Emma Pooley of Great Britain and Maxim Kuzmin of Russia won the 29th edition of the Powerman Zofingen long distance duathlon, which for a decade has stood for the ITU Long Distance World Championship Duathlon.
Pooley won her 4th straight ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championship in Zofingen by a dominating 27:17 margin of victory over runner-up Mirjam Van Reijen of Netherlands and 28:01 over 3rd-place Katrin Esefeld of Germany.
Pooley’s total wins and winning streak is the second longest in the 29-year history of this Swiss long course duathlon classic known widely as Powerman Zofingen. Pooley’s marks are surpassed only by Erika Csomor of Hungary, who won seven straight from 2004 through 2009.
While Pooley’s wins will go down in duathlon history, her winning time of 7:21:04 is far from her own race record time of 6:47:27 set in 2014. Her 27:17 margin of victory today also falls short of her race record margin of 32:10 over Eva Nyström of Sweden set in 2014.
Pooley also won the 2015 Alpe d’Huez Triathlon and 2013 Swissman Triathlon, but achieved greater glory in cycling. She won the 2010 UCI World Championship Road Time Trial, took silver in the 2008 Olympic cycling time trial, and earned 2nd places in the Giro d’Italia Feminin in 2011 and 2012.
Pooley started her day with a women’s second-best 36:13 split for the opening 9.2 kilometer run which left her with an 8 second deficit to Sabrina Godard-Montmarteau and a 36 seconds to 1:32 advantages on a pack that included Martina Kränehbuhl, Mirjam Van Reijen, Virginie Soenen, Melanie Maurer, Karin Esefeld and Nina Zoller.
For the first half of the three-lap, 150 kilometer bike leg, which includes many punishing hills, Pooley rode with a group of four that included Godard-Montmarteau, Krähenbühl and Esefeld. On the daunting hill known as Bodenberg on the second lap, Pooley went into overdrive and left her rivals behind, carving out a 6:10 gap on Nina Zoller and Krähenbühl at 100km. After her race-best 4:19:16 split for the 150km bike leg, Pooley had a 17 minutes lead on Zofingen rookie Zoller and more on the rest.
Perhaps worn down by her attempts to stay within range of Pooley on the bike, Krähenbühl withdrew at T2. With her big lead, Pooley set a conservative course on the run, posting a women's second-best 2:21:06 for the 30 kilometer leg. While she gave back 52 seconds to Van Reijen’s race-best run, Pooley had plenty of time in the bank for the win.
Thibaut Le Cras of France led the opening 9.2 kilometer run with a split just over 30 minutes. This gave Le Cras a lead of 7 seconds on defending champion Seppe Odeyn of Belgium, 9 seconds on Fabian Zehnder, 11 seconds on Yannick Cadalen, 12 seconds on 5-time 3rd place finisher Sören Bystrup, and about a minute on Kuzmin.
Halfway through the bike leg, Bystrup led by 18 seconds on Odeyn, 1:24 on Thomas Bruins, 3:12 on Alistair Eeckman, 4:24 on Kuzmin, and 6 minutes on Gäel Le Bellec.
At T2, De Bellec assumed the lead by 10 seconds on Kuzmin and 1:13 on Odeyn. Whereupon the leaders began a 30 kilometer battle on the run.
At the halfway point, there was roughly a 2 minute gap between every man in the top 5, led by Kuzmin, Odeyn (+2:54), and then Bystrup, Le Bellec and Cadalen (+9:39).
With 3 kilometers remaining, Odeyn whittled his gap to Kuzmin to 1:44. After a race-best 2:04:15 run split, Kuzmin finished in 6:31:04 with a 1:26 margin of victory on Odeyn and 3:48 on 3rd-place finisher Sören Bystrup.
ITU Duathlon Long Course World Championship
September 3, 2017
R 9.2k / B 150k / R 30k
1. Emma Pooley (GBR) 7:21:04 - $6,250
2. Mirjam Van Reijen (NED) 7:48:18 - $5,000
3. Katrin Esefeld (GER) 7:49:05 - $3,750
4. Alice Meignie (FRA) 7:49:56 - $2,500
5. Nina Zoller (SUI) 7:59:16 - $2,000
1. Maxim Kuzmin (RUS) 6:31:04 - $6,250
2. Seppe Odeyn (BEL) 6:32:30 - $5,000
3. Sören Bystrup (DEN) 6:34:52 - $3,750
4. Gaël Le Bellec (FRA) 6:36:55 - $2,500
5. Yannick Cadalen (FRA) 6:39:10 - $2,000