There were two gold medals for France at today’s European Championships Duathlon in Targu Mures, Romania. Benjamin Choquert took the men’s race, while Audrey Merle showed what she is capable of to take the women’s title.
It was the final run where Choquert earned gold today. In the first 5 km of running, Choquert found himself in third position. On the bike he lost some positions and time compared to his strongest rivals, but once he racked his bike and got ready for the final run, he surged to the front. With the fastest split over the final 2.5 km run (6:21), he was 10 seconds faster than the next-best run time and able to run his way to the win in 51:28 minutes. Spain’s Genis Grau (+0:08) and Belgium’s Arnaud Dely (+0:11) completed the podium.
There was no beating Merle on the bike today. Clocking a run time of 16:19 for the initial 5 km, Merle found herself around a fifth place. However, by cycling 33 seconds faster than the second-fastest woman, Merle moved to the lead once in the saddle. That gave her a comfortable advantage starting the final run. While some women were running faster behind her, no one was able to catch Merle. She celebrated her win (56:47) with a 1:07 minute advantage over runner-up Marion Legrand (FRA) who outsprinted Ann Schoot Uiterkamp (NLD) by a second.
The U23 men’s race was won by Belgium’s Stef Corthouts (52:11). He had enough of a lead to run to a comfortable win as the second man, France’s Krilan le Bihan, finished twenty seconds behind him. The Dutchman Joey van ‘t Verlaat came in third (+1:51).
The fastest U23 woman was Spain’s Marta Pintanel Raymundo (58:00). She finished 59 seconds ahead of Silke de Wolde (NLD) and 1:25 minute ahead of Marina Munoz Hernando (SPA).
Italy’s Alberto Bartolomeo Demarchi took the junior European Duathlon title, finishing the race in 54:26. Belgium’s Jack Douglas was right on his heels, but had to settle for a second place a second behind Bartolomeo Demarchi. Simon Martin, another Belgian athlete, rounded out the podium, crossing the line 28 seconds behind the winner.
Switzerland’s Vanessa Possberg won the Junior European Championship Duathlon in 1:00:57. Slovenia’s Monika Bartel took second place (+1:52) and Hungary’s Dominika Peszleg claimed the final podium spot (+2:28).