Pre-race favourites Alexander Bryukhankov, Grégory Rouault and Brendan Sexton are among the big names to have progressed to the ITU Tiszaujvaros World Cup final tomorrow. In a exciting day of intense racing, none of the athletes won their heats but will be more than satisfied to progress to the final unscathed.
Rouault, a World Cup winner in Edmonton this year finished third in Heat 4, said: “I think I had an alright swim but we got between two packs on the bike. It was a bit slow at the time. But I made it through and tomorrow is another day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow it’s going to be exciting.
“It’s fun, it’s really fun because you get to play a bit. You are racing back to back and you have to be tactical. Do I race hard or do I just qualify? Do I chase those guys? It’s fun.”
The fastest time of the day went to Stefan Zachaeus (GER) in the first heat, who finished ahead of Bryukhankov. Under23 European Champion Florin Salvisberg (SUI) also progressed from this heat alongside the returning Frederic Belaubre, who was out on his own at one stage, before cruising home in fifth place.
Yegor Martynenko (UKR) won the second heat after setting a fast pace on the run that the rest of the field were happy not to match. Sean Jefferson (USA) produced a storming finish to move up from eighth approaching the final lap to finish fourth and secure qualification.
Declan Wilson (AUS) continued his excellent form in 2013 by winning Heat 3 and progressing to tomorrow’s final. After the race, Wilson said: “It’s good to know that I’ve made an easy berth through.
“I tried to maintain a steady rhythm throughout and we’ll see how I do tomorrow. I want a solid swim tomorrow. I want to tick through the race and if I have solid ticks I can have a good result.”
Wilson led home Joe Maloy (USA), Rostyslav Pevtsov (UKR), Oleksiy Syutkin (UKR) and Andrea Salvisberg (SUI).
In the final heat, Anthony Pujades (FRA) put down a marker by winning Heat 4. Pujades was third last year and he cruised through the run with Wian Sullwald (RSA). Both athletes were in cruise control before Pujades knicked it on the line.
Rouault came in third with Brendan Sexton fourth. Sebastian Rank, part of Germany’s successful European Championship relay team, showed his sprint pace to finish fifth and qualify for the final.