US National Elite Champion Matt Chrabot seized the day when he took off halfway through a rugged hilly bike and never looked back, winning his first ITU World Cup on a brutally hot day in Huatulco, Mexico Sunday.
Two laps after he’d initiated his kamikaze breakaway on a rugged hilly course, Chrabot had carved out a 1:20 lead over a rapidly thinning pack of 12 who were struggling to keep up in the heat and hills. When the bike was over, only Switzerland’s Ruidi Wild had resisted with a solo push that left him two minutes back, while a large pack that included recent ITU short course duathlon World Champion Jarrod Shoemaker, the Ukraine’s Danylo Sapunov and Ivan Tutukin of Russia and home country favorite Francisco Serrano of Mexico were four minutes arrears.
On the run, Chrabot, who won the PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships last year in Mazatlan in similar hot conditions, won the 2009 US Nationals in Tuscaloosa and took a strong second at Chicago this year, showed his all around strength with a second-best 32:40 run that brought him home in 1:57:22. At the finish, Chrabot had a 2 minutes 10 seconds margin of victory -- and actually put two more seconds on the Swiss challenger – while Shoemaker’s race-best 32:21 run brought him home third and 3 minutes 40 seconds behind Chrabot.
“I went out on a suicide mission today,” Chrabot told ITU media. “It was so hot and so hilly it made it really tough, but I took my chances and I really like this course. I grew up for a few years in the Philippines which means I like the heat, and I knew if I was going to win I had to go for it on the bike. A year ago I did a similar thing in Mexico at the Pan American Championships in Mazatlan and won, so I thought I’d try the tactic again.”
In the women’s race, Japan’s Au Ueda posted a second-best 35:39 10k to run away from Denmark’s Helle Frederiksen and France’s Jessica Harrison for the win. At the finish, Ueda’s 2:12:47 time topped Frederiksen by 26 seconds and Harrison by 42 seconds. Rebecca Robisch of Germany came back from two minutes down on the swim with race-best bike (1:15:48) and run (35:28) to take fourth, 42 seconds back of Harrison.
The USA’s Sara McLarty took the $500 swim prime with a shining 18:44, but was soon swallowed up by the chase pack on the bike and struggled home 13th with a survival mode 45:14 run.
Huatulco ITU World Cup
November 8, 2009
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Matt Chrabot (USA) 1:57:22
2. Ruidi Wild (SUI) 1:59:32
3. Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) 2:01:02
4.Danylo Sapunov (UKR) 2:01:28
5. Ivan Tutukin (RUS) 2:01:44
6. Francisco Serrano (MEX) 2:01:45
7. Ben Collins (USA) 2:01:49
8. Kevin Collington (USA) 2:02:11
9. Tony Moulai (FRA) 2:02:42
10. Leonardo Chacon (CRC) 2:02:59
16. Derek Oskutis (USA) 2:05:01
1. Ai Ueda (JPN) 2:12:47
2. Helle Frederiksen (DEN) 2:13:13
3. Jessica Harrison (FRA) 2:13:29
4. Rebecca Robisch (GER) 2:14:11
5. Yuliya Sapunova (UKR) 2:15:41
6. Line Jensen (DEN) 2:16:00
7. Emma Davis (IRL) 2:16:27
8. Margaret Shapiro (USA) 2:16:48
9. Claudia Rivas (MEX) 2:17:38
10. Jillian Petersen (USA) 2:18:15
13. Sara McLarty (USA) 2:22:21
15. Amanda Felder (USA) 2:24:17