Magali Di Marco Messmer and Michael Raelert have won the event, both of them with tremendous performances.
With the men’s start with just 3 minutes ahead of the women’s, the spectators at the event could see a 2 hours triathlon par excellence, all athletes together on the course. The strong and gusty winds made it hard for the athletes to get into a proper rhythm on the swim course, and the strong currents in Lake Geneva also did their best to challenge the athletes.
However, the men’s field managed to stick together, so a huge peloton set off for the 6 lap bike course. Swiss resident Andrew ‘AJ’ Johns (GBR) lost contact with the first group and had to work real hard for 2 laps to make his way back there.
At the women’s competition, a smaller group including Di Marco-Messmer, Annaheim (SUI), Dittmer (GER), May (LUX) managed to break away from the rest of the field and took their lead onto the bike course.
The hilly bike course promised a nervous race with lots of breakaway efforts, and this is exactly what happened : Michael Raelert managed to breakaway with two french athletes and to build up a comfortable gap to the chase pack, which was falling into smaller parts due to the high pace. At the end of the bike leg, the leaders had an advantage of approximately 2 minutes. As Raelert confirmed after the race, this was his tactics for today: he was not sure to be able to run well due to a knee injury, so he decided to drop the hammer on the bike course and see what happens…
The women’s bike leg was much more calm, the leaders built up their lead consequently from lap to lap. No surprise that local favourite Di Marco-Messmer was the first to be back at transition 2 together with the rest of the lead group. Despite working hard to catch up with the lead pack, the chase group with Spirig (SUI) and Szabo (HUN) were far behind at T2.
The men’s run leg promised a thrilling race: with Raelert to sure to be able to finish, the strong runners like Johns, Hug and Riederer (both SUI) and Petzold (GER) put on a great effort to win the race. But despite being injured, the young German (Raelert) had increadibly fresh legs and managed to maintain his lead until the very end and to win the European Cup! Johns came second in a cracking sprint finish, just ahead of ‘Mikey’ Petzold. Riederer came 4th, which meant that he is also new Swiss champion, with Hug following close behind.
The lead group of the girls sticked together for the first couple of laps, May, Di Marco-Messmer and Dittmer all together. The Swiss bronze medalist of Sydney then increased her pace and took over the lead on her own, which she kept until the very end: that meant gold for Magali, the mother of two. Catriona Morrison surprisingly came second after an amazing run, May (LUX) finished in third place, with Dittmer close behind.
It was a great race and we are looking forward to coming back to the beautiful city of Geneva next year! For full results please visit the ETU website on www.etu-triathlon.org!!!