Bethan Hall reports:
2019 Holten ETU Sprint and Junior Triathlon Premium European Cup
This incredibly popular race which celebrated its 35th edition this weekend, did not disappoint the avid spectators nor the 1000’s of volunteers that love to support triathlon. This race promised a great monetary reward for its top 10 athletes and was held on the same day as the European Cross Championships in Romania.
Holten is a tiny city but still a super venue for triathlon with its stunning countryside and winding country roads. It has a long relationship with triathlon having hosted many important events in the city and this event also accommodates numerous Age-Group athletes who will also be racing the beautiful course. This is a race which has overwhelming support from the citizens of the little town in the Netherlands. In fact, people love triathlon so much they even have a waiting list to become a volunteer! The weather was great for competition and there was a great atmosphere. It was an amazing weekend of racing for the Elites, Juniors and Age-Groupers alike, despite hot temperatures, with live-feed TV for all to follow the race.
This event has two separate transitions, the swim is in Domelaar. Because of the temperature it was a non-wetsuit race, which is always a benefit those that are stronger in the water.
2019 Holten ETU Sprint Triathlon Premium European Cup
53 women were on the Elite start list, but this year none of those names belonged to local athlete hero Rachel Klamer (NED), who this year, instead of aiming to claim her 7th Holten gold, achieved a very respectable 10th place in 2019 Groupe Copley World Triathlon Montreal. Of the athletes present, Sarah-Jane Walker (RSA) had the best swim but was later disqualified from the race. She came out the water followed closely by a dozen athletes each a metre behind the next.
Sophie Linn (AUS) had a fall and was being attended to by staff as the women cycled the sunny green countryside roads on this predominantly rural course. There were two groups, the chase group was large and the athletes were quite spread out on the course at this stage.
Pauline Landron (FRA) who came 4th in Antwerp last week and is reigning champion of the 2019 Huelva ETU Triathlon European Cup and Iberoamerican Championships, was the first woman into T2. Her teammate Mathilde Gautier (FRA) was right behind her, running her first ETU race of the year. The French girls looked strong but as predicted, when they entered the stadium along came Lisa Tertsch (GER). Tertsch was the winner of the Antwerp World Cup a week ago and the 2019 Dnipro ETU Sprint Triathlon Cup a fortnight before that- this athlete is truly on fire this season! By the time they had left the stadium, Tertsch had flown past the French women looking incredibly relaxed and strong.
Tertsch maintained her lead throughout the race, taking her third victory this month, followed by Landron then Gautier to finish the podium.
There were 74 Elite men on the pontoon, Linus Stimmel (GER) had the fastest swim time leading a constant stream of athletes out of the water. On the bike, there was a long peloton before it split and became a lead and chase group.
Two athletes, Dylan Mccullough (NZL) who won 2019 Devonport OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Championships in March and Donald Hillebregt (NED) made a break away, but it was to no avail as Mccullough later dropped back to join the other group but Hillebregt maintained the lead a while longer until the groups became one peloton again.
There was a huge wave of athletes together in a pack as they entered T2 led by Lasse Nygaard-Priester (GER) who came 2nd in the 2019 Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup earlier this year. The athletes ran through the country lanes where the pack started to thin out as the athletes began to show their ability and strength on the day.
Priester stayed at the front, and as they entered the stadium for the second time the first three men were all German, with Jannik Schaufler and Tim Hellwig following Priester. On the ultimate lap, Priester dug in and started to make some space between him and the other men. Max Neumann (AUS), 2nd at the 2019 Gold Coast OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup earlier this year, moved into second place with Schaufler still in play holding onto third position.
Closing in on the finish line, Neumann attacked and passed Priester, but Priester had been tasting victory for the whole run and was not going to let it go without a fight. He found it in him to dig deep and sprint past Neumann to get to the finish line first, with Neumann in second and Schaufler taking bronze.
2019 Holten ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup | Junior Women
As for the Juniors, Emma Lombardi (FRA) had a great swim and led the Junior Women out of the water, followed by Barbara De Koning (NED) close behind and Jessica Fullagar (FRA).
The juniors powered through the bike course speeding along the small, twisting roads that would lead them to the main laps and of course to Holterberg, a short but tough climb that would be a the place for better cyclists to show their strength.
At the finish line Jessica Fullager (FRA) took the gold, with Gabrielle Lemes (BRA), who came 3rd this year in the 2019 Montevideo CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup and South American Championships, in second place and Magdalena Früh (AUT) 3rd Junior in 2019 Weert ETU Triathlon European Championships, took the bronze medal.
2019 Holten ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup | Junior Men
For the Junior Men, Alessio Crociani (ITA), winner of the 2019 Melilla ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup had the fastest swim with Jaime Riddle (RSA) and Miguel Hidalgo (BRA) wearing bib number 1 not far behind him. All three Junior Men came out of the water with a faster swim time than any of the Elite men in the Elite Sprint held on the same day.
The fastest bike time was achieved by Jesse Cuijpers (NED) who ended the race in 15th position. Lorcan Redmond (AUS) wearing bib number 3 biked hard and had the third fastest bike time, and with the fastest run of all the Juniors he steamed into first position to take the gold. Hidalgo, who won the 2019 Montevideo CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup and South American Championships, also had a fantastic race in each section showing the crowd he was worthy of his high ranking, and took the silver. Crociani, managed stay at the front with a great race and finally took the bronze.
We have a limited selection of photos, provided by Christie Brouwer. More will be available soon and can be found on the event page.
You can watch the whole live-feed here.
Related Event: 2019 Holten ETU Sprint Triathlon Premium European Cup
|Results: Elite Men|
|1.||Lasse Nygaard Priester||GER||00:54:25|
|Results: Elite Women|
|5.||Madalena Amaral Almeida||POR||01:02:20|