Madrid, Spain (May 25, 2008) - Portugal's world champion Vanessa Fernandes today became the ITU's all-time world cup wins leader after winning the Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup. It was a perfect setting for Fernandes who set the record at her favourite race which also happened to be the historic 200th world cup in ITU history, meaning she has won 10 percent of all world cups. Her 20th win comes in just her 31st world cup start, an astounding 0.645 winning percentage.
photo Silke Insel Triathlon.org
Out of the first transition, a pack of six led by Fernandes attacked the course's early hill and emerged as the race leaders. That group created a 28-second lead after lap one. By the second lap the pack was whittled down to four after Great Britain's Kerry Lang wasn't able to keep up with the punishing pace while Luxembourg's Elizabeth May suffered a flat tire.
Nevertheless, the leaders Fernandes, Hollie Avil and Helen Tucker of Great Britain and Swiss Daniela Ryf continued to put time on the chase group, which was down by 1:18 after lap three. As the lead pack took the bell lap, they owned a sizeable 2:35 lead. Fernandes darted out of T2 first and immediately surged to a 16-second lead after the first kilometer, leaving Avil, Tucker and Ryf to battle for the final two podium spots.
photo Silke Insel/triathlon.org
With the lead in hand and her world class running prowess, nobody was going to catch Fernandes as she coasted to her sixth straight Madrid title and record 20th of her remarkable career. Tucker claimed the silver, almost assuring her a spot on the British Olympic team. Ryf came back for the bronze, her first appearance on the world cup podium. Avil settled for fourth, also putting her in excellent position for her first Olympic selection, which was almost unheard of last year for the 18-year old phenom.
In the battle for the final German Olympic spot, Pilz incredibly chipped away at the lead and caught up with Franzmann. With one lap to go the two were running side by side until Pilz began to pull away. She crossed the line in seventh place to steal the final Beijing slot for Germany. A dejected Franzmann finished 11th.
2008 Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup, Spain
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Elite Women - Unofficial Results
Gold - Vanessa Fernandes (POR) 2:04:46
Silver - Helen Tucker (GBR) 2:05:49
Bronze - Daniela Ryf (SUI) 2:06:10
4th - Hollie Avil (GBR) 2:06:19
5th - Lisa Norden (SWE) 2:07:36
6th - Elizabeth May (LUX) 2:08:00
7th - Christiane Pilz (GER) 2:08:05
8th - Carole Peon (FRA) 2:08:19
9th - Eva Dollinger (AUT) 2:08:20
10th - Emma Davis (IRL) 2:08:45Official full field results will be available here