By Chelsea White on 29/10/17 at 7:25 pm
In the penultimate world cup race of the 2017 season, Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales finished off his year by becoming victorious at the 2017 Salinas ITU Triathlon World Cup. Putting his speed to the test in the final sprint distance race on the circuit, Grajales claimed the gold and stepped on top of the world cup podium for the first time since 2012.
“I am very very happy to win in Salinas. Last year at this race I came in third, so I am happy to finish the season with a win,” said Grajales of earning his gold to end the 2017 year.
Finishing in second place was first-time world cup silver medallist Felix Duchampt (FRA), who had a close race with Grajales on the run course. The bronze then went to Brazil’s Manoel Messias, who was another athlete to make it onto his first-career world cup podium.
“The race was good. My swim was pretty good. I was racing in the lead group and as it spread out I saw I was among the lead guys. Then the bike was flat and easy. There were some tries for breakaways, but it was so flat that no one could really get away. So, then I knew it was the run. I tried to go really fast so I could spread out the field, but Grajales caught me. It was a great battle, I would have liked to have beat him at the end, but he was stronger today so I am still really happy with second,” Duchampt said of his debut silver.
After the women had sealed in the action, the men then lined up to start the last fast and furious sprint race of the world cup circuit. The tide started to come in, but the waves tamed down as the horn signaled the start.
The one-lap 750-metre swim was a quick leg for the talented roster of men competing. Ecuador’s Ramon Armando Matute got the first edge to exit the waters first, but the sprint leg was not enough to cause a big enough gap and the majority of the field entered the first transition together.
The tight swim echoed onto the bike course. A lead pack tallying over 20 men formed a long train, that stayed together throughout the four laps. While some breakaway attempts were made, such as from Jason Wilson (BAR) and Flavio Morandini (ARG) through the 20-kilometres, the stacked peloton remained intact.
The group then entered the second transition together, making for one busy zone before taking off for the run.
It was on the first lap that Grajales and Duchampt broke away and were running side by side as the leading two. Just behind, smaller, yet determined chasers were hot in pursuit.
Once it hit the bell, it was clear that Grajales and Duchampt would be two names on the podium. Bronze however would go to a group of four men battling for the last spot. Among the fight was Messias, Diogo Sclebin (BRA), Irving Perez (MEX) and Taylor Forbes (CAN).
Grajales had the faster legs on the day and pushed ahead of Duchampt in the final metres to claim the win and his first world cup victory in over five years.
Duchampt followed closely behind and Messias just shortly after to finish off the podium.
Find more details about this event - 2017 Salinas ITU Triathlon World Cup