Italy’s Massimo Cigana defended his 2010 title and became the first athlete in the events 18 year history to win three Laguna Phuket Triathlon’s (2007, 2010, 2011). Cigana took the lead through the steep Naithon Hills that athlete’s encounter during the 55km scenic Phuket bike course. From there he dominated the event using his powerful bike leg to extend his lead and have a comfortable buffer out of T2. Cigana told Trizone “I knew today that I had to finish the bike with a gap on the strong runners in the field. From there I’d like to have a solid run and be the first athlete to win three LPT’s.” The popular Italian was good to his word and held onto his lead to take the win in formidable fashion much to the pleasure of the many Italian visitors to Phuket.
In the women’s race, defending champion and the ever popular Belinda Granger from Noosa Heads arrived coming off the back of a bout of illness and injury. Pre-race she told the crowd that her top pick for the race was the Czech Republic’s Radka Vodickova. Giving up 14 years to the top ranked ITU European athlete, Granger was going to be up against a rising star. Vodickova was on form from the outset leading out of T1 after the 1.8km swim with several women including the defending champ in hot pursuit. Vodickova hit the Naithon Hills with close to a 2 minute lead over a surging Granger and the two raced away from the chasers and towards T2. The Czech athlete managed the conditions well, racing away to her second Laguna Phuket Triathlon title (2009, 2011) with a strong run through the Laguna Phuket resort grounds.