Save the best until last.
An anti-clockwise swim, with no wetsuits was the order of the day. A long run from swim exit, to collect the bags and then a massive climb up to the long transition area was what greeted the 500 or so athletes in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The bike course, edging its way around the lake before dismount and run through to T2 and then a final lapping run with crowd support in the key areas and an intense finish gave the ancient town of Sângeorgiu de Pădure (Saint George on the Heath) a show that they will not forget.
For Rye, moving up successfully to race the longer distances, this would be her chance to showcase her biking and running but it was Croatia’s Sonia Skevin, a top ten finisher at the ETU Challenge Almere Long Distance championships in 2017, who led them out of the water with a comfortable lead. 90 seconds down and Rye could see both Skevin and Ewa Bugdol POL ahead of her.
Time to put the hammer down.
Rye’s power on the bike was immense and soon she had established a solid lead that was not to be given up.
Bike done. Run done, she crossed the finish line to take the title ahead of Bugdol and Ukraine’s Liliya Baranovska.
Post race interviews are always special but this time, ETU chose to think outside the box and we arranged for her father to be the interviewer. We are looking forwards to seeing how this went and will post to the ETU Facebook Page.
The men’s race saw Russia’s Andrey Bryukhankov lead from the start. A tight swim delivered three athletes to the shores of the lake.
Bryukhankov led, Slovenia’s Domen Dornik was just behind the 2018 runner-up from Denmark, Miki Taagholt whose hard work in the water was ruined by a technical problem out on the bike. Dornik was carrying the marks of a bad crash but was well-placed and looking in good form.
Powerful riding from the Russian delivered him to T2 well ahead of his rivals.
Behind him, Taagholt was out of the race and Portugal’s Filipe Azevedo had caught Dornik.
Coming into T2, the Slovenian was now in bronze medal position and in striking distance of Azevedo.
Meanwhile, out on the loops of the run course, the race leader had every opportunity to assess his pace and ensure that he did enough to cruise home for the title.
In quite difficult conditions, his 1:12 for the run was impressive by any standards.
Gold and the title to Russia but the silver medal to Portugal, with Filipe Azevedo putting in a great run to hold off the attack from Dornik.
We will be providing reports on the Age Group races for both Middle Distance and Aquabike, as well of course for all the events during this week-long festival of multisports. A bit of travelling, lots of photos to sift through, lots of social media to check out and of course, lots of writing. Safe travels to you all.
- Transylvania promised.
- Transylvania certainly did deliver.
Related Event: 2019 Târgu Mures ETU Middle Distance Triathlon European Championships
|Results: Elite Men|