American's Lukas Verzbicas and Gwen Jorgensen had impressive victories over the weekend in Banyoles, Spain at the 2012 Banyoles ITU Triathlon World Cup. For Jorgensen, it was a good warm up race brimming with athletes heading to London. Verzbicas, the 19-year old Junior World Champion made his debut on the elite international circuit and earned himself his first World Cup title.
Verzbicas announces his arrival at Banyoles World Cup
While the temperatures certainly heated up at the men's race of the 2012 Banyoles ITU Triathlon World Cup, the competition didn't get steamy until the final discipline. The race was a game of wait and see, as a pack of more than 50 men competed in one large group until the run.
The day began predictably enough when the Polyanskiy brothers quickly moved to the front of the swim. Fernando Alarza, an up and coming athlete for Spain, joined the Russians as a leader out of the swim exit. Alarza hopped on his bike and slid ahead to lead a group of more than 30 men onto the first lap of the ride.
With a flat course lacking many opportunities for strong or technical riders to pull away, another 20 men joined the lead congregation by the end of the first lap. Only a small assembly of six riders remained trailing.
Vidal, who left the water in 24th place made his way to the front of the ride just in time for Russia´s Denis Vasiliev to break away to a 38-second lead. Meanwhile, Polyanskiy opted to fall to the middle of the pack where Verzbicas was nearby. For the final two laps, Vidal pulled the sizable field, while Verzbicas and Polyanskiy conserved energy.
After pushing through a congestive second transition, Verzbicas, Vidal, and Polyanskiy ran shoulder to shoulder, having quickly overtaken Vasiliev and the rest of the competitors. Together, they continued forging further ahead until the final lap when Vidal and Verzbicas dropped Polyanskiy.
Vidal had a slight edge over Verzbicas, but it didn´t last long. Verzbicas kicked into turbo speed with half a lap to go and left the Frenchman behind.
"Polyanskiy and Vidal started the run out well," Verzbicas said. "Without planning it, I pushed forward and just kept pushing the whole way."
Wearing number 43, Verzbicas surged over the finish line to his first world cup victory with a 17-second lead.
"It was great," Verzbicas said. "It was my first world cup, as well as my first world cup victory."
2012 Banyoles ITU Triathlon World Cup Results:
Banyoles, Spain - June 17, 2012
|Elite Men Results||Time||
|Elite Women Results||Time|
|Lukas Verzbicas (USA)||1:47:28||
|Gwen Jorgensen (USA)||1:59:39|
|Laurent Vidal (FRA)||1:47:45||
|Erin Densham (AUS)||1:59:55|
|Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS)||1:48:04||
|Ashleigh Gentle (AUS)||2:00:02|
|Mark Buckingham (GBR)||1:48:16||
|Andrea Hewitt (NZL)||2:00:35|
|Adam Bowden (GBR)||1:48:22||
|Lois Rosindale (GBR)||2:01:10|
|Vladimir Turbaevskiy (RUS)||1:48:33||
|Arina Shulgina (RUS)||2:01:27|
|Fernando Alarza (ESP)||1:48:35||
|Elena Danilova (RUS)||2:01:38|
|Aaron Harris (GBR)||1:48:40||
|Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS)||2:01:48|
|Uxio Abuin Ares (ESP)||1:48:45||
|Anna Burova (RUS)||2:02:07|
|Andreas Schilling (DEN)||1:48:50||
|Tamsyn Moana-Veale (AUS)||2:02:12|
Jorgensen jets to Banyoles World Cup victory
The elite women were met with clear blue skies and rising temperatures at the 2012 Banyoles ITU Triathlon World Cup. A race brimming with athletes heading to London, triathlon newcomer Gwen Jorgensen (USA) gave her competition reason to fear her presence in England with a win in Spain on Sunday.
From the start, amphibious Lucy Hall (GBR) and Banyoles local Carolina Routier (ESP) wasted no time in creating a 20-meter distance on the two-lap swim. Routier swam on Hall´s hip throughout the swim, exiting to cheers from her compatriots.
Together, the young athletes headed out on the bike with a minute lead over favorites Andrea Hewitt (NZL) and Erin Densham (AUS). While they were expected to reign in the two runaways, the opposite actually happened.
Hall and Routier continued hammering out even splits, while the chase pack failed to find a rhythm. After trailing nearly a minute and a half behind on the first lap, the main group started to slowly chip away an average of ten seconds per lap. By the fourth lap, they pulled within a minute of the two leaders.
However, the group lost nearly 40 seconds on the final two laps. After a bike and swim that saw little change, the Hall and Routier left with a vengeance to take advantage of their lead.
Unfortunately for them, even one minute and 40 seconds wasn´t enough to secure a podium position. The pair was quickly overtaken by a swift Densham. The Aussie pulled even with Routier on the first lap and trailed Hall by just 14 seconds.
By midway through the second of three run laps, Hall was nowhere to been seen, while the Spaniard had fallen out of contention. Meanwhile, Densham continued ahead, while teammate Ashleigh Gentle and Jorgensen pulled up third. Hewitt trailed close behind.
"I knew I had to dig deep from the start of the run, with so many good runners around me," Gentle said. "I was really happy with the way I came home today because I was worried when I started to feel a bit flat around the mid section of the run, but I managed to pick it up."
On the final lap, Densham owned a nine-second lead over Jorgensen. Her lead, however, was soon destroyed. With a final surge, Jorgensen overtook a fatiguing Densham early on in the final lap. Jorgensen ran comfortably and confidently ahead.
She breezed over the finish line 16 seconds ahead of the competition to claim her second world cup title. Densham cruised into second, while her teammate Gentle gave Australia a two-three finish with bronze.
"It was a really great course," Jorgensen said. "Those girls really made me work. There are some really good runners out there and when Erin took it out, I really tried to keep the distance."
Photo Credit: Janos M. Schmidt / ITU Media