2015 Challenge Rimini
Filip Ospaly and Kaisa Lehtonen were crowned the ETU European Half Distance Triathlon champions.
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Filip Ospaly (CZE) and Kaisa Lehtonen (FIN) were crowned the ETU European Half Distance Triathlon champions Sunday at Challenge Rimini on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.
Read the recap from Challenge Family below:
After days of rain, athletes welcomed clear conditions with a field of more than 1,600 ready to take on the spectacular course.
After exiting in the swim in sixth place, Ospaly headed out on the bike in the front group, led by Molinari with a chase group of Alberto Alessandroni (ITA) and Jonathan Ciavatella (ITA) just two minutes behind. By the halfway point, Molinari and Ceccarelli broke away, putting 20 seconds into Ospaly and a more comfortable 3:40 ahead of the chase group which now also included former European Champion Ritchie Nicholls (GBR). Coming into T2, Ospaly had dropped to 1:40 behind the leaders. However, the Challenge Rimini course with its flat 21km run was the perfect battleground for the strong runner and Ospaly stormed home in 4:06:14 to become European Champion, ahead of Molinari who finished in 4:07:23 and Bart Aernouts (BEL) who rounded off the podium in 4:08:09 after posting the fastest run split of the day of 1:13:54.
In the women’s race, Margie Santamaria (ITA) was first out of the water, 20 seconds ahead of Vanessa Raw (GBR) and two minutes ahead of Lehtonen, who was down in sixth place. By 30 km on the bike the situation had changed dramatically. Lehtonen had taken the lead together with Potuckova (CZE) and Raw. She continued to extend this lead, arriving at T2 six minutes ahead of Raw and Santimaria, a lead she managed to maintain, taking the win and the European Championship title in 4:41:14. However, the run of the day went to Dossena who ran up from ninth off the bike to take second place in 4:46:39, posting a 1:19:02 run split. Raw held onto third, finishing in 4:51:07.