ITU World Champion Rob Woestenborghs (BEL) ended his long wait for a European title with a dominant victory in the ETU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon European Championship in Horst aan de Maas.
The Belgian finished second last year but returned to blow the field apart with a scintillating bike ride.
In a cagey opening run, a pack of seven athletes (four French and three Belgian) gradually moved away throughout the first two laps.
This group extended their lead to forty seconds after lap three before Benjamin Choquert made an individual break. The remaining six athletes stayed close together and Choquert was unable to extend his lead but did exit T1 out in front.
However, the powerful Woestenborghs exploded onto the bike and had claimed the lead within one 20km lap. He continued to set the pace as he eyed up European glory.
The remaining athletes were becoming fragmented behind Woestenborghs but they were battling hard to ensure that the y remained in contention.
Woestenborghs did slow towards the end of the final lap and he began T2 with a lead of 1min 30 seconds. But looking confident and relaxed, Woestenborghs was never going to let the lead slip and he comfortably crossed the line with his children to celebrate.
Afterwards, the Belgian admitted he was determined to add the missing link to his CV. He said: “It might have seemed comfortable but believe me it didn’t feel like it. It was a very tough race.
“I have been second twice in European Championships but I’ve never won before, it was like a blind spot on my performance record. The course here is something special so I’m really pleased to do it this time.”
There was double joy for Belgium as U23 European Champion Kenneth Vandendreissche finished second and Yannick Cadalen (FRA) completed the podium as Choquert missed out despite his early promise.
Related Event: 2014 Horst ETU Powerman Long Distance and Sprint Duathlon European Championships
|Results: Elite Men Long Distance|
|7.||Yohan Le Berre||FRA||02:49:25|
|Results: Elite Women Long Distance|
|6.||Heleen Bij De Vaate||NED||03:11:38|
|7.||Lucie Van Genugten||NED||03:12:31|
|10.||Carla Van Rooijen||NED||03:16:57|
|Results: U23 Men Sprint Distance|
|1.||Alberto Della Pasqua||ITA||00:54:46|
|6.||Ruud De Rybel||BEL||00:56:31|
|8.||Juul Van De Kruijs||NED||00:57:09|