The 2018 ITU season is officially underway, thanks to an exciting sprint race that took place over the weekend in Cape Town, South Africa. With huge crowds turning out along the route to add some classic South African atmosphere to proceedings, the scene was set for another Cape Town classic, and ended up being a victorious day for Richard Murray (RSA) and Vicky Holland (GBR). (See the women’s race gallery here.)
It was South Africa’s own Henri Schoeman who again emerged first out of the water, followed close by a long tail of athletes, including Murray, who struggled freeing himself from the wetsuit and losing ground, while Schoeman assumed the lead onto the bikes. Belgium’s Christophe de Keyser and Germany’s Schomberg ensured they were also in the lead group of bikes, ahead of a huge chasing pack.
After two laps of Cape Town stadium, Netherlands’ Van der Stel had negotiated his way to the front of the eleven-strong group, the train led by Grant Sheldon (GBR) doing its best to stay in touch.
It was Schomberg who then exited from T2 in pole position with Israel’s Sagiv and Alster working well together, but Murray was in position to seize the initiative. With Schoeman and Austria’s Lukas Pertl giving it everything to stay at his heels, Murray kicked on to the delight of the home crowd, crossing the line in a time of 52:15 and earn another World Cup win on home soil, Pertl delighted with his first ever World Cup podium.