Under sunny skies in downtown Hamburg, Germany, world number one ranked Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal was able to beat out a stellar international womens field for her eleventh straight triathlon world cup win in a row. Fernandes time of 1:53:11 was 11 seconds faster then her closest rival Debbie Tanner of New Zealand and third place Laura Bennett of the United States, who was a further minute and 14 seconds back.
We have a beautiful race today and a great crowd and I am so pleased to win today, said Fernandes, who will celebrate her 21st birthday in four days. It means that I am prepared for next year at the World Championships.
After finishing second one week ago at the 2006 Triathlon World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, Fernandes was on good form to win todays preview of next years world championships, which will be held on the same course in late August. The world-class field of athletes brought a total of 310,000 cheering spectators onto the course over the two days of competition, officials estimated.
The crowd is so great and it was good to be back today and have a good race, commented Bennett, who hasnt raced here since 2002. They [the crowd] really do lift you and the Germans are great at lifting you.
After the 1,500 metre wetsuit swim in Alster Lake a small group of women including Fernandes, Tanner, Bennett, Liz Blatchford of Great Britain, Emma Moffat of Australia and German favourite Joelle Franzmann exited the water just behind American swimming prodigy Sara McLarty.
These seven women quickly formed a lead group at the front of the bike and worked well together over the flat and fast bike course. By the end of the 8-lap, 40 kilometre bike leg this small pack was able to put a 90 second gap between themselves and the large chase pack of 26 athletes. With some of the sports best runners in this small lead group it was only a question of what three would stand on the podium.
Immediately onto the 4-lap 10 kilometre run it was Fernandes and Tanner who separated themselves from the rest of the field and ran neck in neck for the first 7 kilometres. Both women had something to prove after being favourites going into last weekends world championships where a disappointing run left Fernandes with the silver medal and a bike crash left Tanner in 23rd spot.
On the run I didnt start very well and had to chase Debbie Tanner because she was running very well, commented Fernandes. Only in the third lap did I push and tried hard to find my rhythm again.
Fernandes made her move with 3 kilometres to go and although Tanner responded at first, she was unable to hold the pace of the fleet-footed Portuguese athlete.
When she kicked she kicked pretty hard and she got a little gap which I tried to bridge but wasnt able, responded the 23-year-old Tanner. All credit to her she did really well. It was really exciting to get out there and be up there on the run and be able to contest it.
With the win Fernandes stays atop of the 2006 BG Triathlon World Cup standings. Franzmann and Canadian Lauren Groves remain in second and third after their results today.
Only Emma Carney has won more world cups in a row with 12 consecutive world cup wins in the ear;y 90’s. Fernandes could equal this record in Beijing in two weeks time.
It was another amazing day of ITU racing here in Hamburg, be sure to log back onto triathlon.org later tonight where will have full race highlights available on Tricast.
Updated ranking are available on the ITU rankings page.
Related Event: 2006 Hamburg BG Triathlon World Cup
|Results: Elite Men|
|1.||Javier Gomez Noya||ESP||01:43:01|
|Results: Elite Women|
|4.||Ana Burgos Acuña||ESP||01:54:53|