Olympic silver medallist Vanessa Fernandes headlines the elite competition at this Saturday’s ITU Duathlon World Championships in Rimini, Italy. One of the most accomplished athletes in ITU history and known as one of the two greatest runners in triathlon today, Fernandes is perhaps less known as one of the strongest cyclists in the world. She was introduced to triathlon in 1999 by her father Venceslau Fernandes, a former cyclist and winner of the 1984 Volta a Portugal. Four years later she became junior Duathlon world champion.
Last year Fernandes won her first elite Duathlon world championship in Gyor, Hungary and will defend her title this weekend in Rimini against a field that includes Duathlon star Catriona Morrison. Her resume includes a silver medal in 2005, gold medal in 2006, last year’s European Duathlon championship and the last two Long Distance Duathlon World Championships. Last year in Gyor she finished a disappointing ninth place but this year will likely challenge Fernandes for the top spot.
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photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse