Jenny Schulz (GER) claimed her first European Championship title with victory in the ETU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon European Championship in Horst aan de Maas.
The 15km/60km/7.5km course may be flat but it is a challenging course with many twists and turns through the narrow streets of Horst.
Schulz finished third in the same competition last year but returned to claim the gold in a dominant performance.
Sabrina Monmarteau (FRA) was the early pace setter and after three laps she had built a lead of over 40 seconds. The chasing group included Schulz, Susanna Svendsen (DEN) and Isabelle Ferrer (FRA).
Monmarteau’s lead was cut but she exited T1 with a gap of over thirty seconds. However, on the bike, Schulz was in hot pursuit and by the end of the first 20km lap she had caught and passed Monmarteau.
Schulz continued to apply the gas, increasing her lead over the bike course. The chasing pack had no answer to her pace and with Monmarteau isolated in second the real battle was for third place where Svendsen, Ferrer and Katrin Esefeld (GER) were trading positions.
Incredibly, Schulz built up a gap of over 4 minutes by the time she exited T2, and her victory seemed secure.
However, a bout of cramp, suffered immediately on the final run, slowed Schulz to a walking pace at times. She remained calm and composed and with Monmarteau unable to make much of an impact into her lead, Schulz hobbled and limped across the finish line to become European Long Distance Duathlon Champion.
A delighted Schulz said: “I love racing here and I was pleased to come back after finishing third last year and win. The plan was always to go for it on the bike but I was surprised to build up such a big lead.
“But I clearly needed it because as soon as I came off the bike I started to cramp. I knew I was comfortable that I didn’t need to panic and I’m so happy to win.”
Monmarteau finished second but behind her Svendsen and Ferrer continued to be neck and neck and in a dramatic sprint finish, Ferrer looked to have nicked it before appearing to stumble in the closing moments to allow Svendsen to steal third place in an incredible finale.
Related Event: 2014 Horst ETU Powerman Long Distance and Sprint Duathlon European Championships
|Results: Elite Men Long Distance|
|7.||Yohan Le Berre||FRA||02:49:25|
|Results: Elite Women Long Distance|
|6.||Heleen Bij De Vaate||NED||03:11:38|
|7.||Lucie Van Genugten||NED||03:12:31|
|10.||Carla Van Rooijen||NED||03:16:57|
|Results: U23 Men Sprint Distance|
|1.||Alberto Della Pasqua||ITA||00:54:46|
|6.||Ruud De Rybel||BEL||00:56:31|
|8.||Juul Van De Kruijs||NED||00:57:09|