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Sat 21st May 2022
© John Levison
Day One: TWO Gold, Silver and a Bronze
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Saturday 27th September 2008

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John Levison reports from the ITU World Duathlon Championships in Rimini:

UPDATE: Paul Amey may well have crossed the line in second place but he was the man that hoisted the winner's trophy at the presentation following what can only be described as a bizarre situation involving two Belgians. Jurgen Dereere put in an official complaint that Rob Woestenborghs was cycling dangerously during the early stages of the 40k bike section (Rimini's bike course is essentially a drag strip up and down the seafront with a couple of chicanes to try to slow things down a bit). Once the referees had heard the complaint and gone into a huddle they ended up with a decision that saw BOTH athletes removed from the event's results! With the 'winner' gone, Amey retained his World title, although his post race comment indicates that he wasn't that happy with the result; "It's pretty disappointing to win the world championships in this way. (Rob) definitely deserved to win today."

In the men's race, Paul Amey had been in contention throughout the three phases but ended up as the meat in a Belgian sandwich with Rob Woestenborghs crossing the line first and Bart Aernouts completing the podium.

Defending Champion Vanessa Fernandez (POR) threw down the gauntlet in the women's race and broke away on the opening run and maintained a clear lead throughout the bike. At T2 she was 1:30 clear of Catriona Morrison and extended this to 1:45 at the end of the first lap. Vanessa eventually cruised home to victory 1:30 clear of Catriona Morrison with Ana Burgos (ESP) in third.

A full set of results for both the men's and women's races are here but we may yet have to update the men's results...

John managed to get a few words with Catriona after she finished:

World Long Distance Champion, and now silver here behind Fernandes. You must be pleased with that, considering the state your knee was in six months ago?

"...and my Achilles is pretty bad right now! I've got an appointment with the doctor on Tuesday... I was just hoping it would last." (Cat's leg was heavily strapped with pink tape during the race).

How was the race?

"Beforehand, I thought I could go with the second pack. I sort of warmed up gradually, which I think is what happens when you do long course! And then I felt good on the bike, so I thought let's work together, as I wasn't going to shelter anyone in the wind - then I looked around and no one was there - and I thought "Oh, I've got a break without even trying"!

How were the conditions? It's a flat course, but it seemed pretty damn windy?

"Yes, it was very windy which I think plays to my strengths, since riding in the wind is sort of like cycling up hills, isn't it!"

Is that it for the season now, with the injury?

"No, I've Clearwater to go, so another four-week block until that."

1Paul Amey (GBR) 1:48:00Vanessa Fernandes (POR) 2:00:51
2Bart Aernouts (BEL) 1:48:07Catriona Morrison (GBR) 2:02:29
3Sergio Silva (POR) 1:48:36Ana Burgos (ESP) 2:04:27

The Under 23 races took place in parallel with the Elite events and GB's sole representative, Ritchie Nicholls, took the Bronze medal in his race. A full set of results are here.

Team GB took its first gold of the ITU World Duathlon Champs 2008 in the first event of the day - the junior women. 2007 European Champion, Sophie Coleman, finished the first run in a small pack of three athletes, around 10 seconds behind the Mexican, Ruth Nivon Machoud. However, wearing platform pedals, this deficit was eliminated almost completely in T1, and a lead pack of three formed. Despite working hard on the bike, her fellow escapees were unable to contribute, and by the end of lap two (of three), a larger group re-formed. Showing great maturity, Coleman relaxed in the pack, but then ensured she was at the front of the pack entering T2. Another swift change, she was away in the lead with just Balogh (HUN) for company. Not for long! Looking super strong, Sophie was quickly away and clear on the final 2.5km stage for a very impressive an clear victory. A full set of results are online here.

John spoke to Sophie immediately on finishing:

European Champ last year, World Champ this year - how do you feel?

"Pretty good actually! I was pretty comfortable on the run. I was working hard on the bike, but when I could see the pack a few seconds behind, I eased up. I knew I had an advantage over most of the girls by wearing platforms, so I got out of transition first and I was confident in my run speed."

Anything else left for the season, or is that season over now?

"I've got one race left next weekend in France, a club cup team time trial, but this was the big one to finish off the season with"

In the Junior Men's race Richard Muray (RSA) defended his title. Tom Bishop did break away on bike, and with Richard led into T2, but his legs were blown when he started running. Jonathan Brownlee has been injured, and has done no fast running for 10-weeks, so didn't have the speed. In the end he finshed best of the Brits in 13th with Matthew Sharp 14th and Tom Bishop 24th.

1Richard Murray (RSA) 0:56:13Sophie Coleman (GBR) 1:04:01
2Alex Ascenzi (ITA) 0:56:19Ruth Nivon Machoud (MEX) 1:04:43
3Oscar Vicenzte (ESP) 0:56:23Barbara Balogh (HUN) 1:04:43

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