Well, once again, Holten’s crown will be worn by Rachel Klamer. Six times now, she has crossed the line first, held the finish tape high and given her smile to the media and the delighted crowds that packed into the square. 2018 was no different. Amongst the men, with some of the top names missing, it was a chance to see our emerging talent shine and that is exactly what Ignacio González Garcia did to claim his first Elite title after a promising junior career.
The Junior races were pretty impressive, with the Junior Men’s race winning time so fast that it would have given a 9th place in the Elite race. For the men, it was Great Britain’s Matthew Willis who showed blistering pace to snatch the win. For the Junior Women, it was Slovakia’s Kristína Jesenská who adds this title to her 2017 ETU Junior Aquathlon gold.
A great weekend of racing in hot temperatures, with live feed for all to follow the race. Sadly, we cannot watch this race now in some countries, due to copyright issues but if you can, where you are, watch it, then sit back and enjoy the show by clicking this link.
So, how did it all go?
Well, it was the Elite Men first.
A fairly strong wind was taking the heat off the athletes but with Dutch roads being predominantly flat, it would be something to watch out for later. The swim looked beautiful and was a great temptation for anyone at the venue.
First out of the water and leading them up to T1 was Alec Wilimovsky USA, as predicted, who led them. Under the careful watch of the officials, the athletes dumped hat and goggles into their box and sped out onto the roads.
A small lead group sped along the small, twisting roads that would lead them to the main laps and of course to Holterberg, a snappy climb that would be a place to attack for the stronger cyclists. The nine leaders, with Marco van der Stel NED and Wilimovsky, were pulling along some strong runners, including Chris Perham GBR.
Wilimovsky attacked on the climb and succeeded in creating a small lead over the chasing athletes but this was to no avail.
It was Czech Republic’s Jan Volar who led to T2 and ran out onto the roads, with his Dnipro title but with a fast pack behind him. Keeping him in his sights, the Spaniard, Ignacio Gonzalez Garcia soon picked up the pace and it was Spain, USA’s Walter Schafer and Perham who battled to the front. The small Spaniard pushed the pace. Perham dropped back a bit. The crowds’ cheers, the volume of support rose and it was a final kick from Garcia to take him to the finish tape ahead of Perham who found something deep, deep in his reserves and used his run power to overtake Schafer for silver.
After the race, a delighted Garcia said, “Campeón de la Copa de Europa Premiun de Triatlón Elite, mi cara lo dice todo. Al final te das cuenta que con el trabajo diario y cuidando los pequeños detalles las cosas salen. Dar la enhorabuena a @pezzatri y @walterschafer por la gran carrera, habéis apretado hasta el final. Agradecer a todos los que me habéis animado y apoyado desde la distancia.
Winner at the European Cup, Elite Triathlon. My face says everything. In the end you realize that with daily work and taking care of little details things come out. Congratulations to @pezzatri and @walterschafer for the great race, you’ve tight to the end. Thanks everyone you’ve encouraged and supported from the distance.”
For the women, it was going to be tough for anyone whose name was not Klamer. Her five victories here, her regular racing on the WTS series and the home crowds, would make this her race unless something went wrong.
Leading the swim to T1 was Maja Kingma NED with Sharon Spimi ITA behind. Klamer was tucked in not so far behind and it was a pretty large group that set off for the 20k bike. Soon enough Klamer was down on the bars and pushing hard. As they closed in on the laps around the city, it was Klamer leading the 11 leaders and in control of the pace. The group held together reasonably well until the hill and then there were 8.
T2 was a masterclass for Klamer and she set off looking relaxed.
She had Margot Garabedian FRA on her shoulders around the course, who tested the Dutch favourite and responded to the attacks by matching the pace of the five-time winner. Finally, fed up with the close contact, a kick from Klamer dropped the Frenchwoman and Klamer, with the crowds cheering and the course embedded into her brain, was heading home to her six win. Garabedian flagged and this was enough inspiration for Australia’s Kelly-Ann Perkins.
With the road clear in front and behind, Klamer ran to the frantic noise from the crowds in the square and with that massive smile, raised the finish tape once more.
Her victory was solid. Her celebrations were complete. Silver went to Perkins and bronze to Garabedian.
Klamer’s main threat, Ukraine’s Yulia Yelistratova, came home in 4th after losing out on the swim. Her powerful closing run is a sign that she is getting back to form.
Thanks to Triathlon Holten, to Maria Cherkovskaya-Tarasevich, to Ingen Hitema. to Bennie Slagers, to Hendri Markvoort and to Rembert Groenman CEO for the Nederlandse Triathlon Bond for the photos. If you want to use any of Inge’s photos, please contact her via Facebook.
Related Event: 2018 Holten ETU Sprint Triathlon Premium European Cup
|Results: Elite Men|
|1.||Ignacio Gonzalez Garcia||ESP||00:55:45|
|6.||Marco Van Der Stel||NED||00:56:05|
|Results: Elite Women|