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Brownlee and Spirig win European Champs

Olympic champions Alistair Brownlee and Nicola Spirig won the 2014 ETU Triathlon European Championships in Kitzbuhel, Austria this past weekend. Brownlee claimed his fifth win in Kitzbuehel and his third European gold medal on Saturday.  Brownlee’s fast transition saw him exit T2 ahead of the pack and from there he opened up a gap. Russian athlete Dmitry Polyanskiy  and Vincente Hernandez of Spain would try to chase him down and would take second and third respectively.

A rainy and cold day on Friday didn’t pose a problem for Nicola Spirig who won her first elite race of the 2014. The wetsuit swim saw a five girl break away including defending champion Rachel Klamer. The wet conditions on the bike forced a number of women to drop out  and seek the medical tent.
 It was the on the last lap of the run that Nicola Spirig opened up her lead to charge towards her first big win of the season. Germany’s Sophia Saller was second and Italy’s Annamaria Mazzetti was third.

Photo Credit: ITU/ Delly Carr
Photo Credit: ITU/ Delly Carr 2012 Olympic Games

A thrilled Spirig said,  “It was a great race for me. I had a good swim and was happy to catch the lead girls in the 2nd lap on the bike. I worked hard on the bike today. I was happy to catch up, but then it got so cold that I couldn’t sit back. I was so cold and still had to work to try to keep warm. That made it hard and gave me cramps at the end. Therefore I decided to run as fast as I can. It’s amazing to finish here as the European champion.”

“Only in the last 500 meters I started to relax, knowing that the gap was big enough. I am so happy with my 4th European title. Will I be back for a 5th one? Let’s see what happens… It’s not easy being a mother now, but my son and my family mean so much to me.”