By David Peddie on 11/02/12 at 1:35 pm
Russian duo Pavel Andreev and Yulia Surikova have won the Winter Triathlon European Cup in Lahte, Estonia.
In the Men's Elite race, World and European Champion Andreev just pipped compatriot Evgeny Kirrilov across the line by seconds, with Italian Daniel Antonioli claiming the final podium place.
In the Women's race, Surikova enjoyed a slightly more comfortable lead over Margarita Ovsyannikva and Ksenia Chernykh (both RUS), who made up the women's podium.
It was a beautiful winter's day in Lahte despite the temperature of -24 degrees. The race officials made the decision in the morning to delay the start by an hour. This proved to be a sensible and correct decision as during the hour the temperature warmed considerably and it was -16 at the start of the race.
In the Men's race it was Daniel Antonioli who led the way on the 5.1km run, followed closely by the Russian duo of Pavel Andreev and Evgeny Kirrilov. There was nothing to separate the top three after the run segment, with Tomas Jurkovic isolated in 4th spot. The highest Estonian was Urmas Utar in 5th place.
It was on the cycling course where the order changed as both Russians showed their power on the bike. Andreev excelled, finishing almost thirty seconds ahead of Kirrilov and this vital lead proved to be decisive in the final standings.
It was Kirrilov who was the fastest on the skis but the gap Andreev had created on the bikes could not be completely eroded, although Kirrilov gave it his best shot and finished only six seconds behind. Andreev finished in a total time of 58.46 to secure his first European Cup of the season.
For Kirrilov, his second place was his highest ever finish in a European Cup and only his second podium.
Third place went to Daniel Antonioli with Sander Linnus the highest placed Estonian finisher in 8th.
The women's race was a comfortable win for Yulia Surikova against her fellow Russians.Surikova finished in 1:11:24, over a minute ahead of World and European U23 Champion Margarita Ovsyannikva. Third place went to Ksenia Chernykh.
Credit to Estonian Anette Raie. The 4th athlete in the Elite field was way behind the Russian trio but battled hard to complete the course in 1:44:14
Photo: Action from the Elite Men's race in Lahte
Find more details about this event - 2012 Lahte ITU Winter Triathlon European Cup