Uxio Abuin Ares of Spain won his first World Cup of the year and Jolanda Annen of Switzerland won her second World Cup of 2017 at Weihai.
Abuin Ares led a Spanish-speaking sweep of the podium, followed 4 seconds later by Rodrigo Gonzalez of Mexico in 2nd and Antonio Serrat Seoane of Spain 23 seconds after the winner in 3rd.
Wian Sullwald of South Africa led the swim in the waters of Half Moon Bay in 17:51, which gave him a one second lead on Igor Polyanskiy of Russia and Zheng Xu of China. Following the swim leaders were key players in the final outcome - Andrey Bryukhankov of Russia (17:55), Abuin Ares and Sylvain Fridelance of France (17:58), Antonio Serrat Seoane of Spain (17:59) and Rodrigo Gonzalez of Mexico (18:11).
Thanks to swift transitions, four Japanese – Jumpei Furuya, Shogo Ishitsuka, Makoto Odakura and Yuichi Hosoda - quickly took their places at the front of a 10-man leading bike pack that included Sullwald, Polyanskiy, Bryukhankov, Abuin Ares Fridelance and Serrat Seoane.
The leaders quickly built a one minute lead over a chase group over the hills of the coastal city of Weihai. But by the end of the 40 kilometer ride, the chasers caught and merged with the leaders. Gonzalez, who was 24th midway through the bike leg, pushed hard and joined the front by the time they arrived at T2.
At the start of the run, Serrat Seoane, Abuin Ares and Gonzales surged away to a significant lead. In the final meters of the run, Abuin Ares sprinted and finished with a race-best 31:11 10k that gave him a 4 seconds margin of victory over Gonzalez (31:12 run) and 23 seconds on Serrat Seoane (31:33 run).
Abuin Ares finished the season in style, following his 3rd place last week at the Huelva World Cup with his third career World Cup win.
Junior Aquathlon World Champion Anastasia Gorbunova of Russia swam 18:29 to lead a five women breakaway followed closely by Cassandre Beaugrand of France, Annen, Zsanett Bragmayer of Hungary and Emma Jackson of Australia.
The lead pack worked well together to build an ever increasing lead – minus Beaugrand who fell back and joined the chasers on the fourth lap. After almost identical 1:13:27 to 1:13:33 splits, Gorbunova, Annen, Jackson and Bragmayer built a 2-minute lead by T2.
Immediately as they started the 10-kilometer run, Annen opened a gap that grew to the end of the race. Annen’s third-best 36:25 run brought her to the finish in 2:09:47 with a 50 seconds margin of victory on Jackson and 1:20 on 3rd place finisher Gorbunova.
Felicity Sheedy-Ryan of Australia closed fast with a race-best 36:11 run to finish 4th, 26 seconds behind Gorbunova. Beaugrand made up a lot of ground she lost on the bike leg with a 2nd best 36:18 run to finish 5th, 14 seconds behind Sheedy-Ryan.
Annen’s win added to her 2017 highlights including 5th place WTS finishes at Hamburg and Edmonton and a victory at the Cagliari World Cup. Jackson’s runner-up finish follows her win this year at the Mooloolaba World Cup. Gorbunova’s 3rd place was her first-ever World Cup podium.
Weihai World Cup
Half Moon Bay, Weihai, China
September 30, 2017
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Uxio Abuin Ares (ESP) 1:56:15
2. Rodrigo Gonzalez (MEX) 1:56:19
3. Antonio Serrat Seoane (ESP) 1:56:38
4. Felix Duchampt (FRA) 1:57:01
5. Lukas Hollaus (AUT) 1:57:17
6. Gábor Faldum (HUN) 1:57:33
7. Andrey Bryukhankov (RUS) 1:57:51
8. Sylvain Fridelance (SUI) 1:58:01
9. Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) 1L58:08
10. Wian Sullwald (RSA) 1:58:57
1. Jolanda Annen (SUI) 2:09:47
2. Emma Jackson (AUS) 2:10:37
3. Anastasia Gorbunova (RUS) 2:11:07
4. Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS) 2:11:33
5. Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) 2:11:47
6. Hiraku Fukuoka (JPN) 2:13:31
7. Zsanett Bragmayer (HUN) 2:13:39
8. Justine Guerard (FRA) 2:13:46
9. Lisa Perterer (AUT) 2:14:01
10. Mengying Zhong (CHN) 2:15:01