Steyn ends sixth | SASCOC - SASCOC

Steyn ends sixth

Andrea Steyn finished in sixth place, best of the South African contingent at the 2009 ITU World Duathlon Championships in Concord North, Carolina Sunday.

The title was won by triathlete Vendula Frintova of the Czech Republic.

Steyn was eighth fastest into Transition One with a 35:23 timing for the 10km run. The top seven runners came into the transition in a bunch, clocking 34:38 and 34:39.

Steyn’s 1:15:58 on the bike was the third fastest time for those who finished in the top 10 and brought her back into contact with the leading seven.

The 40km bike in and out of the Lowe’s Motorspeedway didn’t provide much drama with one large group coming together and staying together — the athletes were just waiting for the final five kilometre run.

And it did come down to the run, with the top nine second-run splits exactly matching the order of finish for the top nine athletes.

The final 5km were covered by Frintova in 15:57, a mere two seconds ahead of Sandra Levenez of France, with Spain’s Ana Burgos in third. Frintova’s winning time was 2:08:17. Steyn covered the final 5km in 16:26 for her sixth place and an overall time of 2:08:55.

Brand Du Plessis was not able to recreate the form that saw him finish fifth in 2008 in Rimini, and he had to settle for 19th.

Du Plessis was with the main bunch into T1 after the first 10km run was covered in 30:28 and a bunch of 14 went out onto the 40km bike together. The run pace was pushed hard by Olympic triathlete Jarrod Schoemaker and Portugal’s Sergio Silva. Once on the bike, the 14 were joined by another four riders after six of the eight laps had been completed.

Du Plessis was with the leading bunch into T2, but the wheels came off on the final 5km run. Schoemaker, who had crashed in the bike and lost 20sec, was able to run his way to the front and win the sprint for the line over Damien Derobert (they covered the 5km in 13:51 and 14:14 respectively), Du Plessis lost contact and recorded a split of 16:11 and dropped right down to 19th.

Shoemaker finished in 1:49:01, Derobert 1:49:03 and Du Plessis in 1:51:21 for his 19th.