|Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal has just won the 2007 Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup, in Ishigaki, Japan, with a time of 2 hour 4 minutes and 16 seconds. In blustery, wet conditions, Fernandes was able to break away in the late stages of the run from a small group containing 3-time world champion Emma Snowsill of Australia and last year’s course winner, Debbie Tanner of New Zealand to claim gold in the second round of the 2007 BG Triathlon World Cup series. Snowsill, who remains on top of the world cup rankings, crossed the finish line in second place 18 seconds behind. Tanner followed in third a further 17 seconds back.|
Seventy-two women hit the water for the opening 1,500 metre swim after a small delay due a brief downpour. Fernandes and small group of seven managed to pull away from the rest of the field early on. Snowsill and Tanner found themselves in an unusual position in the second group out of the water, almost one minute down.
Snowsill and Tanner spent most of the early stages of the bike course working hard with a small chase group of athletes to reel in the leaders on the 4th lap of the windy 40 kilometre bike course. All three podium finishers would come from this group as the trio of Fernandes, Snowsill and Tanner quickly came together and spent most of the 10 kilometre running shoulder to shoulder. The significant hill, which athletes negotiated twice on each of the three laps, was the point where Fernandes decide to make her move. The last time up the hill Fernandes powered away from the Aussie and Kiwi to take her 14th career world cup victory.
The sun finally emerged during the run course and, mixed with close to 100% humidity, began to fatigue the women on the later stages of the run. Snowsill was one of many visibly drained athletes to cross the finish line.
Home to the longest running triathlon world cup, 13 years, the tiny island of Ishigaki doubles as a top Asian tourism destination year round attracting thousands of people from the region every day.
2007 Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup – Elite Women results
1. FERNANDES, Vanessa (POR) 2:04:16
2. SNOWSILL, Emma (AUS) 2:04:34
3. TANNER, Debbie (NZL) 2:04:51
4. WARRINER, Samantha (NZL) 2:05:51
5. MOFFATT, Emma (AUS) 2:06:01
6. SPIRIG, Nicola (SUI) 2:06:05
7. HEWITT, Andrea (NZL) 2:06:22
8. DENSHAM, Erin (AUS) 2:06:46
9. LUXFORD, Annabel (AUS) 2:06:51
10. HONGNI, Wang (CHN) 2:06:55
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com