By now we hope that all athletes have safely arrived home and have had the chance to show off their medals to their families, friends, bosses and sponsors and of course, to their local newspapers.
Ibiza proved to be the biggest gathering of multisport athletes in the history of ETU and we have now the opportunity to sit down and really look at how things went for the various races. Communication didn’t quite go as planned and for the 2019 Multisport Festival ETU will be ensuring daily, on-site reporting to showcase the performances of all athletes, whatever their category.
The duathlon has already been reported on so our attention will now turn to the off-road events and first up will be the Cross Duathlon.
A tough course was planned and a tough course was delivered. Similar in some respects to the course in Castro-Urdiales and without the slightest hint of bears.
It was a well-deserved gold to Slovakia’s Kristina Lapinová. Despite running a family business and no doubt finding it tough to fit in all the training, this super-fit and super tough woman has been racing the ETU and ITU circuits since she was in the U23 category, way back in 2005. With solid results in winter triathlon, long and middle distance duathlon, with a number of podium places and a victory last year in the Cheile Grădiştei Winter Triathlon World Cup, we all knew that she had the stamina but her opening run gave her a 20 second advantage over the defending champion, Sanne Broeksma.
Broeksma, absent from the circuit apart from her age-group victory in 2013 and elite win last year in Târgu Mureș lost time in T1 but began to claw back some of that loss on the bike but neither could match the power of Russia’s Daria Rogozina who was racing here against the older athletes with the combined Elite and U23 start.
Rogozina delivered a perfect race on the bike and led Lapinová into T2. With both athletes making sure their transitions were smooth, seeking desperately to avoid penalties, they were neck and neck as they left transition, trying to find their feet on the uneven sandy surface.
The final run saw the Slovakian athlete pull away but Russia was leading the U23 race, comfortably ahead of Italy’s Marta Menditto who has had such a successful career so far, racing as a junior.
Crossing the line first, claiming the title and delighting her son who was easily the loudest voice in the crowd, it was Lapinová who brought home the gold for Slovakia.
Rogozina claimed silver and also took the title for the U23. A tough race for Broeksma saw her come away with the bronze and for Menditto, it was a silver in the U23 category.
For Lapinová, this was indeed a tough race with her main rivals present, “I am happy, I am European Champion in Cross Duathlon 2018. Thank you all who believed in me.”
For the Elite and U23 Men, it was a masterclass from Belgian, Tim Van Hemel. The Belgian national champion ventured out to play in the rough stuff and simply blew away the opposition with an opening run that saw him clear into T1. A superfast transition and out onto the bike where nobody could match him. He could ease off for the final run to come across the line almost a minute ahead of his nearest rival.
Behind him, the remaining medals were being fought for by Spain’s Camilo Puertas Fernández and Austria’s Andreas Silberbauer. Puertas, like Van Hemel, is more commonly seen on the ETU and ITU circuit but both were rocking out on the course. Silberbauer, reigning Austrian duathlon champion, was matching Puertas on the bike but had lost valuable seconds in T1. It came down to the final run with Puertas finding the extra gear and edging ahead of Silberbauer to claim the silver.
For a while it looked like Belgium might make it a double gold with a victory in the U23 category. The opening run from Lucas Van Deynze took him into T1 ahead of Romania’s Attila Daniel. The pair of them headed out onto the bike more or less together but soon enough it was Van Deynze’s power that took him away from the Romanian. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Russia’s Evgenii Evgrafov appeared and blew past to take the lead and it was all change in the medal order. T2 came and went but with Evgrafov in the lead, Van Deynze’s final run was not enough to catch him. Attila’s sub-15 minute final run was impressive and it secured him a bronze medal ahead of teammate and defending champion, Szabolcs Kovacs.
Van Hemel’s victory sent a very clear message out to the world of multisport: Belgium rules!
The Saturday before this race, gold had been won by Laura Swannet and Arnaud Dely. Van Hemel had only decided late that he would race in Ibiza and now, with Belgium on the roll, his focus would turn to the final race for him, the Cross Triathlon.
The Junior race was well-attended by the men but sadly, it was a DNS for the women and so only one wave set off.
The first run was dominated by Spain’s Ángel Puertas Fernández who ran into T1 comfortably ahead of the pack. A lightning-fast transition saw him set off on the bike with nobody in contention but soon enough he was joined by Nicolás Puertas Fernández, Czech Republic’s Petr Velíšek and teammate, Alfonso Izquierdo Alcázar.
It was going to be a real fight to secure those medals and with the final run speed of both Puertas (Nicolás and Ángel), Velíšek had to work extremely hard on the bike to build up an advantage over the slower Ángel.
It was indeed the final run that decided the medals and despite a massive effort from Ángel, the damage had been done on the bike course and gold went to Nicolás just ahead of Velíšek. A fine run from Izquierdo rounded off the podium and gave the host nation something to cheer about. The Puertas family are a real find and demonstrated in Ibiza their true power. A name to watch out for in future!
For the ParaTri races, medals were won for Spain in the PTS2 Category by Ricardo Marín Arcís and in the PTS3 category by Kini Carasco and Raúl Zambrana Romero, who shared the same finish time but veteran Kini took the gold following a detailed examination of the finish photos by the race referee.
In the PTS4 category, the Spanish were unable to come away with the gold and had to settle for bronze. This race was won by Austria’s Martin Falch, whose power on the bike was too much for his opponents. The opening run was led by Italy’s Gianfilippo Mirabile but the bike and final run gave victory to Falch, who was runner-up last year. Francisco José López Salar claimed the final medal, so ensuring that Spain’s domination of the medals in the ParaTri was secure.
Related Event: 2018 Ibiza ETU Cross Duathlon European Championships
|Results: Elite Men|
|1.||Tim Van Hemel||BEL||01:19:48|
|2.||Camilo Puertas Fernandez||ESP||01:20:44|
|Results: U23 Men|
|2.||Lucas Van Deynze||BEL||01:28:01|
|Results: Junior Men|
|1.||Nicolas Puertas Fernandez||ESP||00:53:25|
|3.||Alfonso Izquierdo Alcazar||ESP||00:54:19|
|5.||Ángel Puertas Fernández||ESP||00:55:47|