Dirk Waijnarda and Erika Csomor wins inaugural Challenge Venice triathlon
Swimming in the city known for its waterways, followed by a flat and fast rolling course along the garden of Venice in a beautiful countryside, was the very experience of triathletes in the inaugural Challenge Venice in Italy.
Dirk Waijnarda of Netherlands took top honours for the men, finishing the full-distance triathlon’s 3.8-kilometre swim, 180-kilometre cycle and 42-kilometre marathon, in a time of 8 hrs 9 mins 14 secs, while Sergio Marques of Portugal, and Malte Bruns of Germany completed the podium.
The top spot on the women’s podium went to Erika Csomor of Hungary, finishing in 9 hrs 4 mins 42 secs ahead of the home favourite, Martina Dogana and Carla Van Rooijen of Netherlands.
The 6.30 am start from the Island of Venice was a spectacular sight as the 800 athletes dived into the water while there was a huge turnout of spectators along the cycling route which traversed the Provinces of Venice and Treviso, winding its way through the Municipalities of Quarto d’Altino, Marcon, Meolo, Monastier, Musile, San Donà and Roncade before the final marathon in Parco San Giuliano.
“This morning’s start was incredible because the backdrop is absolutely unique in the world. I didn’t have any trouble in the swimming stage but the cycling one was gruelling. I felt fine despite the sun and heat, and I was still doing pretty good when I got to the second transition. Then I waited for the final 24 km before I really started to push hard and apply my strategy. I’m very happy to have taken the win”.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have won the first edition of this competition and on my first official outing this season too. I managed to take the lead almost immediately and then I was able to control it from there on. I knew that Martina was a strong runner and so I couldn’t relax for a single second during the race. She also had a fantastic turnout of people cheering her on on her home ground so staying out in front until the very end was really tough”.
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