The Belgians dominate the race
Powerman Zofingen 2012: Second Day Long- and Short Distance
Joerie Vansteelant (Belgium) and Eva Nyström (Sweden) won the 24th ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships in Zofingen. 1,224 participants were counted in total at the weekend. It was a big success although the weather was bad on Saturday.
It seems like the 2012 Zofingen ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships have been a Belgium competition. Joerie Vansteelant and Rob Woestenborghs were the leaders during the whole race. After 150 kilometer cycling the defending champion run away and increased his advance at the last 30 kilometers of the running section.
«I recognized that Rob Woestenborghs ran out of energy and I increased my speed at the last run», describes Vansteelant, who could defend his title as a World Champion. «At the end of the race I felt pain all over my body. I was asking myself why I do all this.» Woestenborghs only won once against the World Champion. This was at the Powerman in Malaysia on 13 November 2011. After cycling the duo had around the same time as Vansteelant had last year, when he set a new track record (6:07.15).
Battle for third place
The French athletes Thibaut Humbert and Anthony Le Duey were following the two Belgium leaders for a long time. In the middle of the race the Swiss Beat Ritter and Eneas Freyre from the USA increased their speed. Before ending the cycling session Ritter, Freyre and Le Duey could not follow the others anymore. Soren Bystrup from Denmark and Humbert were fighting for third place. Bystrup won the battle.
Ritter, best Swiss at Powerman Zofingen 2012, became fifth: «During the race I was thinking of God and I was very thankful because I felt good.» It was the first time he started with the elite. «As I am father of three kids, I am not sure if I will continue my sports career.»
Nyström at the front
After the first ten kilometers of running the Dutch May Kerstens, born in Switzerland, was at the front. Kerstens was followed by Susanne Svendsen (Denmark) and Melanie Burke (New Zealand). After the first of three rounds of cycling, Lucy Gossage (England) overtook the lead. Eva Nyström rushed more and more to the front and after 74 kilometers of cycling she passed Gossage.
«This title is surprising for me, because at the beginning of the race I was far away from the podium», said Nyström. She already started four times in Zofingen and thereof she landed twice on second place. «My family and especially my one year old son Simon motivated me.» After 35 kilometers of cycling Gossage knew that she was beaten. «When Eva Nyström overpassed me, I knew that only the second place would be possible here at my first race in Zofingen.» Third place catched May Kerstens and the best Swiss was Karin Gerber on fourth place.
Great Powerman Sunday
Compared to the first day of the Powerman Zofingen the weather on Sunday was almost perfect: Cloudy sky and temperatures around 14 degrees in the morning. «Over the Long Distance, including the 70 participants of the relay, we counted almost 500 athletes and over the Short Distance it is about the same», says president of the organization committee Stefan Ruf.
The goal for the next year, the 25th anniversary of Powerman Zofingen, is to have more than 1,000 starters at the Long- and the Short Distance. Ruf is proud to announce that the number of starting women is increasing every year. In total more than 1,224 people started on the two days of Powerman Zofingen, more than 1,000 on Sunday. «If the weather would have been better yesterday, we probably have reached the record of participants in this millennium.»
Very good preparation
The World Champions of 2011 Joerie Vansteelant (Belgium) and Melanie Burke (New Zealand) have the same target: «To defend the World Champion title has the highest priority, if so it would be nice to break the track record.»Vansteelant has been sitting on a public bench until a couple of minutes before the start: «I trained well, slept fantastic and I’m ready!» Burke said before starting: «I hope to hear a song from AC/DC when I will reach the finishing line.» Thunderstruck is the favourite song and motivates the 30 year old New Zealander. «If I can defend my title, I will play the airguitar», promises Burke.
Bad luckfor Uebelhart
The unlucky athlete of the day is the 37 year old Jacqueline Uebelhart. After the run of ten kilometers she was ninth. She was feeling good during the run but after a few meters on the bike, she recognized that something was wrong. She had to change a wheel because of a flat tire. After only 15 kilometers she had the same problem again and Uebelhart had to stop in the middle of the track with tears in her eyes. «Sh..only Sh..», were the words of Uebelhart just after the race. Already at the European Championships on 29th April 2012 in the Netherlands she had to quit because of a flat tire on the back.
Uebelhart confirms not to give up yet, she will continue her season of Powerman in Fuerteventura, Italy or Malaysia. In spring she had some problems with her ankle and a flu. In June she fell off her bike at the Gigathlon in Solothurn, hit with the head on the ground and had a concussion. A week ago she started at the Triathlon Vorarlberg and became third. Unfortunately today on the Powerman Zofingen she was unlucky again.
