South Korea set the stage for today’s ITU Tongyeong World Cup in favourable race day conditions with scenic harbour views.
Japan’s Ai Ueda claimed the gold medal in the elite women’s race, producing a dominating run leg and emotional finish.
Switzerland’s Max Studer produced an impressive performance, capped with a sprint to the finish, to claim his first ITU World Cup title.
Elite men’s report
A stacked field of 68 elite men lined up to bid for 2018 ITU Tongyeong World Cup success. The sprint distance race format featured stunning harbour views and a challenging course with notable hills to attack.
Australian Marcel Walkington, renowned for his robust swim stroke, led the elite men across the 750m swim course and into the first transition of the day.However it was Ireland’s Russell White who produced the fastest transition, which allowed him to lead out onto the 3-lap bike course.
In the initial stage of the bike course it was Frantisek Linduska (CZE), Vicente Herdandez (ESP), White, Eli Hemming (USA), Peter Denteneer (BEL) and Alessandro Fabian (ITA) who set the pace and established the lead group.
Christophe De Keyser (BEL) made a near missed attempt to close in on the leaders but was unsuccessful and ended up riding solo between the two groups.
It wasn’t long before the chase group bridged the gap to rejoin the front riders. The mass group of strong elite men motored into transition together.
Seth Rider, from USA, lost no time in the switch and led out on the run within seconds of the mass frenzy of men.
With the likes of all the race favourites positioned well for battle and two rounds of the grinding hill remaining, it was going to come down to a furious running race.
With the motivation of a World Cup medal in sight, a surge was provoked by Alessandro, who charged up the tormenting hill.
Out on the final stages of the run course, Studer, Frenchman Felix Duchampt and Hemming triggered the pace which forced the Italian to relent.
The podium was established but placings still remained undetermined, as the men bolstered across the final kilometre of the run.
It came down to a bold sprint finish, with Swedish triathlete Studer pacing ahead of the Frenchman to dominate and be presented with his first World Cup victory.
“It was amazing. I was not expecting such a good race. I am really happy. I am on my way to Australia to spend my time with my coach over the Winter so it was amazing to come here. To finish on the first spot on the podium like this is amazing.
“I did not expect to be this far up. I knew when I came with the lead group on the run that I would put everything on the line and push as hard as I can. We had the perfect conservation with Felix Duchampt running in second. I know he’s a strong runner and we could push each other and lose the others on the last half lap.
“I knew if I was going to come down to a sprint on the finish line I would give it all and hope that I would come out first,” said Studer.
A slightly disappointed Duchampt was awarded with the silver medal.
“I can’t complain about a podium at the World Cup level, this is the third time in my life. I am happy but I can’t say I am 100% happy as I really came for the win. Mixed feelings, it’s always a good moment when you get on a World Cup podium,” Duchampt said.
Hemming crossed the line in third place to round out the elite men’s podium, content with his race result.
“I am happy with that, For the first part of the run I was holding on for dear life. Fabian (Alessandro) was pushing it pretty hard so I was just trying to stick with the pack and see if I could wait until the end for a little bit of a sprint.
“The two guys (Studer and Duchampt) got away and I spent the time trying to catch back up to them but couldn’t quite get there,” added Hemming.
Visit the website to review the elite men’s results.
Related Event: 2018 Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup
|Results: Elite Men|
|Results: Elite Women|
|7.||Miriam Casillas García||ESP||01:00:13|
|9.||Nicole Van Der Kaay||NZL||01:00:26|