This weekend was a busy one for athletes, officials and for the people who keep track of the rankings and points.
For the Elite athletes racing in Fredericia, Denmark, in the ETU Fredericia Nordic Championships, there was a chance to augment their points in the run up to the ETU Final, which is taking place in Melilla. Of those in the top ten places, none were racing on this new course but that gave the chance to lower-ranked athletes to collect valuable points just ahead of the trip to Northern Africa.
Melilla will be offering double points and a good “end of season” pay-out but only to those athletes who start there. You see, in order to collect the cash, you have to turn up and race.
So, back to Fredericia.
Jellyfish collection complete.
The organisers had wanted to try the new course, which they felt would be better for the spectators and the athletes and certainly this was the case.
With a number of other events running over the weekend, the city of Fredericia became, once more, Triathlon-Centre in Denmark.
The defending women’s champion, Sweden’s Amanda Bohlin, returned to racing after a break and immediately faced a challenge from the younger athletes.
Iceland’s swim star, Edda Hannesdottir led them up the ramp of the swim exit and right on her toes was the young rising star from Denmark, Sif Bendix Madsen. It was the explosive pace from this athlete that pretty much secured the gold for her team in the ETU Kitzbühel Mixed Relays.
Game on for Denmark.
Bohlin, 15 seconds down soon turned things around with a powerful ride over the 20k and when it came down to the final run, she had the pace to get to the blue carpet ahead of Madsen and to make it two in a row for the Nordic title.
Behind her, Madsen was able to secure silver, with Iceland’s Hannesdottir providing the third fastest run and claiming bronze.
For the men, the defending champion, Andreas Schilling was coming to the race with a solid season of racing behind him.
Using this race perhaps for some final “fine-tuning” before Rotterdam, he swam well with teammate, Miki Taagholt DEN, winner of the bronze at the 2017 Herning ETU Challenge Middle Distance Triathlon European Championships.
Would Taagholt be able to maintain the pace over this explosive sprint distance event? We didn’t have to wait long to see that the pair faced a tough test with Sweden’s Gabriel Sandör having a great bike and then finding the extra pace for the final 5k.
Photo: Peter Leth-Larsen / Fredericia Dagblad
With Schilling in a comfortable lead, the Swede came through for silver, leaving the bronze for Taagholt.
Two Danes on the podium? The crowds said, “Tusind tak!”
For Schilling, “Nordic Champion aka King of the North. Fantastisk dag idag til NM i Fredericia! Kørte et fint parløb med Miki Mørck Taagholt - Triatlet i front inden Gabriel Sandör fangede os på sidste omgang. Det var for vildt at løbe den sidste omgang alene i front og vide at sejren var hjemme! Tak til arrangørerne Garmin Challenge Denmark og alle fremmødte for en vild stemning! #attacklife #kingofthenorth
Nordic Champion aka King of the North. An amazing day today to take the title in Fredericia! Ran well together with Miki Mørck Taagholt in front before Gabriel Sandör caught us on the last lap. It was too crazy to run the last lap alone in front and know that victory was at home! Thanks to the organizers Garmin Challenge Denmark and all present for a wild atmosphere! #Attacklife #kingofthenorth”
So, what does this result mean for the ETU Rankings Series?
At the moment, the leaders in both male and female rankings look pretty safe.
If they all show up at the race in Melilla then the points they win there will be doubled and they could well walk away with a good end of season bonus, with €25,000 extra!
However, if they do not travel to Melilla, they will not be able to claim the prize-money so we might well see some of the lower-ranked athletes going home with pockets full of Euro.
Related Event: 2017 Fredericia ETU Triathlon Nordic Championships
|Results: Elite Men|
|9.||Oscar Gladney Rundqvist||DEN||00:56:53|
|Results: Elite Women|
|2.||Sif Bendix Madsen||DEN||01:02:01|
|9.||Augusta Grønberg Christensen||DEN||01:05:21|
|10.||Pernille Linder Christensen||DEN||01:05:52|