This weekend the race to the finish line and the title, Mediterranean Champion, was held in the seaside resort of Sines in Portugal.
Raced over the Sprint Distance and with glorious weather welcoming the athletes, there was a good mix of athletes and nationalities to excite the spectators.
In the Women’s race, it was Emmie Charayron who came away with the title.
A beach start took the athletes into the Atlantic. Still not quite warmed up, it was a wet-suit swim and soon enough the breakaway had happened.
A dozen athletes had escaped from the main pack and in this leading group was Charayron.
Anneke Jenkins NZL had worked hard in the chase pack to try and keep in contact, but they emerged over 20 seconds back from the lead group.
Lina Völker GER had the clear run in to T2 and then it was a question of who could hold the pace over the final 5k. She led them out onto the run but Charayron was close behind.
Missaglia led the chase group in but would have to deliver a mightily impressive run to secure a place on the podium.
Charayron upped the pace and by the end of the first lap was comfortably in the lead.
Tous was doing her best to stay in contact with the leader but was surrounded by Portuguese athletes. Ribeiro was by her side and Madalena Amaral Almeida, 5th recently in Quarteira, was looking strong and in a position, with the home crowds cheering her on, to edge the Spaniard off the podium.
Charayron had done enough. The win, the title, the points and prize-money was hers.
Tous kicked and with added pace was able to drop the home challenge, with Ribeiro giving the crowds their chance to go wild as she claimed the final medal.
A great race, tough at the front, in the middle and at the back.
A Mediterranean podium with the title going to France. For Charayron, this was the conclusion to a three-weekend racing pattern; the final two weekends were at World Cup and European Cup level. So, 8th place in a World Cup, or Mediterranean Champion – which sounds best?
In the Men’s Race, it was a victory for Genis Grau in a superb demonstration of pace over the closing stages of the race.
A magnificent mass start on the beach gave the spectators something to enjoy.
A breakaway of 5 athletes was led by Anthony Pujades. No real surprise here, as the Frenchman is so strong in the water. Pulling along behind him teammates, Antoine Duval and Paul Georgenthum, the Frenchman would have them as company if they could take further control on the run to transition and then get quickly out onto the bike.
Pujades led them out of the water.
Erwin Vanderplancke was faced with a lot of work to do but with Grau close by there was no question of easing up. Tucked in the group and looking much fitter than he did last year, was GB’s Baku winner, Gordon Benson.
Nobody could risk a mistake in T1 as the rest of the field made its way up the beach. A ten second penalty on this course would be a disaster.
Ricardo Batista POR was giving the crowds something to cheer about. A good swim, easy, clean, efficient and fast transition and now out on the bike course, he was taking his turn to leading them along the twisting roads.
With Pujades on his wheel, Georgenthum and Peter Denteneer BEL adding to the power, they were doing their best to keep ahead of the massive train of athletes
Despite their best efforts, the advantage was lost and coming in to T2, the fast runners were all poised to attack.
Vanderplancke had shown immense power on the bike and was now set to power out onto the run course.
Austria’s Tjebbe Kaindl showed strong and led Grau out onto the 2-lap, 5k course.
Pujades and Batista ran out together but for the Portuguese athlete the cheers were very much louder.
With one lap done, it was Grau and Pujades, locked together and free of the pack.
Showing very clearly that his fitness was back, it was Benson who had torn through the pack to lead the charge and he was running quicker than most. Had he left it too late?
Grau had enough left to be able drop Pujades. The title was his.
Benson had the fastest run of the day but could not catch the Frenchman. An impressive bronze for the Brit but no Mediterranean medal for him.
Who would have thought it possible? Charayron placing 8th in Madrid wins the title here in Sines and for Grau, as well, his 8th in Madrid was upgraded to the Mediterranean title here in Sines.
A good day for Spain and France but also, without doubt for Portugal. In its first appearance on the race calendar, Sines hit all the right buttons. A series of races throughout the day to allow local athletes to race, a European Cup and a Mediterranean Championships. Add to this the excellent live TV-feed, it certainly showcased the event and has created a true legacy for the sport and the city.
A big thank you to Filipe Pereira (Unspotdesign Branding Desportivo) for the photos and for keeping us updated throughout the race.
Related Event: 2019 Sines ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup and Mediterranean Championships
|Results: Elite Men|
|6.||Jordi García Gracia||ESP||00:55:28|
|9.||Massimo De Ponti||ITA||00:55:36|
|Results: Elite Women|
|4.||Madalena Amaral Almeida||POR||01:02:49|
|5.||Marta Sanchez Hernandez||ESP||01:02:56|