CONCORD, N.C. (September 26, 2009) -- American junior Lukas Verzbicas (New Lenox, Ill.) used a strong kick finish over the final 400 meters to outrun Mario Mola of Spain and claim the 2009 ITU Duathlon World Championship title on Saturday at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
Mexico's Carlos Chavez was third.
It was the first U.S. world title in an ITU event since Stephen Duplinsky won gold in the men's junior race at Duathlon Worlds in Cornerbrook, Canada in 2006.
In the women's junior race, Great Britain's Sophie Coleman defended her title, followed by countrymate Vicky Graves and the Netherland's Marjon Van Der Wansem. U.S athletes were paced by Kate Buss, who finished 7th.
Verzbicas went out strong with the day's fastest first run, a 5k in 14:41 that was just a second ahead of Mola, who was coming off a junior triathlon world title two weeks ago in Australia. The tandem was able to put almost a minute onto the nearest competitors and rode most of the 20k bike alone out front.
Once the chasers joined them heading into T2, Verzbicas fell slightly off pace, but again used his run speed to pull back among the leaders. He was neck and neck with Mola as they entered the Speedway and pulled away down the finish chute to win by 10 seconds.
The junior women saw four athletes take control early. Coleman, Graves Van Der Wansem and Adriana Barraza put over a minute on the other seven competitors after the first 5k run, stayed together on the 20k bike and produced the top four second run splits to cinch their finishes.
Male Junior Results
1 Lukas Verzbicas (USA) 55:29
2 Mario Mola (ESP) 55:39
3 Carlos Chavez (MEX) 55:59
4 Vid Pucelj (SLO) 56:03
5 Nathan Coombes (NZL) 56:04
6 Nick Rennie (NZL) 56:42
7 Oscar Vicente (MEX) 57:37
8 Jorge Vichot (ESP) 57:45
9 Taylor Reid (CAN) 57:46
10. Martinez Cuhutemco (MEX) 57:56
Other U.S. Finishers
12 Ryan Peterson 58:06
15 Anthony Phillips 58:36
16 Collier Kempton 58:56
17 Reeven Nathan 59:07
18 Jared Bonecutter 59:41
19. Allex Burton 1:01:01
Female Junior Results
1 Sophie Coleman (GBR) 1:04:30
2 Vicky Graves (GBR) 1:04:42
3 Marjon Van Der Wansem (NED) 1:04:49
4 Adriana Barraza (MEX) 1:05:08
5 Jessica Berrones (MEX) 1:07:32
6 Andrea Barraza (MEX) 1:07:43
7 Kate Buss (USA) 1:09:53
8 Katie June (USA) 1:10:35
9 Katherine Shields (USA) 1:13:14
10 Emily Shields (USA) 1:14:44
Full results available online.at: OnlineRaceResults.com.
Relive the race with the ZumTri animation.
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