiar faces in the men’s Cross Duathlon race too, there were some very strong athletes racing so the championship promised to be very exciting, and it delivered.

Arthur Serrières (FRA) won the race, to become the 2019 European Cross Duathlon Champion.  He also performed well on Saturday in the Cross Triathlon but did not get on the podium after a frustrating technical problem with his chain; he came in 4th position.  This was his first ETU Cross Duathlon and he proved that he still performs phenomenally when there is no swim.

Tim Van Hemel (BEL) was runner-up in the 2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships on Saturday behind Ruben Ruzafa (ESP).  Ruzafa did not appear on the Cross Duathlon start list, so Hemel was an obvious favourite.  Ruzafa’s team mate, fellow Spaniard Emilio Martín, was also in the race.  Martín took the silver medal on Sunday in the 2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Sprint Duathlon European Championships, he was runner-up in the 2019 Pontevedra ITU Duathlon World Championships, 3rd in the 2018 Ibiza ETU Duathlon European Championships, and the list of podiums goes on.  Both were expected to fight for podium positions in the Cross Duathlon.  However, Van Hemel had a promising start to the race, but with his rear mech smashed, he was forced to withdraw.  Martín, suffering from the start with tired legs and did not make the top 10.

Serrières was the star of the race from the very beginning; from the first lap he was in the lead followed by Riccardo Rinaldi (ITA) and Van Hemel.  On the bike, Serrières and Hemel made a break, with Rinaldi and Andreas Silberbauer (AUT) chasing.  By T2 and with Van Hemel out of the race, it was Serrières who was first over the line, Rinaldi in second and Silberbauer completed the podium.

2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships | U23 Women

First place went to Daria Rogozina (RUS).  She has won every race she had competed in this year, including the 2019 Cheile Grădiștei ETU Winter Triathlon European Championships where she won both U23 and Elite women and the 2019 Asiago ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships, where she also took gold in both U23 and Elite categories.  She was the reigning U23 champion and runner-up absolute… the Elite women had some strong competition from this youngster! This race continued her winning streak and she was also 4th woman overall.

Another one who gave the Elites a tough race from the start was Marta Menditto (ITA), who came second yesterday in U23 and 5th overall.  She became U23 European Cross Triathlon Champion on Saturday and placed 4th overall.  Menditto was 3rd in the U23 Cross Triathlon World Championships and runner-up behind Daria Rogozina (RUS) in last year’s Cross Duathlon European Champs, with numerous podiums in the Junior category.  Menditto was with the Elite leaders until well into the bike course, these U23s have a very promising future ahead of them.

Every athlete in this category had a chance of getting on the podium. Matilde Bolzan (ITA) out performed Sofiya Pryyma (UKR) on Saturday taking silver and bronze respectively in the U23 category, but with a different course and many varying factors, everyone had a chance of winning a medal.  Finally, Pryyma took the bronze and Bolzan DNF.

2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships | U23 Men

The winner of the U23 category was Tommaso Gatti (ITA).  He was the favourite in this race based on his performance on Saturday, when he became U23 Cross Triathlon Champion and was 3rd overall in the 2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships.  He was also 2nd last year in Ibiza in the Cross Triathlon U23 category.  We knew he would have tough competition from the 2018 European Champion, Evgenii Evgrafov (RUS), who came with fresh legs as he did not race on Saturday and took the silver.  Evgrafov performed well in the winter season, taking silver in the U23 2019 Cheile Grădiștei ETU Winter Triathlon European Championships.  Third place in the 2019 Cross Duathlon went to Lucas Van Deynze (BEL) who came 4th on Saturday in the Cross Triathlon.  Victor Goené (NED) was also a favourite, he came 3rd in the U23 category in the Cross Triathlon on Saturday and 3rd in Pontevedra ’19 World Championships earlier this year.  This was his first ETU Cross Duathlon, he performed well yesterday and came 4th, just missing podium positions.

2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships | Junior Women

In Saturday’s Cross Triathlon race, Margareta Bičanová (SVK) was 2nd Junior in the 2019 Târgu Mureș Cross Triathlon and also earlier this year in 2019 Cheile Grădiştei ETU Winter Triathlon European Championships.  Willemijn Fuite (NED) was just over a minute behind her and is the 2019 Junior Cross Triathlon World Champion. On Saturday, Willemijn had the second fastest run time and ran substantially faster than Bičanová, but Bičanová beat her bike time.  These girls were the obvious favourites for the Cross Duathlon race. 

In the Cross Duathlon yesterday, Fuite lead the first run section, followed by team-mate Zoe Van Dijk (NED), Zuzana Michaličková (SVK) and Margareta Bičanová (SVK).  Both Michaličková and Bičanová had a faster bike time than Van Dijk, and although she had the fastest run of all the girls it was not enough to come back.  Final result in the Cross Duathlon Junior Women’s race: Gold to Michaličková, Silver to Bičanová and Bronze for Van Dijk.

