Italy’s Massimo Cigana and Australia’s Belinda Granger both used strong swim and bike combinations to take victories at the 17th annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
Cigana, the 2007 champion at Laguna Phuket, completed the 1.8 km swim in 25:49, but it was his 55 km bike split that got him the overall victory at the 17th edition of the race. Cigana took the lead at the 3 km mark of the bike and his blistering 1:21:58 ride (close to 9 minutes ahead of anyone else) gave him a commanding lead heading into the 12 km run which he completed in 45:23. He crossed the line first in 2:35:26, followed by Sweden’s Fredrik Croneborg (2:44:45), and Denmark’s Aleksandar Markovic (2:48:46).
“It was fantastic to return to winning ways here in Phuket and a great warm-up for the Ironman 70.3 (Asia-Pacific) next Sunday,” said Cigana. “The rain meant that I had to be careful on the bike course, but I’m still very happy with my time.
Granger, a winner in 2008, led with top splits in the swim (25:45) and bike (1:34:33), and then ran a comfortable 52:15 to take the win. Great Britain’s Emma Ruth Smith (3:00:15) had the fastest run (48:42) to edge out Canada’s Samantha McGlone (3:03:56) for second. McGlone, the 2005 and 2006 champion, swam 27:22, biked 1:41:23, and ran 52:48.
“This is by far my favourite race in the world and to win it again is just fantastic,” said Granger. “I had to adjust my style in the rain, but once I got into the lead on the bike course there was no looking back.”
Canadian age grouper Laura Walsh won her women’s 45-49 age group in 3:08:56 (32:32 swim, 1:38:35 bike, 54:19 run), and Larissa Sanderson placed third among women 30-34 with a time of 3:37:05 (37:08, 1:56:01, 1:00:04).
For approximately 100 participants, the race was just a tune up for this coming Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship and its $70 000 US prize purse.
Full results of the 2010 Laguna Phuket Triathlon can be found at www.lagunaphukettriathlon.com
1. Belinda Granger (AUS) 2:55:08
2. Emma Ruth Smith (GBR) 3:00:15
3. Samantha McGlone (CAN) 3:03:56
1. Massimo Cigana (ITA) 2:35:26
2. Fredrik Croneborg (SWE) 2:44:45
3. Aleksandar Markovic (DEN) 2:48:46