By Erin Greene on 26/09/11 at 5:59 am
The world’s fastest elite duathletes turned out to represent their countries once more before heading home in the mixed elite relay at the 2011 Gijon ITU Duathlon World Championships.
Newly crowned Duathlon world champion Katie Hewison (GBR) got her team out to a head start in the sprint race, completing the 2km run, 8 km bike and 1 km run first. Sandra Levenez (FRA), who secured bronze in the individual event, followed just a metre behind to tag her teammate next.
Competing with the elites for the relay, U23 world champion Etienne Diemusch (FRA) immediately set out to equal the pace of Great Britain’s Matthew Gunby. The two ran and rode together until Gunby blasted through the final lap to give Great Britain a slight lead.
The third member of the British relay, Georgina Schwiening maintained the team’s lead, but a slow transition allowed France’s Sabrina Monmarteau to catch her on the sprint bike leg. Even yet again, Nicholas Benoit (FRA), who finished fourth in the individual race due to a smoldering final run, wasted no time in unleashing his speed.
Benoit continued to distance himself from British anchor Mark Buckingham on the bike. With just one kilometre to run, Benoit once again hammered the final run, earning a team gold for France with an overall time of 1:26:07. Great Britain secured silver, finishing 11 seconds behind, while Spain won the battle for third at 1:28:23.
In the junior race, the Italian team built an insurmountable lead straight from the beginning. No team could compare, especially when junior champion Matthias Steinwadnater anchored the relay. He built on an already sizeable distance to easily bring home the gold for Italy by almost a minute in 1:29:47.
Find more details about this event - 2011 Gijon ITU Duathlon World Championships