Ulrike Schwalbe (Germany) and Melanie Burke (New Zealand) were also accompanied by bad luck. As Schwalbe did not feel well she gave up after 50 kilometers of cycling. Burke had to deal with a chain crack in the second round and lost about five minutes. The winner of the Powerman 2012 in Germany, Belgium and Austria Susanne Svendsen was cycling with the top four until she got physical problems as she already encountered in the past. John Raadschelders, president of the International Powerman Association (IPA), was confident of the performance of Svendsen: «She is in a good condition, because now she has the right treatment to keep the asthma under control.»
ITU is satisfied
The ITU (International Triathlon Union) is the presenter of the Powerman series worldwide. «The changes, which were made compared to last year, resulted to a perfectly presented race. The teamwork between the ITU and the organization committee of the Powerman Zofingen helped to make this possible», says Brian Hinton member of the ITU Multi Sport committee and in Zofingen the person leading the ITU. He also mentioned that both races were really tough and he is expecting even a better event in 2013. Andreas Galanos, Technical Delegate of theITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships was pleased that the weather was finally in favor of Powerman Zofingen, which helped to motivate the athletes and the whole organization. Galanos is satisfied about the cooperation in between the two associations Powerman Zofingen and ITU.
Best form over Short Distance
Petra Eggenschwiler (TV Welschenrohr) was this summer in best form. The 24 year old woman became second at the Powerman Austria on 19th August and third in Solothurn at the Weissensteinberglauf on 26th August. She now is the winner of the Short Distance at Powerman Zofingen (10k running, 50k cycling, 5k running) before Alexandra Schaller (TriBaden/TV Unterstrass) and Claudine Hotz (Tempo Sport). The winner in the men’s race was Kamil van Beijnum from Knutwil, followed by Gabriele Rolla (Peperoncino Team) and Chrsitan Wittensöldner (Tri Club Zofingen).
24th Powerman Zofingen edition, 2012 Zofingen ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships
1. Joerie Vansteelant (BEL) 6:07.58. 2. Rob Woestenborghs (BEL) 6:12.34. 3. Soren Bystrup (DEN) 6:21.38. 4. Thibaut Humbert (FRA) 6:23.52. 5. Beat Ritter (SUI) 6:26.40. 6. Anthony Le Duey (FRA) 6:34.19. 7. Eneas Freyre (USA) 6:34.26. 8. Jochen Neyrinck (BEL) 6:36.19. 9. David Duquesnoy (FRA) 6:37.14. 10. Espen Kaczmarek (DEN) 6:40.45.
11. Stefan Wrzaczek (AUT) 6:42.30. 12. Wim Nieuwkerk (NED) 6:47.05. 13. Kenneth Poulsen (DEN) 6:49.23. 14. Ueli ieler (SUI) 6:52.00. 15. Jan Meysmans (BEL) 6:54.52. 16.. Raimond van der Boom (NED) 6:55.37. 17. Marc Widmer (SUI) 6:56.56. 18. Grigoris Skoularikis (GRC) 7:00.47. 19. Paolo Sorichetti (ITA) 7:00.54. 20. Dirk Londema (NED) 07:06.17. 21. Christian Fässler (SUI) 7:07.23. 22. Laurent Martinou (FRAU) 7:10.40. 23. Stéphane Briquez (FRA) 7:12.16. 24. Jürgen Hof (GER) 7:13.32. 25. Nikalas Cook (GBR) 7:14.56.
1. Eva Nyström (SWE) 7:05.48. 2. Lucy Gossage (GBR) 7:10.09. 3. May Kerstens (NED) 7:25.25. 4. Karin Gerber (SUI) 7:32.37. 5. Simone Helfenschneider-Ofner (AUT) 7:33.17. 6. Maja Jacober (SUI) 7:34.02. 7. Melanie Burke (NZL) 7:40.40. 8. Susanne Svendsen (DEN) 7:44.51. 9. Natascha Schmitt (GER) 7:46.28. 10. Katrin Esefeld (GER) 7:48.15. 11. Tineke van den Berg (NED) 7:53.27. 12. Jessica Jarz (AUT) 7:57.24. 13. Kristina Lapinova (SVK) 8:08.48. 14. Shannon Dawkins (USA) 8:16.24. 15. Lisa Reichmann (USA) 8:22.32.
text: Raphael Galliker
capture: The winner of Powerman Zofingen 2012 are Eva Nyström (Sweden) and Joerie Vansteelant (Belgium).
picture: Fotoclub Blende 8.5 Zofingen
More pictures of the second day of Powerman Zofingen will follow.
More pictures of Saturday: