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Impressive bike performances paved the way to new champions being named in Cross Triathlon at the 2014 ITU World Championships on Saturday in Zittau, Germany. In the women’s race, Germany’s own Katrin Müller took the title, while Spain’s Ruben Ruzafa won the men’s race.
Read the race recaps from Triathlon.org below:
Katrin Müller capitalized on her recent European championship title to make big moves on a challenging bike course to win her first ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Zittau. Flora Duffy (BER) joined Müller on the podium for the first time with silver while two-time reigning champion Helena Erbenova (CZE) settled for bronze.
A massive climb & treacherous bike changed the game, with Müller managing to move more than a minute ahead of the competition midway through the bike. Duffy worked diligently to maintain a top position, but Densham didn’t fare as well, falling more than five minutes back. While Duffy did work alone on the bike, behind her the trio of Emma Garrard (USA), Jacqueline Slack (GBR) and Chantell Widney (CAN) toughed it out together more than three minutes down.
The challenging ride didn’t slow Müller down, as the German scorched up the and down the mountain for a 2:39 lead over Duffy. With just a one-loop 9km run to go, the race was Müller’s to lose. Although Duffy made up slight ground, it wasn’t nearly enough to reel in Muller, who won by 2:18. Duffy took silver, while Erbenova managed to run herself into bronze.
In a race that has been dominated by Conrad Stotlz (RSA) each of the last three years, Spain’s Ruben Ruzafa avenged his missed world title from last year, winning the men’s 2014 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships by a minute with a blistering bike.
Having earned himself a nearly three-minute advantage on the bike, the XTERRA champ won his first ITU World Championships. After finishing four in both 2011 and 2012, Josiah Middaugh (USA) made it on the podium with silver, and Braden Currie (NZL) earned bronze.
As in the women’s race, the bike proved to be pivotal in breaking up the leaders. Ruzafa hammered up the 978m ascent early on the bike to not only make up a two-minute deficit but gain a minute on next-closest competitor Chacon middway through the 36km loop.
While Ruzafa continued to forge ahead on the bike for a 2:45 lead, Middaugh broke from his group and surpassed two athletes to drop his bike in T2 in second place. Although Middaugh had a monster run, he ran out of space to beat out Spain’s Ruzafa, who earned his first ITU elite men’s title in 2:34:33. Middaugh took silver, while Currie held off Weiss for bronze.