Levenez dominates to be crowned World Champion in Spain

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The elite women’s field saw a mix of strong experience line up to race the duathlon alongside the U23 start list.

The reigning 2018 duathlon world champion Sandrina Illes from Austria lined up to defend her world title.

The top women in the field split the field up in the early stage of the duathlon format, Sandra Levenez, Garance Blautand Marion Legrand from France as well as Austria’s Illes.

2018 Duathlon World Champion Illes led into the first transition of the day with 2014 World Champion Levenez. Both ladies produced quick transitions and made their way onto the 40km bike course.

Within the first two-kilometres Levenez powered ahead of the women and took control. Blaut attempted to hold on but didn’t have the power.

Levenez was riding solo across the bike course, encompassing steep sections around the city centre of Pontevedra.

On the final lap of the bike course Levenez maintained the front row seat as the reigning champion Illes and the young guns of duathlon working together to chase the leader. Illes made an effort to breakaway but no one had the power to catch the experienced French athlete.

Levenez held onto her incredibly strong lead across the five-kilometre run course. Illes didn’t quite have the leg power to chase her down but was running comfortable in second position.

Levenez truly dominated the race today with a powerful run and bike combination. On the closing stages of the race, the French duathlon specialist hit the blue carpet and began to celebrate. Levenez crosses the finish line to earn the 2019 World Champion status.

“I feel an indescribable happiness. It’s my second title, five years ago I won my first so it has cost me five years so earn the second one. It represents all the work I have done all the year,” an overwhelmed Levenez said.

2018 ITU Duathlon World Champion, Illes, was awarded the silver medal and Blaut claimed bronze.

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Mengal, Brea, earn U23 World Titles in Spain
Arnaud Mengal from Belgium awarded the U23 World Duathlon Championship title in the men’s race. Arnaud Dely, another strong Belgium athlete was presented with the silver medal and the bronze medal was awarded to Thomas Cremers from the Netherlands.

In the women’s U23 race it was Edymar Daniely Brea from Venezuela who was crowned with the U21 World Duathlon Championship title and Spain’s Marta Pintanel Raymundo produced a silver medal performance in front of a home crowd.

Racing will continue tomorrow with the Pontevedra ITU Multisport World Championships in the paratriathlon and junior duathlon events.

Text: International Triathlon Union

https://www.triathlon.org/news/article/choquert_levenez_crowned_with_first_world_titles_in_pontevedra