It was a surprised David Hauss of France who claimed first place at the ITU African Cup today. Chasing Sander Berk (Netherlands), Bas Diederen (Netherlands) and Kent Horner (South Africa) out of the water he left transition able to take advantage of cycling in the lead pack.
Two lead packs of cyclists quickly broke away from the rest of the field, but it was Raynard Tissink of South Africa who gave the home crowd something to cheer for when he decided to chance it on his own.
Better known for his long distance racing, Tissink worked his way into the first lead pack after exiting the water near the back of the field and then surged ahead to ride alone for the bulk of the second half of the cycle.
Entering the second transition alone and just 45 seconds ahead of the chasing pack, it was going to be difficult for Tissink to maintain a lead on the 10km specialists. Grant Fillmore of Great Britain together with David Hauss and Bas Diederen of the Netherlands were eager to chase down
Tissink and they quickly reeled him in on the first lap of the 10km run. Sander Berk, also of the Netherlands, was just a short distance behind them.
After some jostling for position on the run course, and with the wind slowly beginning to pick up, it was a delighted Hauss who crossed the 10 seconds ahead of Berk who was quickly followed by countryman, Diederen.
I was surprised to win, said Hauss who was hoping for top five position today.
A strong run from Tissink, saw him cross the line as the first South African in overall eighth position.
Some strong swimming in the womens race saw top contenders exit the water in just over 18 minutes. Ricarda Lisk of Germany and Jodie Swallow of Great Britiain were first into transition just ahead of Lucie Zelenkova of the Czech Republic, Juri Ide of Japan and Mari Rabie of South Africa.
On the bike a strong push from Lisa Norden of Sweden saw her move up from eighth position to join Rabie and Lisk in a group that worked together to enter the second transition at the same time ahead of the rest of the field.
This left the race for the podium to whoever had the legs to cover the 10km run course the fastest. Lisk began to pull away from the competition right from the start and it was soon clear that she would be the one to beat.
Norden maintained a steady pace to keep herself within sight of the leading woman, but Rabie had to concede her position coming off the bike to Ide (Japan) and then Swallow (Great Britian), who both had strong runs and managed to reel the South African in before the finish line.
First then went to Ricarda Lisk of Germany, second to Lisa Norden of Sweden and third to Juri Ide of Japan. Mari Rabie, one of South Africas hopefuls for the Olympics (2008) and a part of the triathlon team at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 was the first RSA woman over the line in overall fifth position.
For many of these elite athletes, the ITU African Cup formed the start to their racing season to accumulate points towards qualifying to represent their countries at the Olympic Games in 2008. They will now compete in a number of other World Cup events in order to secure their place in their national teams.
|Results: Elite and U23 Women|