After a gruelling six hour race and punishing course, Spanish and Danish athletes were celebrating the most at the ETU European Long Distance Championships.
Miquel Blanchart (ESP) and Camilla Pedersen (DEN) were the victors here in Tampere and they were joined on the podium by compatriots Peru Alfaro San Ildefonso and Michelle Vesterby.
Great credit must go to all competitors in what, with a total distance of 154km, must surely be one of the most demanding Triathlon competitions.
Elite Men’s Review
In a race of this size strategy and timing were more crucial than ever and in a more conservative swim, four athletes emerged as the leaders out of the water. Officially first out was Emil Dalgaard (DEN) in 46:38 and he was closely followed by Peru Alfaro San Ildefonso (ESP), Rasmus Petrǽus (DEN) and Nikolay Yaroshenko (RUS).
Onto the bike and there was not a great deal of change in the positions. Dmitry Rostyagaev (RUS) and Tuukka Miettinen (FIN) posted the quickest bike times, an impressive 2:50 over the 120km bike course to put themselves in contention at the front pack. But Dalgaard and Alfaro San Ildefonso did enough to maintain their positions amongst the leaders as they entered T2.
There were still four laps of the 30km run course to go as they left T2. After just one lap, Miquel Blanchart (ESP) took the lead, timing his run to perfection and once in front he never looked back. The home crowd were delighted to see Jarmo Hast stride home in second place. Hast had left T2 in 8th position but the third fastest run time propelled him onto the podium. The fastest run of the day went to Petr Vabrousek (CZE) who, despite his best efforts, just missed out on the podium and finished fourth. Early pacesetter Dalgaard finished 5th.
Alfaro San Ildefonso, having been in the top three for most of the race, did just enough to secure third place and make it a double podium for Spain.
Unfortunately, Rostyagaev was one of five men who failed to finish the course and there was more bad news for Russia through the disqualification of Nikolay Yaroshenko.
Elite Women’s Review
There was also a double podium in the Women’s race and this time it was the Danish ladies who took the plaudits. The race was dominated from start to finish by Camilla Pedersen (DEN) with Michelle Vesterby untouchable in second place.
A breakaway of four athletes surged ahead of the small field during the swim with Ewa Bugdol (POL) and Eva Potuckova (CZE) joining the Danes in a tight knit group into T1.
On the bikes there was no stopping the Danish duo as they powered away from the field with Pedersen setting the fastest times in each discipline.
She crossed the line in 6:10:25 to become European Long Distance Champion. Vesterby was comfortably in second place with Ewa Bugdol the best of the rest, taking the final podium spot.
Photo: ETU Long Distance Championships, Men’s Elite Podium
Related Event: 2011 Tampere ETU Long Distance Triathlon European Championships
|Results: Elite Women|
|5.||Eva Ledesma Calvet||ESP||06:33:00|
|Results: Elite Men|
|3.||Peru Alfaro San Ildefonso||ESP||05:38:26|
|7.||Richard Calle Martinez||ESP||05:40:41|
|Results: 50-54 Male AG|
|3.||Manuel Cortizo Feliz||ESP||07:21:00|