Wow, that was great racing today in Tizzy. The 3-lap congested swim seemed to really create breaks in the field which produced spirited bike groups and fast runs. A 15:40 5k from a mens chase pack didn’t get you into the finals!
Expect more of the same tomorrow on the swim, even more gusty performances on the bike and sub 15’/17′ for male/female podiums!
One note to the ITU regarding seeding for the final: Base the final startlist off the semi results in some fashion, not ITU pts rank, it will add incentive for placing in semis.
The big question here is if Razarenova (RUS) and co. can produce another break out of the water. That is the only way they can steal this from Gentle (AUS) who I think will run a 16:4x tomorrow.
With a more consistent quality to the field i don’t see the break coming as easily. Take Vanek (HUN) to lead us into T1 from the pond with the Russians in tow. The gap may be there out of the water, 10-15s, but it should get shut down on the bike with the horse power that will comprise the chase (Gentle, McShane, Robisch, Frederiksen). Junior World Champ Nielsen is the darkhorse here. A questionable swim puts her on the fence to even make the chase, but we will roll the dice with her and count her in.
Off the bikes as one group Trimes see the podium as:
Gentle, Nielsen, McShane
Mixed results in the semis for the men. I feel some of the younger athletes may have spent a bit too much in their opening races, but with youth on their side they may recover just fine.
Similar deal here with the Men. Raphael (FRA) will take the lead out but have a long train behind him scrambling up the bank to the bikes. Verzbicas (USA) will be in contact with the train out of the water, just maybe as the caboose.
Where we could see some breaks here is on the opening stages of the bike. The strong swimmers who have not been red-lined yet could really have a go here and split things up. Look for Raphael, Pujades, Bryukhankov, Le Corre, Wilson to all try and get away from Verzbicas and Rouault here.
I feel we do see a small lead group come in off the bike with a gap, 30-40s with the aforementioned players and a few more.
Onto the 5k, the runners will make in roads, but not enough for top spot.
Podium: Le Corre, Wilson, Verzbicas