Lightning was approaching, so ITU officials decided to start the men’s World Cup final early at Tiszaujvaros to avoid a strike during the swim.
By the time a 30-man field of elite triathletes finished the 750 meter swim, 20 kilometer bike leg and 5k run, Hungarian Bence Bicsák zoomed past two Russians and struck gold at the finish for his first-ever World Cup podium.
Frenchman Raoul Shaw led the swim in 8:44 which gave him a few seconds lead on four men who also broke the 9-minute barrier – fellow Hungarian Mark Dévay, Jonas Schomburg of Germany, Dmitry Polyanskiy of Russia, and Stefan Zacheus of Luxembourg.
At the start of the multi-lap, 20k bike leg, eight men tried mightily to break away, including Matthew Sharpe of Canada, Schomburg, Alessandro Fabian of Italy, Bicsák, and Tamás Tóth. Despite their efforts to escape, Dmitry Polyanskiy of Russia picked himself up after a small crash and worked hard to lead the chase group back to the front.
With rain drops making the road slippery on the final laps, both groups slowed and came together entering T2.
Starting the run, defending Tiszaujvaros champion Polyanskiy surged to the front and, to the delight of the crowd, only home country hero Bicsák had the speed and endurance to go with him. With two laps to go, Bicsák passed the Russian and after a race-best 15:14 run, finished in 54:58 with a hefty 15 seconds margin of victory. With a final surge, Russian Olya Prasolov sprinted past Canadian Matthew Sharpe for the final spot on the podium, 5 seconds behind Polyanskiy.
Full of joy, Bicsák told ITU Media: “It’s amazing to win here, in front of all [these] people. I am so happy that I cannot express it. On the first kilometer of the run I was feeling very bad, but I tried to catch Dmitry [and] the fans helped me here.”
Tiszaujvaros World Cup
July 23, 2017
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k
1. Bence Bicsák (HUN) 54:58
2. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) 55:13
3. Ilya Prasolov (RUS) 55:18
4. Matthew Sharpe (CAN) 55:19
5. Stefan Zacheus (LUX) 55:19
6. Támas Tóth (HUN) 55:22
7. Márk Dévay (HUN) 55:26
8. Jonas Schomburg (ITU) 55:31
9. Raoul Shaw (FRA) 55:36
10. Luciano Taccone (ARG) 55:38