By Paul Groves on 22/06/15 at 5:22 pm
Leading the ranking this weekend for the juniors was Mikita Katsianeu BLR. For him it was a special day. It was his birthday on race day. So, what better way to celebrate than taking a gold medal? It was not an easy race for him and he had to work hard to get to the podium but any time lost in the swim would be made up by him on the run up the long, long steps to T1 and then out on the bike and run.
Leading the swim once again was Polish athlete Michał Oliwa. He left the water in a strong position and quickly got into a good group on the bike with six athletes working together to push hard and make distance. It was during the early half of the bike course that, when he stood on the pedals to push harder, there was a crunch and the pedal crank snapped. This young lad is strong and, “Today I felt really great, before the start of and during the course. It is a pity that I could not use the gear and see what I can do today. So for the first time this season completing the race turned out to be impossible. But we don't give up. We fight!”
Just behind him was Turkish athlete Gültigin Er, Philip Horwarth AUT, Matúš Mates Verbovský SVK and British athlete, Nathan Tweedie.
With one group working hard together it was going to be medals in the lead group unless the chasing pack could co-ordinate. With Oliwa out of the race the lead pack would only have to survive the bike and then the fight for the podium would be out on the 5k run. It was here that Katsianeu showed his pace and with a stunning display of running he took the gold. To the great delight of the Austrian Federation it was Horwarth who cruised into second place with Verbovský taking bronze. Tweedie had just enough pace to hold off the faster running Tadeas Fazekas SVK. He revealed that the lack of desire to work in the chase group possibly cost him a chance at the podium, “maybe "a wee bit" mixed feelings, “ our group was “significantly slower but I ran my best yet” He was overjoyed that his compatriot took the bronze, “Big congratulations Matúš for the fantastic 3rd place!! Totally cool!!!”
After the race Katsianeu said, “On this day, I really wanted to win! I did exactly that! I made myself a nice gift! My main goal was to swim with the leaders of the group and keep the group on the bike. While running, I was convinced that the chances of winning were strong and that I could not lose!”
For the Junior Women it was also a victory for the race favourite, Therese Feuersinger AUT. In this race the swim section was a tighter affair with the main players all emerging together. Feuersinger was joined in that massive run up the steps to T1 by Kirsten Nuyes NLD and Katarzyna Rogacz POL. A chase pack of five athletes followed some 30 seconds later.
Out onto the bike course and it was here that Jeanine Kocken NLD worked well to but where Feuersinger had to work hardest so that she would ensure a good position for the run. Once out from T2 she accelerated away and posted the fastest run of the day to take a commanding victory and a well-deserved gold medal. Behind her the two Dutch athletes Nuyes and Kocken were battling for the remaining podium places. It was the faster run pace of Nuyes that ensured her silver with Kocken easily winning bronze.
After the race Feuersinger was jubilant, “Did it!!! My first victory in a Junior European Cup. I feel super and this is such great motivation for the ETU European Championships in Geneva. I am so happy with the race. I really wasn’t expecting this result. Only a couple of weeks ago I raced in Vienna and now, a gold ! It was a tough race and I had to work really hard on the bike. So for that I feel even happier that my running went so well.”
The race was really one for the athletes to relax and enjoy themselves as well as tor ace hard and gain those valuable points.
Full results here
For the Elite, racing the same distance, it was the visiting Canadian, Ellen Pennock with Anastasia Gorbunova RUS and Inna Ryzhykh UKR just behind her. Well placed was race favourite, Yuliya Yelistratiova UKR and Julie Nivoix FRA. Tucked into the group and with an amazing triathlon pedigree, was Brit, Chloe Cook. She missed out on a podium in Alcobendas in the U23 race. It was her dad, Glenn Cook who took silver just behind Mark Allen in the first ITU World Championships in Avignon in 1989 and was twice European champion and her mum, Sarah Coope who took bronze in Kona in 1991 with an amazing 9:33:20 as well as being European Champion six times, who formed a specialist club called Team Bodyworks xtc. Chloe Cook looks set to follow in her parents’ footsteps. A total of nine athletes made the climb to T1 leaving the remaining trailing behind. The medals would be decided amongst this lead pack.
Of these nine, four headed out onto the bike course, with Yelistratova chasing. This group looked set to have to share the medals but after a very fast T2, it was Pennock who suffered first, dropping off the pace. Yelistratova made her move. Her blindingly fast run in Baku, fastest split with Spirig, suggested she had been training well for the run but, “In fact, I worked a lot on the swim and bike, especially last month. And maybe that let me have some additional energy during the run.” It was to be Yelistratova’s race with a solid victory. “Wonderful weekend: traveling by car to Bulgaria and taking gold in the first European Cup that I participated this season! Am pleased with my result just one week after Baku 2015 European Games . Also happy for the bronze medal of my boyfriend and coach Vladimir Turbaevskiy and thankful for the efficient preparation!” ever mindful of her sponsors, she paid thanks to them all.
With the next ETU European Cup taking place in Kyiv, she had even more emotion on the podium, “What a pleasure to sing National anthem from the podium! Now the focus is on National Championship!” Silver went to Cook. A great performance and good to see her on the podium in this, her second ever ETU event! Bronze went to Gorbanova.
With a view inside the race, French athlete Julie Nivoix said after the race, “A sixth place today for me in my first race of the season. Swam in amongst the jellyfish and then had a sort of “parachute triathlon” where nothing seemed to go forwards easily. On the bike our group was not well-coordinated. More or less happy, knowing that this is still work in progress.”
The men’s race was a mass start and a rough sea causing athletes to not take the shortest route. Vladimir Turbayevskiy RUS led out of the water. There followed a long stream of the strongest athletes and even the huge climb of steps to T1 did little to slow them down. Big bunch into T1. Big bunch out. Massive peloton on the bike; massive peloton into T2.
Turbayevskiy explained, “We swam bit wrong direction due to the waves, but I still managed to come out from the water first. On the bike we couldn't go for breakaway unfortunately and as result arrived to T2 in a big pack.” Back down the road and looking at the smashed remains of his cycle helmet, Lukas Pertl AUT, had come off at 40kph. Amazingly, aside from the smashed helmet, he escaped with road rash and a few bumps and bruises. He has survived and has a special message for all, “Kopf ist ganz! Danke an Giro Bikewear für den gutaussehenden Lebensretter!!!” A message for all – wear your helmet whenever you are on your bike. We wish Lukas a very speedy and recovery. If you want to send him a message and see the pretty gruesome photo of his road rash, check out his Facebook Page.
Meanwhile, back out on the run, it was here that the pack began to thin out and a tremendous effort took Frenchman, Brice Daubord into the lead. He is no stranger to international racing but had been absent for a couple of years. “I was a little bit worried before the race but everything went well after the start. The swim seemed a little bit long, around 13 mins but I was in a main pack. Out on the bike I decided to be careful; in fact very careful on bike because the pack was too big. I had a bad T2 but made some progress and pushed to the front. It was about 1km from the finish when I was about 10 seconds behind Yegor Martynenko that I attacked on the hill. We were a small group; Turbayevskiy, me and Franz Loeschke GER. I caught Yegor and continued my effort to about 200m before the Finish Line!”
He later commented about the bike course, which he felt was tight and pretty technical. Despite his caution on the bike, this is a man to watch.
Chasing for the line, Martynenko settled for silver. “My first European podium in season 2015! Silver in Burgas European Cup today. Was so close to win, but absolutely satisfied with a medal). Thanks to everyone who supported!” Again, he was full of thanks to his sponsors.
It was so close to a dream double on the top of the podium but today Yelistratova’s partner and trainer, Turbayevskiy had to settle for bronze.
Race done. Points won. Wounds healing. For some a complicated flight home, for others, like Yelistratova, it is a 1,200km drive home in preparation for her next race. How do they do it? Well she has the answer, “I do love racing! And I believe that often some of them could be perfect training. Of course special preparation and "freshness" before such races as say European Games or World Champs is important; though such competitions as European Cups can be done under high training loading as Burgas.”
|10.||Alberte Kjær Pedersen||DEN||01:03:55|
Find more details about this event - 2015 Burgas ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup