Italy’s Massimo Cigana and Alberto Casadei finished together as dual winners of the elite men’s category and Parys Edwards of Great Britain won the women's title at the 21st Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
Cigana became the event’s first 4-time champion, adding the 2014 title to his previous wins in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
Casadei began the day with a race-best 25:03 split for the 1.8 kilometer swim which gave him a 4:22 lead on his countryman. Cigana made up 3:21 on Casadei with a race-best 1:18:44 split for the 55 kilometer bike leg and then caught the leader early on the 12 kilometer run.
“We ran together the last lap, so we decided to cross the finish line together,” said Cigana, who caught Casadei with a race-best 43:46 run which was precisely 57 seconds faster than his co-winner. “The weather is sweltering today so it was difficult especially on the run leg. But it is great to win together representing Venice, Italy, the same city we are from.”
Casadei saluted his fellow Venetian. “It is amazing to run and race together here in Phuket,” said Casadei. “Massimo is absolutely the King here. I am proud to win with him and represent Italy. It would be really great if we could win Challenge Laguna Phuket together next week.”
Mitchell Robins of Australia finished 3rd, 17 seconds behind the winners.
Cigana is a former professional cyclist who raced with Marco Pantani’s Mercatone Uno team. His record 4th win at Laguna Phuket adds to a long list of successes as a professional triathlete that includes wins at Austria 70.3, Alpe d’Huez, a 2nd at the Asia-Pacific 70.3 Championship and a 3rd at Ironman Florida.
Parys Edwards of Great Britain swam 34:24, biked 1:29:16 and ran 48:37 to finish in 2:54:43 with a 3:58 margin of victory over runner-up Belinda Granger of Australia. Germany’s Katja Rabe finished 3rd, 44 seconds behind Granger.
Edwards is a former international field hockey player who took up triathlon in 2008 and won the women’s overall age group crown at the 2013 ITU World Championship Grand Final in London. In her first year as a pro, Edwards placed 3rd at Alpe d’Huez long course and 3rd at Ironman 70.3 Aarhus.
Writing another episode to her farewell tour to professional triathlon, Belinda Granger followed up her 4th place finish in her final pro race - in Australia - last weekend with a podium in her 12th appearance at the classic Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon
Laguna Phuket, Thailand
November 23, 2014
S 1.8k / B 55k / R 12k
1. Massimo Cigana (ITA) 2:33:57
2. Alberto Casadei (ITA) 2:33:57
3. Mitchell Robins (AUS) 2:34:14
4. Casey Munro (AUS) 2:37:35
5. Fredrik Croneborg (SWE) 2:37:59
1. Parys Edwards (GBR) 2:54:53
2. Belinda Granger (AUS) 2:58:51
3. Katja Rabe (GER) 2:59:35
4. Carole Duchs (FRA) 3:04:29
5. Leanne Szeto (AUS) 3:05:05