This weekend in Holten was not only a chance for the Elite to show how good they were. It was also a chance for the Juniors to power their way around the course, collect valuable points and medals and perhaps to send out a warning shot to the Elite.
A great show was put on for the spectators and it was the Junior Women who set off first. They were led out of the water by French athlete Célia Merle. Relatively new to the scene, she has shown potential in her races in Tiszaújváros, Lausanne and Quarteira but now found herself in the lead as she headed to T1. She was alongside Boanca Seregni but the Italian lost out on the bike. More of a threat was GB’s Sophia Green who pretty much matched Merle. A few strides back came the very strong Jessica Fullagar FRA and with a great swim, Slovakia’s Kristína Jesenská. She was just ahead of South Africa’s YOQ-qualified Amber Schlebusch. Fullagar finished her BAC just a couple of days ago; a great relief no doubt and here she is racing.
The race was won out on the final run, with Jesenská pulling away to take the title ahead of Merle who just managed to hold off a fast-moving Schlebusch. The South African might have won bronze here but she will be going to Buenos Aires for the Youth Olympics Games later this year.
After the race, Jesenská said, “Stále tomu nemôžem uveriť pre niekoho je to možno maličkosť ale pre mna to znamená veľmi veľa. Konečne som to mohla vrátiť ľuďom ktorí mi pomáhajú . Moja rodina ktorá mi verí a vždy stoja pri mne. Tréner Mišo ktorý mi venuje svoj ranný čas na bazéne a pomáha mi zlepšovať sa (a pomohol mi už veľmi !) . Môj tréner Janči s ktorým trénujem dlhšiu dobu naučil ma veľmi vela nových veci a tak isto mi venuje čas na tréningoch a aj na pretekoch. @cyklostore.sk má tak isto podporuje za čo som im vďačná. Ďakujem aj ľuďom z JUST ktorí na mna vždy myslia a podporujú ma produktami. A tak isto mojej novej novej tréningovej skupine 3NT(@3nt_bratislava) s ktorou teraz trénujem a ťahajú ma veľmi do popredia a vždy je s nimi sranda a so srandou to ide vždy lepšie.
Všetkým veľmi pekne ďakujem Also big thank you to @funkita_hu and @funkita_poland
I still can’t believe it for someone it may be a small thing but it means very much to me. Finally I could return it to people who help me. My family who trusts me and always stand by me. Coach Michael who dedicates me his morning time on the pool and helps me improve (and helped me very much!). My coach jancsi with whom I’ve been practicing for a long time taught me very many new things and so sure gives me time for training and also at races. @Cyklostore.Sk has the same support for which I am grateful to them. I also thank the people of just who always think of me and support me with products. And so sure my new new training group 3 NT (@ 3 NT _ Bratislava) with which I now train and pulling me very to the fore and always is fun with them and with srandou it goes always better/
All thank you so much also big thank you it @funkita_hu and @funkita_poland”
For the Junior Men, it was Max Stapley racing under the ITU flag on his journey from France to Australia who led the pack out with South Africa’s YOG-qualified Jamie Riddle. Over 30 seconds back in the frantic middle section of the pack, was GB’s Matt Willis. He placed 8th here last year with a faster swim and a pretty impressive run. Since then he has worked hard on the four disciplines and as he raced through T1 there was no sign of panic and we know how fast he can run! Winner in Quarteira this year, Norway’s Vetle Bergsvik Thorn was well-placed ahead of the Brit and just about held Ricardo Batista POR in his sights.
The bike pack, moving at speeds of more than 50km per hour spat out a few athletes who could not hold the pace and it looked pretty much certain that the medals would be shared by the lead group but off the bike and Willis exploded out onto the course.
Posting a stunning 17:21, a full ten seconds faster than the Elite winner, he claimed the title. There was nothing that the Norwegian could do and so he settled for silver with bronze going to Portugal.
These results will be put into the ETU / ITU results computer and in a day or two we will be able to see the new ETU National Standings. With the strong performances this weekend of the French athletes in both races there will be changes but with many opportunities ahead, the excitement is mounting to see who the three nations will be who collect the €10,000 prize-money.
We are waiting on access to photos for the race and once they are available, we will provide a link for you but un til then, enjoy the after-video.
Related Event: 2018 Holten ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup
|Results: Junior Men|
|2.||Vetle Bergsvik Thorn||NOR||00:56:35|
|8.||Ben De La Porte||RSA||00:57:24|
|Results: Junior Women|