Matt Hauser of Australia won his second World Cup of the season and Ai Ueda of Japan came back from a bike crash injury in March with a brilliant run to win at Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan. With unhealthy water quality prompting race officials to cancel the swim, the race favored top runners as the planned standard Olympic distance races turned into dry land duathlons.
Adding to a hot streak that began with a silver medal performance a week ago at WTS Leeds, Matthew McElroy of the U.S. took the bronze medal in the men's contest behind runner-up Wian Sullwald of South Africa.
Left 17 seconds behind by Ueda’s dominating run was runner-up Carolyn Hayes of Ireland, while 3rd place finisher Kate Waugh of Great Britain took 3rd, 50 seconds behind the winner.
McElroy showed no sign of weariness following his breakthrough silver performance at WTS Leeds last week as he led the field out of T1 after a 3rd-quickest 15:30 split in the opening 5k run and transition. But his swift effort offered him little cushion as the top 28 competitors dispatched the first leg within a 10 seconds window.
Sullwald emerged from the pack to lead the first of six laps of the 40 kilometer bike leg. The large pack stayed in close formation until Erwin Vanderplancke of Belgium and Lukas Pertl of Austria made a short break mid-way through the ride, but the enlarged pack of 34 swallowed them up leading into T2. In the 5th lap, Max Neumann of Australia managed to break free and opened a temporary 34-seconds lead. But entering T2 and exiting transition, Neumann’s lead was sliced to 7 seconds over fellow Aussies Hauser and Brandon Copeland, with McElroy, Gordon Benson of Great Britain and Sullwald in the front chase pack only 12 seconds arrears.
Sullwald and Hauser took the early lead on the run, followed by McElroy, Lukas Hollaus of Austria and Maxime Hueber Moosbrugger of France. At the start of the fourth and final lap, Hauser ran off on his way to a race-best 30:29 10k which brought him to the finish in 1:43:51 with a 14 seconds margin of victory over Sullwald (30:38 run) and 18 seconds on 3rd place McElroy (30:40 run split).
“I really wanted to prove myself on this distance and show that I had that 10k leg speed so I was really happy with that,” Hauser told ITU media.
“I went for it hard at the start of the run and felt good and I knew the duathlon would come down to that last run,” said Sullwald. “It nearly paid off but that was two class guys to try and stay away from. As Matt was catching me I thought he looked strong and I was cramping up badly. But this is redemption. It’s a nice confidence booster to take back into preparing for WTS Montreal.”
McElroy was elated and wrote about his performance on Facebook: “Back to back podiums! Hats off to Matt Hauser on the win and [my] training partner Wian Sullwald. After last weekend’s race my legs are pretty destroyed [but] I was able to grind out another podium finish.”
Ueda, Carolyn Hayes of Ireland and Yuliya Yelistratova of Ukraine led a tight pack of two dozen women out of the swim, then Nina Eim of Germany and Jaz Hedgeland of Australia led the pack out of transition and on to the six-lap bike leg.
Tamsyn Moana-Veale of Australia took the next stint in the lead, and then Anastasia Gorbunova of Russia took her turn. After 4 laps, Lisa Perterer of Austria and Kate Waugh of Great Britain charged ahead to lead into T2.
After the inevitable draft-fest broke up in transition, Ueda took the lead and paired with Carolyn Hayes of Ireland made a break. Halfway through the run, Ueda kicked away into the lead and never looked back as she posted the race-best 34:48 run to finish in 1:56:38 with a 17 seconds margin of victory over Hayes (35:01 run) and 50 seconds on 3rd place finisher Waugh (35:28 run split).
“That last 10km I just pushed on hard,” Ueda told ITU media. “To come back to the podium here makes me so happy.”
“I can’t really believe it,” said Hayes. “I was a little disappointed when I found out it was a duathlon but then I thought i’ve been running really well so maybe it could suit me. At one point I thought I could actually take Ai but she obviously went out fast on that first run lap. This sport demands a lot and I can’t believe this time last year I was working full time and now I’m on a World Cup podium.”
“My running has been going really well but haven’t had the best start to the season,” said Waugh. “I really wasn’t expecting it. I was actually focusing on the pain in my feet and trying not to get too distracted - it obviously worked!”
Nur-Sultan World Cup
June 15, 2019
R 5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Matt Hauser (AUS) 1:43:51 R 15:31 T1 00:19 B 57:15 T2 00:20 R 30:29
2. Wian Sullwald (RSA) 1:44:05 R 15:28 T1 00:23 B 57:12 T2 00:26 R 30:38
3. Matthew McElroy (USA) 1:44:09 R 15:29 T1 00:19 B 57:19 T2 00:24 R 30:40
4. Lukas Hollaus (AUT) 1:44:23 R 15:30 T1 00:23 57:09 T2 00:22 R 31:00
5. Lasse Lührs (GER) 1:44:32 R 15:30 T1 00:28 B 57:05 T2 00:26 R 31:06
6. Raphael Montoya (FRA) 1:44:40 R 15:28 T1 00:21 B 57:21 T2 00:24 R 31:08
7. Maxime Hueber-Moosbrugger (FRA) 1:44:48 R 15:30 T1 00:21 B 57:16 T2 00:22 R 31:21
8. Morgan Davies (GBR) 1:44:49 R 15:30 T1 00:26 B 57:15 T2 00:24 R 31:17
9. Brandon Copeland (AUS) 1:44:53 R 15:30 T1 00:26 B 57:08 T2 00:20 R 31:31
10. Max Neumann (AUS) 1:45:04 R 15:32 T1 00:22 B 56:57 T2 00:26 R 31:50
24. Chase McQueen (USA) 1:47:14 R 15:42 T1 00:21 B 57:07 T2 00:25 R 33:41
35. Collin Chartier (USA) 1:49:48 R 15:39 T1 00:23 B 57:04 T2 00:25 R 36:18
41. Morgan Pearson (USA) 1:54:43 R 00:22 B 57:14 T2 00:30 R 41:11
1. Ai Ueda (JPN) 1:56:38 R 17:58 T1 00:24 B 1:03:08 T2 00:22 R 34:48
2. Carolyn Hayes (IRL) 1:56:55 R 17:58 T1 00:24 B 1:03:09 T2 00:25 R 35:01
3. Kate Waugh (GBR) 1:57:28 R 17:59 T1 00:25 B 1:03:07 T2 00:32 R 35:28
4. Elena Danilova (RUS) 1:57:35 R 18:00 T1 00:26 B 1:03:07 T2 00:30 R 35:35
5. Nina Eim (GER) 1:57:38 R 17:59 T1 00:23 B 1:03:08 T2 00:25 R 35:45
6. Jaz Hedgeland (AUS) 1:57:42 R 17:59 T1 00:25 B 1:03:05 T2 00:26 R 35:49
7. Lisa Perterer (AUT) 1:57:48 R 17:59 T1 00:26 B 1:03:08 T2 00:32 R 35:47
8. Yuliya Yelistratova (UKR) 1:58:14 R 17:58 T1 00:26 B 1:03:08 T2 00:27 R 36:16
9. Tamsyn Moana-Veale (AUS) 1:58:21 R 17:59 T1 00:23 B 1:03:07 T2 00:25 R 36:29
10. Romina Biagioli (ARG) 1:58:24 R 17:59 T1 00:26 B 1:03:09 T2 00:29 R 36:23