A blistering final run leg still wasn’t enough to get Australia’s Felicity Sheedy-Ryan onto the podium in the 15th running of the 2011 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup in front of a huge crowd in Hungary today.
Well back in the swim, the determined Western Australian rode strongly to take the chase pack up to the lead group, to give herself a real chance of catching the leaders.
Sheedy-Ryan clocked the second fastest run of the day, splitting the 10km distance in 34 minutes 31 seconds â€“ only bettered on the day by eventual winner, US Olympic qualifier in London last week, Gwen Jorgensen who stormed home in 33.49 to win her first World Cup.
Jorgensen, who placed 46th in the 40km bike section, struggled to bridge the gap with the front pack, which had a 35-second lead.
Out on the run course, Jorgensen wasted no time in attacking first placed Annamarie Mazzetti (ITA) and Akane Tsuchihashi (JPN). Between the second transition and second lap of the run Jorgensen shifted into another gear, moving up 27 places to sixth and Sheedy Ryan followed suit, producing a stunning run.
Jorgensen didn’t look back passing run leader Mazzetti and snatching the gold in the thrilling final lap.
Despite a 70-second deficit coming out of T2, Jorgensen made up more than 15 seconds on each of the laps and stopped the clock at 1 hour, 59 minutes and 54 seconds to claim her maiden ITU victory.
The Italian crossed for silver (2:00.02), while Russian Irina Abysova (2:00.18) managed to keep Sheedy-Ryan (2:00.37) at bay for bronze.
Australia’s Tamsyn Moana-Veale (2:01.18), ninth, produced an encouraging top ten finish, with Charlotte McShane (27th) and Ellie Salthouse (53rd).
In the men’s race, won by Canada’s Brent McMahon, the best of the Australians were Mitch Robins (14th), Peter Kerr (18th) and James Seear (42nd), with the boys all putting their final efforts on the line before the Australian selectors finalise the Australian under 23 team for the up-coming ITU World Championships in Beijing (September 10 and 11).
Robins also ran strongly after he, Kerr and Seear steered their way through a large chase pack, which also included Spanish star and outstanding rifer Ivan Rana, but they were never in the hunt with the breakaway leading group of seven always going to be hard to catch.
In the end, McMahon, ran down Britain’s Aaron Harris, who ran himself into exhaustion to finish second, with local hero, Hungary’s Akos Vanek taking bronze.
Meanwhile in the ETU Junior European Cup, Australia’s Ashlee Bailie claimed bronze behind Great Britain’s Sophie Coldwell and Hungary’s Eszter Pap in a thrilling new-look sprint format, with a second Australian, Natalie Van Coevorden seventh.
The men’s final saw Jack Hickey grab eighth place â€“ the lone Australian in the final.
For the first time in an ITU/ETU competition, the race format was split into preliminary rounds and a final â€“ with the top 10 in each qualifying round along with the five next best times.
The total race distance equated to a full sprint distance triathlon.
The Australians were all well placed in their respective preliminaries Bailie and Van Coevorden winning their semi-finals with Hickey finishing third in his semi-final.
Hickey, Bailie, Van Coevorden and Moana-Veale have all been named on the Triathlon Australian Junior team for the up-coming ITU World Championships in Beijing, September 10 and 11 with the Under 23 and Elite teams to be announced this week.