2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships | Junior Men

In the Junior race, we had all three Junior Men from the podium of Saturday’s Cross Triathlon.  In that race, the Junior Champion was Lucas Goené (NED), with runner-up Lorenzo Spagnolo (ITA) and Filippo Pradella (ITA) won the bronze.  Corentin Lefer (FRA) came 4th.  Valentin Marievskiy (UKR) was 3rd Junior in the Târgu Mureș ETU Duathlon European Championships on Sunday. 

These young athletes were of course likely to be on the podium yesterday in the Cross Duathlon.  Marievskiy was in first position on the first lap going into the second with Lefer following and then Francesco Podda (ITA).  Spagnolo was close behind his teammate out of T2 but did not finish the race.  By the second lap on the bike, Lefer had powered out in front with a large gap between him and the two Italians who had all passed Marievskiy.  Lefer and Pradella came into T2 together but Lefer was so quick in transition that Pradella had a job to keep up with him.  After the last run lap, Lefer took gold with Pradella Silver and Podda Bronze.

2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships | PTS3 Men

We had exactly the same athletes racing in the PTS3 category as in the Cross Triathlon and the Sprint Duathlon.  Both from Spain, Raul Zambrana Romero beat Joaquin “Kini” Carrasco in the Cross Triathlon but it was the other way around in the Sprint Duathlon.  Zambrana was first into T2 but Carrasco arrived on the blue carpet first, taking his time, high-fiving the spectators and enjoying the atmosphere.  In incredible sportsmanship style, he waited for his friend Zambrana and insisted he crossed the line first.

2019 Târgu Mureș ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships | PTS4 Men

In the PTTS4, Gábor Czene (HUN) hoped to win the gold to make it the 3rd one this week, but he was against local athlete Robert Tamirjan (ROU) who has won every ETU race he has finished since 2017.  Today was no exception.  Tamirjan took gold with Czene in second.  Czene seemed happy enough with that result though, and removed his leg at the podium to celebrate.

For regular updates, photos and videos during the races this week follow us on Twitter @ETUtriathlon and on the event Facebook page.

Big thanks to Bereczky Sándor for the great images.

Related Event: 2019 Târgu Mures ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships
02 - Jul, 2019 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Arthur Serrieres FRA 01:37:38
2. Andreas Silberbauer AUT 01:39:14
3. Filippo Rinaldi ITA 01:41:40
4. Riccardo Ridolfi ITA 01:42:20
5. Vincent Bierinckx BEL 01:44:26
6. Viorel Palici ROU 01:44:26
7. Tommaso Gatti ITA 01:44:52
8. Evgenii Evgrafov RUS 01:45:14
9. Lucas Van Deynze BEL 01:45:29
10. Oivind Bjerkseth NOR 01:46:09
Results: Elite Women
1. Morgane Riou FRA 01:56:42
2. Sandra Mairhofer ITA 01:57:59
3. Eleonora Peroncini ITA 01:59:35
4. Daria Rogozina RUS 02:01:41
5. Marta Menditto ITA 02:04:12
6. Adriana Fabiola Corona MEX 02:05:05
7. Sofiya Pryyma UKR 02:06:18
8. Monica Cibin ITA 02:11:40
9. Nikola Corbova SVK 02:13:31
10. Edith Vakaria ROU 02:15:14
Results: U23 Men
1. Tommaso Gatti ITA 01:44:52
2. Evgenii Evgrafov RUS 01:45:14
3. Lucas Van Deynze BEL 01:45:29
4. Victor Goené NED 01:46:46
5. Rody Kroon NED 01:49:11
6. Alex Kling NED 01:52:34
7. Kirill Tarakanov RUS 01:52:57
8. Szabolcs Kovacs ROU 01:54:30
9. Mario Kosut SVK 01:58:23
10. Eugen Popović CRO 01:58:40
Results: U23 Women
1. Daria Rogozina RUS 02:01:41
2. Marta Menditto ITA 02:04:12
3. Sofiya Pryyma UKR 02:06:18
DNF. Matilde Bolzan ITA DNF
Results: Junior Men
1. Corentin Lefer FRA 00:53:30
2. Filippo Pradella ITA 00:54:22
3. Francesco Podda ITA 00:55:04
4. Lucas Goene NED 00:55:23
5. Manuel Streiter ITA 00:55:24
6. Jules Dumas FRA 00:56:10
7. Valentin Marievskiy UKR 00:57:08
8. Max Van Helmond NED 01:01:06
9. Tudor Ciolacu ROU 01:06:46
10. Botond Zoldi ROU 01:10:18
Results: Junior Women
1. Zuzana Michalickova SVK 01:03:31
2. Margareta Bicanova SVK 01:06:20
3. Zoe Van Dijk NED 01:07:29
4. Willemijn Fuite NED 01:09:18
5. Andreea-Maria Matei-Bobarnac ROU 01:13:14
6. Daria Berezhna UKR 01:13:50
7. Jana Filipović CRO 01:14:12
8. Oleksandra Pavlova UKR 01:15:33
9. Anastasiia Terentieva UKR 01:21:04