Florin Salvisberg (SUI) won his first ITU World Cup race with a superb performance in Tiszaujvaros. Salvisberg, who was crowned U23 European Champion earlier this year in Holten, continued his fine form in 2013 with a confident performance, emerging from the water amongst the leaders, a position he would not relent over the course of the race.
In a day of firsts, Francesc Godoy (ESP) secured his first World Cup podium and the returning Frederic Belaubre (FRA), in his first ITU race of the year, finished third to complete the podium.
Salvisberg said: “I feel great it’s so cool to win here, it’s awesome. This year is really going well, I have the run that I didn’t have last year and I feel great. We worked really well together, we had a good group yesterday and today too. The Americans worked very hard.
“On the second lap it was just me and Godoy. Belaubre was coming from behind and I know that he is a good sprinter so I kept going. I was first to go and then Godoy caught up but I felt good and kept it going.”
In a race where the swim is more important than ever, Tommy Zaferes (USA) was fastest out the water, Salvisberg followed him along with Ben Kanute (USA), Wian Sullwald (RSA), Alexander Bryukhankov (RUS) and Belaubre.
These athletes were involved in a lead group of nine who quickly set off establishing a good lead on the bike. By the opening two laps, the gap was over thirty seconds as the lead group worked well together to maintain the pace. But behind them, the remaining field were also working well together, maintaining their rhythm and refusing to let the leaders increase the gap.
Lap after lap followed as the two packs went at each other, with a few seconds gained here and few seconds lost there. It was nip and tuck but the gap of around 35 seconds remained in tact as the leading nine entered T2.
Cheered on by the famous Tiszaujvaros crowd, the chasing pack roared off the bikes onto the run, hunting down the front nine. Declan Wilson (AUS) and Gregory Rouault (FRA) were particularly impressive as they attacked the leaders and made their way up through the field.
By the end of the second lap, Godoy and Salvisberg were stride for stride but all eyes were on Belaubre who was running terrifically in third. Salvisberg and Godoy could not afford to rest on their laurels but they remained controlled and, having each led for a spell, it finally fell for Salvisberg to take the lead on the final lap and win his first World Cup.
Belaubre took a nostalgic podium in third with Wilson (4th) and Rouault (5th) just running out of road having posted the two fastest run split times of the day.
Tiszaujvaros – ITU World Cup – 11 August 2013
Final Results – Elite Men – 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run