For the women, it was a 58-athlete start, which is a great indication of the massive build-up of athletes around Europe. Clearly the inspiration provided by top triathletes has filtered back to the federations and then onwards to their sports governing bodies and we are seeing a positive approach to youth and junior development.
The weather was perfect for racing and the crowds were there to cheer along the athletes. Of course, the crowds were partisan and wanted the Austrian athletes to do well but for each and every athlete there were cheers and applause.
The one lap 750m swim was in full view of the city. Following the very clear and very loud, “On your marks” from the Technical Delegate, David Rigby GBR, the athletes had a clean start for the first leg of their Junior European Cup. First out of the water was Dorka Putnóczki HUN. From the famous TVK Mali Triatlon Klub team, based in Tiszaújváros, Her 11:31 swim and rapid run up the steps to the transition area took her way ahead of the next two athletes who exited the water together; Therese Feuersinger AUT had greater pace on the run to T1 than Hungary’s Dóra Zelovics. Amongst the chasing athletes were the medal winners but they were between 30 and 45 seconds off the pace set by Putnóczki.
Transitions went smoothly and then they were out onto the bike course. A group of 18 soon formed on the bike course and very soon the run was on. The turn point was situated in eye-sight of the finish line. Soon it was Austria’s Sara Skardally leading, with Denmark’s Alberte Kjær Pedersen. Her victory in Alanya in 2014 showed that she had pace and the determination. Was this to be a day for Austria or could the Dane impose her run pace once again?
The crowds were urging Skardelly on but finally it was the young Danish athlete from Fredericia who had that extra bit in reserve to take gold.
To the delight of the home crowds, Skardelly took silver. After the race she said, “What a weekend ! On Saturday I got silver at the European Cup in Vienna. A perfect race and really great way to start the season with a fantastic home crowd.” Not satisfied with just one race, the very next day she was out again. This time for the 5k Österreichischen-Frauenlauf. With the cheers of the Austrian crowds as she took silver still ringing in her ears she popped in a 17:19 run after her triathlon, we should be looking very carefully at Skardelly in future. Eva Skaza entered the race as Slovenian national champion and came away with a bronze medal.
For the men, the crowds had already seen a podium finish for an Austrian athlete and they were of course now motivated to make even more noise. For the American athlete, Seth Rider
The experience would be a great one to remember. Would he be able to deliver on European soil ? Well, it was a massive men’s start and the swim was led by GB’s Alex Chantler-Mayne. With three athletes together behind him he raced into T1. As in the women’s race those who would eventually get onto the podium were way off the leading swim pace but this is junior racing and so much can happen in the transitions, bike and run.
A massive pack formed out on the bike and into T2 came 40 athletes together. It was at this point that Germany’s Lasse Lührs made his move and with stunning pace he tore through the pack to take the lead and cross the line with a 15:38 5k run.
Taking second place and showing great improvement over his 4th place in Alanya, was Sweden’s Gabriel Sandör. Behind them was a battle between Europe and the USA. This was one for Belarus to win as Mikita Katsianeu stole bronze with a final push that took him to the podium with three seconds to spare over the American Rider.
From local photographers were have a small selection of images. For Technical Delegate, David Rigby, “Saturday morning saw the fruition of the Austrian federation’s race with good work from the Austrian technical officials to get the two races completed in the allotted time scale which produced two great races. The setting for this race was unusual as even though you were in the middle of Vienna in one direction there was a country side backdrop and in the other a city scape for the race venue, which was held on a completely traffic-free island in the middle of the Danube. The ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup is over and was a great success for Austrian federation.” Thanks to David and to Herwig Grabner, General Secretary for the Österreichischer Triathlonverband (ÖTRV) for their images. Click the link to see some short videos of the race on their Facebook page. For Herwig it was an extra special birthday present as well.
Related Event: 2015 Vienna ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup
|Results: Junior Men|
|Results: Junior Women|
|1.||Alberte Kjær Pedersen||DEN||01:05:48|