Uxio Abuin Ares of Spain and Ai Ueda of Japan won the men’s and women's titles at the ITU World Cup season finale at Miyazaki, Japan.
Ueda capped off a strong 2016 season, which included a bronze at WTS Yokohama and a silver last week at the sprint distance Tongyeong World Cup, with a come from behind win over U.S. competitors Summer Cook and Renee Tomlin at the Olympic distance Miyazaki World Cup.
Ueda surged hard on the bike to make up for a 20th-best 20:12 swim that left her 30 seconds behind a lead pack of 11 on the bike. Led by Ueda, the chase pack caught and joined the leaders on Lap 5 of 8 on the bike leg to form a pack of 25.
Ueda sprinted into a significant lead starting the run whereupon Cook and Tomlin responded and closed the gap to 50 meters after lap 1.
Ueda responded and finished with a race-best 35:04 10k run that brought her to the line in 2:01:02 with a 22 seconds margin of victory over Cook (35:21 run) and 46 seconds on 3rd-place finisher Tomlin (35:44 run).
“Today I was in the third group in the swim but [I worked with my] Japanese teammate to catch the top group - and I like the running,” she said. “I’m so happy to win, today is a good racing and fast time.”
Cook, who won at the Tongyeong World Cup last week, was one place short of back to back wins but rounded out a strong year with two World Cup wins, a silver at Miyazaki, and a WTS title in Edmonton.
“I got out pretty well on the first lap (swim) and set myself up for the rest of the race,” said Cook. “I tried to hang with [Ueda] as long as I could but had no response to her move on the third lap [of the run]. I’m pleased with second but would have liked to be in the mix with her a little longer.”
Tomlin matched her result at Tongyeong, finishing 2016 with two bronze medals.
Ares, who won the sprint distance Tongyeong World Cup last week, out sprinted Joao Silva of Portugal by 1 second and Gregory Billington of the U.S. by 2 seconds to take the Olympic distance Miyazaki World Cup in a time of 1:52:29.
After safely negotiating a 46-man lead pack on the bike, Abuin Ares posted a 2nd-best 31:46 run to edge Silva (31:45 run) and Billington (31:54 run) at the line.
“Today the race was very hard because double distance [of sprint distance Tongyeong], “said Abuin Ares. “The weather [today] was very hot and the race was very, very fast. I had very good feelings on the first two laps [of the run] then I feel a little bad, but I push hard and I am very happy to win again. I’m improving and hope to be in the WTS next year.”
Miyazaki ITU World Cup
October 29, 2016
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Uxio Abuin Ares (ESP) 1:52:29
2. Joao Silva (POR) 1:52:30
3. Gregory Billington (USA) 1:52:31
4. Simon De Cuyper (BEL) 1:52:38
5. Eder Mejia Muñoz (MEX) 1:52:35
6. Lukas Hollaus (AUT) 1:53:12
7. Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) 1:53:14
8. Vladimir Turbayevskiy (RUS) 1:53:17
9. Jonathan Wayaffe (BEL) 1:53:19
10. Drew Box (AUS) 1:53:24
20. Eli Hemming (USA) 1:54:40
DNF Kevin McDowell (USA), William Huffman (USA), Josh Izewski (USA).
1. Ai Ueda (JPN) 2:01:02
2. Summer Cook (USA) 2:01:24
3. Renee Tomlin (USA) 2:01:48
4. Sara Vilic (AUT) 2:01:50
5. Elena Danilova (RUS) 2:01:53
6. Jaz Hedgeland (AUS) 2:02:02
7. Sena Takahashi (JPN) 2:02:04
8. Yuko Takahashi (JPN) 2:02:29
9. Yuka Sato (JPN) 2:03:03
10. Deborah Lynch (NZL) 2:03:13
14. Jessica Broderick (USA) 2:03:59