With much of the weekend focus on the activities in Transylvania, it was the junior athletes who stole the show in Ohrid.
The host hotel now on the same site as the event, everyone had more time to enjoy the absolutely stunning scenery as well as to relax before the race.
On the evening of the Athletes’ Briefing, a very special performance took place. It would be difficult to describe just how impressive it was, so just sit back, turn up the volume, click the photo below and enjoy.
The swim course was a two-lap one, which gave the athletes an opportunity to check the opposition.
First out on the first lap, was Croatia’s Ivana Granosa. A bronze here last year, she was now leading the race but with some strong opposition. Winner from 2018 was Tjaša Vrtačič SLO and she was well-placed in that leading group. Teammate, Monika Bartol, one of the youngest athletes, found herself at the front too.
Back into the water and Bartol upped the pace to claim the fastest swim, just ahead of Til Ocvirk CRO.
There were four athletes who took control of the bike, with Vrtačič Ocvirk, Mercatelli and Bartol leading them back to T2.
Once into running shows and Bartol was no match for the others.
Her run pace was incredible and, with an 18:11 closing run, she had time to enjoy her victory before Mercatelli crossed the line to claim silver. Slovenia celebrated with Vrtačič in bronze.
Post-race and happy with her victory, the winner said, “saj mi je končno uspelo izpeljati dober nastop do konca. Po plavalnem delu sem iz vode uspela priti na drugem mestu, tako da mi je kljub slabši prvi menjavi uspelo biti na kolesu v vodilni skupini. Po kolesarskem delu so mi noge lepo stekle, tako sem lahko odtekla v svojem tempu do cilja. V nadaljevanju sezone je na planu zame še nekaj tekem evropskega pokala, in sicer Bled, Zagreb in Beograd. / I finally managed to make a good race from start to finish. After the swim I managed to exit in second place, so despite the slow first transition, I managed to get on the wheels in the leading group. After the bike section, my legs were beautifully stretched, so I could run out of my pace to the finish. For the rest of the season, there are still several European Cup matches, namely Bled, Zagreb and Belgrade.”
In the Men’s race, it was Žiga Hutter SLO who led the swim and gave the Slovenian supporters hope that he could claim the win here.
So far this year, with solid performances in Pontevedra and Dnipro, he has missed out on the podium but by just a fraction. He was out of the water and through transition before any serious threat was near.
It was out on the bike course that Germany’s Mika Noodt racing his last year as a junior, attacked and with immense power took control of the race. Hutter’s hopes dashed by the German, his chances of a medal faded out on the run as Matteo Perri ITA and Alessandro De Angelis sped past to fill the podium.
For Noodt, a fine way to see out his Junior racing and a confidence-booster for the U23 years ahead of him.
So, three Italian athletes on the podium sends a good signal back to the Italian Federation but the victories went to Slovenia and Germany.
The second year of running and this event looks even better. The location is quite breath-taking and we hope to see this event on the calendar for many years to come. Click here for a video tour of the location.
As a thank-you to the LOC and to the Macedonian Triathlon Federation / Македонска Триатлон Федерација, ETU Board Member, Herwig Grabner presented a special medal.
Related Event: 2019 Ohrid ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup
|Results: Junior Men
|Alessandro De Angelis
|Results: Junior Women