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Spirig wins third ETU Triathlon Championship in Israel

Georgia Taylor-Brown snatched the Junior Women's race.

Nicola Spirig (SUI) and Ainhoa Murua (ESP) produced a thrilling sprint finish at the 2012 Eilat ETU Triathlon European Championships this weekend. Spirig outran Murua for the second straight week after the pair fought a similar sprint in Sydney just last week, with Spirig winning out again, this time for her third European Championship.  Defending champion Emmie Charayron (FRA) held her position throughout the race to take bronze.

Elite Women’s Review

The elite women took to the course in the dry heat and it was Great Britain’s Lucy Hall who exited the swim first to run the 300m up to T1. She was closely followed by Jessica Harrison (FRA), Spirig and Charayron who each made up time in the short run up to transition to begin the ride together.

A lead pack of ten quickly formed on the bike swallowing up Hall and included Murua, Denmark’s Camilla Pedersen and Helle Frederiksen and Vanessa Raw (GBR). In the chase pack Mateja Simic (SLO) and Mariya Shorets (RUS) attempted to close the gap in the fourth lap, but a tyre change for Simic entering the fifth lap soon stalled her efforts. The chase pack which also included Carole Peon (FRA) fell further away from the leaders as the ride progressed and with no signs of closing the gap they were almost two minutes behind going into T2.

Spirig lost a few seconds dropping her bike shoe in transition and it was Harrison who strode out first for the run. Murua, Spirig and Charayron were hot on Harrison’s heels and the small group stayed together into the second lap.

On the final lap Spirig and Murua kicked out ahead and behind them, Charayron had pulled away from Harrison as they neared the final straight. A spectacular sprint to the line mirrored the previous week in Sydney, but this time it was for the top position. Spirig confidently stepped up a gear in the last few hundred metres to take her third elite European Championship title.

“I’m extremely happy, it’s a dream come true and I’m speechless, it’s amazing,” said Spirig. “I felt good on the run. My training has been going amazing and that’s how it should feel in a race and I’m just extremely happy. It was same sprint with Murua last week in Sydney and I won, but we were discussing that after the race and I told her that I am good in a sprint and I will beat you every time. She knew she had to get rid of me before the sprint and the closer we got to the finish line, the more nervous she became.”

Eilat ETU Triathlon European Championships – 20 April 2012

Final Results – Elite Women – 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run

1. Nicola Spirig SUI 2:07:11

2. Ainhoa Murua ESP 2:07:20

3. Emmie Charayron FRA 2:07:56

4. Jessica Harrison FRA 2:08:27

5. Vendula Frintova CZE 2:09:00

6. Agnieszka Jerzyk POL 2:09:23

7. Helle Frederiksen DEN 2:09:34

8. Irina Abysova RUS 2:09:52

9. Yuliya Yelistratova UKR 2:10:00

10. Carole Peon FRA 2:10:04

Junior Women’s Review

Earlier in the day the junior women’s race was won by Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown in the searing midday sun. Taylor-Brown remained in contention throughout the swim and bike before making a break on the last lap where no-one could catch her. Léonie Périault (FRA) finished second and bronze went to Sarah Wilm (GER).

Eilat ETU Triathlon European Championships – 20 April 2012

Final Results – Junior Women – 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run

1. Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR 1:02:47

2. Léonie Périault FRA 1:02:53

3. Sarah Wilm GER 1:03:02

4. Sophie Coldwell GBR 1:03:12

5. Renata Fuchs HUN 1:03:13

6. Suse Werner GER 1:03:20

7. Luisa Condeço POR 1:03:21

8. Monika Orazem SLO 1:03:21

9. Charlotte Deldaele BEL 1:03:23

10. Lisa Schanung ITA 1:03:24

Get Full Results at Triathlon.org