2008 U.S. Olympian claims ITU Duathlon World title with sprint finish
CONCORD, N.C. (September 26, 2009) -- No one can claim that Jarrod Shoemaker can't kick it in to win down the stretch. The 2008 Olympic triathlete from the United States did just that to claim the elite men's title at the 2009 ITU Duathlon World Championship on Saturday at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
It was Shoemaker's second world title, after winning U23 triathlon gold at the 2005 ITU World Championship.
The 60 competitors went out strong and remained closely packed throughout the opening 10k run, with Portugal's Sergio Silva along with Shoemaker (Sudbury, Mass. / Maynard, Mass.) and U.S. teammate Chris Foster (Annapolis, Md. / Redondo Beach, Calif.) pushing the pace amid a misty rain. Out onto the bike, the lead group was 14 for half of the six laps, but grew to as many as 18 as four chasers bridged up.
A crash on lap five nearly ended Shoemaker's day, but he was able to join a chase group and worked his way back to within sight of the leaders. Entering the second run, Frenchman Damien Derobert, Sergio Silva of Portugal and Jurgen Dereere of Belgium were side by side and headed to the podium, with Shoemaker out of the top 10, close to 20 seconds back. But the American was able to pull to fourth after the first 2.5k and continued to pick off competitors until he entered the Speedway with Dereere and Derobert with the finish line in sight.
After Shoemaker pulled slightly ahead and Dereere fell off the pace, Derobert started a kick that looked like it would take him to the top of the podium. Shoemaker, however, had other ideas and one final burst moved him past the Frenchman at the tape.
Coming into the event, Shoemaker was a darkhorse. He had a strong running resume, but having never raced a duathlon before, the jury was still out on whether he could hang with the duathlon specialists over the 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run course. He proved the doubters wrong.
"The first run, we decided to keep the tempo up high. I wanted to feel good. I didn't want to push it too hard because I've never done this before," said Shoemaker. "Then the bike. It was really technical, really tough. I crashed and thought my race was over then, but luckily a pack was right there and Paul Amey helped to pull me back up. I came off the bike and that's it; you have to go as hard as you can go. These guys are great athletes. I knew he would do a sprint. I saw him right next to me and I said ‘this is it.'"
Derobert earned second, with Dereere finishing third.
Josh Merrick was the next U.S. athlete, finishing 17th. Foster wound up 18th, with Derek Oskutis (20th), Matt Russell (21st) and David Thompson (24th) among the top 25. Justin Hurd was 32nd.
Alessandro Fabian of Italy won the U23 men's title, followed by Antoine Duvivier of Belgium and Tiago Silva of Portugal.
In the women's elite race, first place went to Vendula Frintova of the Czech Republic, who used her own kick to nip Sandra Levenez of France by four seconds in another exciting finish. Ana Burgos of Spain was third among the 31 competitors.
Levenez produced the fastest first run of the day, as she and Samantha Warriner (NZL) pressed the pace early. A 40k bike in and out of the Lowe's Motor Speedway didn't provide much drama; the athletes were just waiting for that final 5k run.
And it did come down to the run, with the top nine second run splits exactly matching the order of finish for the top nine athletes.
"I'm really, really happy. I'm a specialist for triathlon, but my season was up and down. This is my best result for the year," said Frintova. "The race was really hard, especially the first run for me. I was suffering. I didn't really expect to be the fastest at the end. The bike was quite calm, no one wanted to go hard. So we were just sitting back and waiting for the second run."
The top American finish went to Molly McGaver, who produced the day's fastest bike split and finished 16th. She was followed by Uli Bromme in 17th. Team USA veteran Anne Preisig finished 19th, while Kathryn Kasischke, Heidi Sarna and Rachel Chambers finished, 20th, 21st, and 22nd, respectively.
Evgenia Sukhoruchenkova of Russian claimed the U23 women's championship, followed by Kinga Lauf of Hungary.
Elite Men's Results
1 Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) 1:49:02
2 Damien Derobert (FRA) 1:49:02
3 Jurgen Dereere (BEL) 1:49:09
4 Sergio Silva (POR) 1:49:26
5 Victor Manue Del Corral Morales (ESP) 1:49:28
6 Raphael Baugh (AUS) 1:49:33
7 Richard Hobby (GBR) 1:49:44
8 Alessandro Fabian (ITA) 1:49:50
9 Lino Barruncho (POR) 1:49:52
10 Morimichi Iihoshi (JPN) 1:49:53
Other U.S. Finishers
17 Josh Merrick 1:50:10
18 Chris Foster 1:50:36
20 Derek Oskutis 1:50:42
21 Matt Russell 1:50:51
24 David Thompson 1:51:04
32 Justin Hurd 1:53:23
Elite Women's Results
1Vendula Frintova (CZE) 2:08:18
2 Sandra Levenez (FRA) 2:08:22
3 Ana Burgos (ESP) 2:08:30
4 Ruth Van Der Meijden (NED) 2:08:40
5 Anne Haug (GER) 2:08:48
6 Andrea Steyn (RSA) 2:08:55
7 Evgenia Sukhoruchenkova (RUS) 2:09:04
8 Alexandra Louison (FRA) 2:09:11
9 Immaculada Pereiro (ESP) 2:09:15
10 Samantha Warriner (NZL) 2:09:26
16 Marlo McGaver 2:12:31
17 Uli Bromme 2:12:34
19 Anne Preisig 2:13:49
20 Kathryn Kasischke 2:14:34
21 Heidi Sarna 2:15:12
22 Rachel Chambers 2:17:38
Full results available online.at: OnlineRaceResults.com.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon - the fastest growing sport in the U.S. - as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,500 races and connects with more than 125,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USAT provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Championships, Pan American Games, and the Olympic Games.