Fourth place definitely sticks to your Basque Marten Van Riel! After the Tokyo Games, the Antwerp-based athlete again ended up at the foot of the podium on Saturday evening, in Montreal, where the third round of the World Triathlon Championships (WTCS) took place. An absolutely stunning event contested over short distances (300m swim, 7km bike, 2km walk) with Friday’s series, and the final in three parts, the next day.
Initially, thirty athletes, the last ten of whom were eliminated after the first and second races, so victory was disputed among the ten. survivors. Belgians Martin Van Riel and Gilles Jens managed to qualify for this famous final, whose start was given every 40 minutes (10:06 pm, 10:46 pm, 11:26 pm, Belgian hours), including the races, ie. Just enough time to set up the works in the transition area and do some lengths in the water before you get called up again to get started.
In this match, the French were the best, with three of the four reps qualified out of the ten finalists, and then … snatched all three places on the podium! At such short distances, it was not easy to widen the gaps and it was in the sprint race that this podium was formed. For a moment, we thought the victory would go to Leo Berger, which is impressive, but he was beaten on the goal line by Dorian Konincks and Vincent Lewis! For a long time, the world champion seemed capable of winning, but failed in a second.
In this context, Martin van Riel played his luck with a brave cyclist. But he had to cut short his efforts because his opponents, knowing the qualities of an Antwerp player, did not allow him to escape. After a serious lull in the peloton, he wrote that the outcome of this round of WTCS will be decided on foot, only the intrepid American still trying to strike with the bike.
His countryman McDowell was the first to let go, with an injury to his right ankle. Next, Ryder himself had to accept the return of the group led by Konincks while New Zealander Reed and Australian Bertwistle (who was better expected…) had to give up. Before another New Zealand, Wilde. Still in the middle of the match, Martin van Riel could not respond to the French trio’s acceleration, but Antwerp made it a point of honor to sprint to fourth, which he delighted with the Spaniard Serratt.
All in a few seconds since Dorian Konincks won at 22.08, ahead of Lewis (0.01) and Berger (at 0.03), then Van Riel (at 0.08) and Sirat (at 0.10). Note that Jill Gaines was unable to qualify for this final after she placed 14th (out of 20) during the previous stage.
On the women’s side, the win went to Olympic champion Flora Duffy. Bermudain was ahead, at 23’07, of Americans Kneipp and Spivey (absent in Tokyo…), but also Zavris (bronze medalist!) and Frenchman Periault, who crossed the finish line in about thirty seconds.