Rob Woestenborghs is a man of perseverance and tenacity. In 2008, he made a name for himself as one to watch in the sport of duathlon when he won the World Championships. But after sitting out the following season and just missing out on reclaiming his title in 2010, Woestenborghs was hit with a string of missed opportunities when he failed to finish the race in 2011, then finishing 12th the following year. However, after a series of missed medals, the Belgian blew up the discipline this year, becoming responsible for two “Best of” moments in the 2013 multisport season.
It didn’t appear as if Woestenborghs would make his way back to the top of the duathlon charts at the start of the men’s elite Duathlon World Championships, which took place as part of the Cali World Games this year. In the first 10km run, Woestenborghs was faced with making up a 30-second deficit behind a large lead group. But the strong cyclist clawed his way back into the race early in the 40km bike.
Then in a perfectly timed break on the bike, he left a pair of Spaniards in an attempt to return to the podium for the first time since 2010. With a minute advantage off the bike, the Belgian bulldozed for the podium through the 5km run and never looked back.
The early move proved to be a smart decision for him, with the time gap too great for the field to overtake on the final two-lap run circuit. The win for Woestenborghs was his first world title since 2008 and marked his return to the World Championship podium for the first time in three years.
But Woestenborghs didn’t stop there. Just months later, Woestenborghs went on to win the Long Distance Duathlon World Championship in Zofingen, Switzerland in dominant fashion, winning the longer race for the first time ever by nearly three minutes, firmly cementing his claim as the men’s duathlete of the year.