Laura Lindemann of Germany and Raphael Montoya of France won hard-fought, close victories to take Junior Elite gold Friday at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton, Canada.
Junior Elite Women
Laura Lindemann exchanged her 2013 bronze medal for 2014 gold at the women's Junior World Championship race at the ITU Grand final in Edmonton.
“It was a very hard race,” said Lindemann to ITU media. “The bike with the hill was very hard. I knew the French girls from the Europeans and they are very fast.”
The victory was a re-run of the 2014 Junior Women's European Championships as Lindemann once again edged out France’s dynamic duo of Cassagrande Beaugrand and Audrey Merle with a sprint to the finish.
Lindemann’s 17:17 5k run was one second better than Beaugrand and brought the German to the finish in 1:02:35 with a 3 seconds margin of victory over Beaugrand and 9 seconds ahead of 3rd place finisher Merle
“I am happy about the race because we are two French people on the podium,” Merle told ITU media. “But I am disappointed because she (Lindemann) out sprints us again. I knew before the race it would be the same race (as the European Championships) so I was not surprised to see Lindemann at the front.”
Merle added that she was not disappointed with her bronze medal because she had been hit by a car on Monday and “I wasn’t sure I could even start.”
Taylor Knibb of the U.S. and Lindemann led the swim in in 9:01, four seconds ahead of Avery Evenson of the U.S., 5 seconds ahead of Sophie Caldwell of Great Britain, six seconds ahead of Merle and 9 seconds ahead of Beaugrand.
Caldwell jumped into the lead on the bike, followed closely by a pack of 13 that included all the top swimmers. Working hard together, the large pack carved out a one minutes lead at T2. Immediately off the bike, Lindemann, Beaugrand and Merle broke away and, within the first lap, Lindemann led the trio. At the end, Lindemann took control with a final surge
Junior Elite Men
Much like the Junior Women's race, the 2014 European Champion in the Junior Men’s category won at the World Championship. This race also went to the wire and Raphael Montoya eked out a nerve-wracking 1 second margin of victory over Jacob Birtwhistle of Australia and 18 seconds over 3rd place finisher Calvin Quirk of Australia.
“I had a good swim, and we tried to make a move [on the bike] but they stayed with us,” said Montoya to ITU media. “After that, I stayed behind and waited for the run. What a sprint with Jacob.”
After a 4th place in this event last year at London, Montoya took deep satisfaction with his revenge victory this time around. “Last year I finished fourth and – [I felt] it was unfair to me,” said Montoya. “It was my focus of the year.”
After a close swim and a nettlesome bike leg in which no one could make breakaway and 40 men arrived in a clotted pack at T2, Montoya, Birtwhistle and Quirk broke away on the run. Soon, Montoya and Birtwhistle dropped Quirk and settled in for a battle to the finish. At the end, Montoya’s race-best 15:03 5k run brought him to the line in 56:27 with the smallest margin.
“I really wanted that win,” Birtwhistle told ITU media. “Full credit to Montoya – he made me work for it.”
Quirk was over the moon with his bronze medal in his first world championship race. “I didn’t know if I could do it,” he told ITU media after his closing 15:18 run. “But I just thought, ‘Yeah! Now or never -- give it all you've got.”
ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Junior Women
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
August 29, 2014
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k
1. Laura Lindemann (GER) 1:02:35
2. Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) 1:02:38
3. Audrey Merle (FRA) 1:02:44
4. Sophie Coldwell (GBR) 1:03:37
5. Avery Evenson (USA) 1:03:44
9. Taylor Knibb (USA) 1:04:13
18. Stephanie Jenks (USA) 1:05:42
1. Raphael Montoya (FRA) 56:27
2. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) 56:28
3. Calvin Quirk (AUS 56:45
4. Lasse Nygaard-Priester (GER) 56:50
5. Russell Pennock (CAN) 57:05
35. Seth Rider (USA) 58:53
62. Darr Smith (USA) 1:03:18