2015 Châteauroux ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup and European Cup
For a test event, you could not have had a better race. The French triathlon Federation will be very satisfied with the delivery of the two sprint races this weekend. Indeed the town of Châteauroux can congratulate itself on having one of the best triathlon weekends in France for a long time.
Whilst the Elite Team was sweeping up golds in Germany, with a stunning victory for Vincent Luis and then another breath-taking moment when they added World Gold to the European Mixed Relay gold they secured last weekend in Geneva, it was a weekend when the French Triathlon Federation can really reflect and be pleased with its athletes, organisers, coaches and technical officials.
A truly great weekend for French triathlon.
It was the junior women who raced first.
With a spectacular leap into the warm waters of the lake they were off.
First out and looking strong was France’s Julie Iemmolo.
In her first international race she took over 15 seconds from the chasing athletes. Whether her bike and run skills would hold up would soon be put to the test.
Behind her the stronger, faster and more experienced athletes were leaving the water.
Out on the bike and small groups formed. The most dangerous of these was the combination of Quinty Schoens NED and CZE Jana Macháčová CZE. They soon combined forces and a strong cycling peloton of 18 athletes formed.
Then the rain came down and made the whole experience a tough, wet and dangerous one. Crashes thinned out the pack.
Macháčová’s well-timed breakaway took her to T2 ahead of the chasing athletes and so it would be that those in the chase pack would have to fight for the remaining two places on the podium.
Out on the run course Macháčová looked stronger and stronger.
She was running faster than everyone else who had a chance of a medal and her lead would not be challenged.
Gold to the Czech Republic.
Behind her it was Schoens in a battle with Pauline Landron from France but the Dutchwoman had just enough in her legs to secure silver.
After the race Jana Macháčová said, “I am happy that my victory at the European Junior Cup in Châteauroux has raised the profile of Czech triathlon. For the first time this season, I managed to swim in the first group. Out on the bike I managed to breakaway created a gap of, I think, 10 seconds.”
For Quinty Schoens, “How cool is that! On the podium in a European Junior Cup and then to see your country’s flag being raised! Amazing but I really enjoyed it too. The race, well a beach start and then a 750m swim followed by a 400m run to T1. For me, an average swimmer, that was good as I got back any time I lost in the water. I was 18th out of the water but just behind the 2nd pack on the bike and after a bit I was going past loads of people and got to the lead group of about 15. Jeanine Kocken was there, so was Chayenne Poorts, who was 2nd out of the lake. Marije Dankelman and Brenda Zwarthoed were in the second group. Then the heavens opened and the course suddenly changed into an ice-rink and all of a sudden we were all on the ground. Each and every one in that leading group fell. Jeanine and I were there on top of each other but we dug the bikes out and set off again. Only the Czech girl seemed to get away. On the very next bend Jeanine went down again. She stayed down this time, badly injured. Our leading group lost more athletes as yet another crash happened and so I decided to go for it on the last lap and see if I could get to T2 first. Out on the run I really pushed the first lap, working on the hill and it worked. I held off the French chasing group. I hauled it in! Bingo!! What a feeling!!! I feel sad for Jeanine who really would have got a place on the podium. Luckily although she spent ages on the ground and there was a real worry that she had broken some bones, they later cleared her. So now, a bit of rest, then prep for the Dutch National Champion ships in Veenendaal.” Thanks Quinty for really taking us inside the race.
Full gallery of images please click here.
Sadly we do not have such a good selection of photos from the Junior Men's race but keep checking the links to Yves Boury's galleries above.
The Junior Men’s race was equally exciting. With Matthew Roberts AUS on fire after his race in Holten, it was hardly surprising to see him exit the water first. Canadian Charles Paquet followed a few seconds adrift with Denmark’s Daniel Bækkegård. Great Britain’s Jack Willis was looking strong back down the field but had not so far this season produced the goods.
As with the Junior Women, there were spills out on the bike course especially on the last lap but Roberts had control of the race and took gold. Performance of the day was from Jack Willis who so nearly stole that Aussie gold, missing by just 2 seconds. Bækkegård, to the delight of his family, took bronze.
After he had got his breath back, Roberts said, “Very happy to take 1st at ETU Châteauroux European Triathlon Junior Cup! Weather was 35 degrees at the start line and then finishing the race an hour later in a thunderstorm! The rain made for a difficult last lap on the bike with guys crashing left right and centre on the slippery roads! Big thanks to Stephen Moss, QAS, Triathlon Australia, Brooks Running, Wilier and of course my family for their continued support!”
For Bækkegård the smiles say it all.
Related Event: 2015 Châteauroux ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup
|Results: Junior Men|
|Results: Junior Women|
|9.||Lucía Salafranca Le Toulouzan||ESP||01:07:24|