World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mar 2022: Dodet and Castro win in Chile

Sandra Dodet (FRA) and David Castro (ESP) took the wins on the beachfront of Vina del Mar today in the last ITU World Cup of the 2022 calendar and the first ever ITU World Cup on Chilean soil.

Elite Women: Dodet holds off Sereno

In choppy conditions, the women’s field started the race with a downhill run from the start line straight into some big waves, which the whole field had to navigate before making their way to the first buoy. Whilst there were no significant splits in the first couple of hundred metres, a front group quickly established itself after making the first 90 degree turn around the buoy.

Sandra Dodet
Sandra Dodet [Photo – World Triathlon]

Sara Vilic (AUT) started to apply the pressure on the rest of the front group as they rounded the second buoy and began to make their way back in towards transition, but after gapping the group by a few bodylengths, misjudged the swim exit’s position on the beach, meaning she left the water with everyone she had tried so hard to drop.

Into transition, it was Lea Coninx (FRA) who showed her intentions by storming up the ramp from the swim and quickly exiting T1 on her bike, with #1 ranked seed Emy Legault (CAN) on her heels. As a small group of three worked their way up to join Legault and Coninx, that pair of pre-race favourites would both crash out in quick succession.

With two of the main driving forces on the bike out before the first lap was over, the rest of the group looked hesitant to take the reins, with the chase pack quickly catching the front, with ten riders together over the first two laps, including Dodet, Gina Sereno (USA) Claire Michel (BEL) and Maria Velasquez (COL). Towards the end of the bike, however, the chase pack made contact with the lead, as more than half of the field came together over the final few kilometres.

Out of transition, Marta Kropko (HUN), was the quickest to leave, as Dodet and Sereno lost some vital seconds to the front. With the bike having all come together on the final lap, the race for the podium, prize purse and bulk of the Olympic points came down to the run, with a large number of women in contention over the 5km.

After overhauling the gap that had opened up in transition, Dodet showed her pedigree as one of French triathlon’s best talents as she stormed to the front following the opening kilometre, with Beatrice Mallozi (ITA), Luisa Baptitsa (BRA), Sereno and Michel tightly bunched behind her.

Opening up her gap to five seconds after the first lap, Dodet looked like she was in pole position for the win. However, with less than a mile to go, the young American Sereno began closing hard, as the Frenchwoman experienced a close battle all the way to the line, with the win only secured by the time Dodet set foot on the blue carpet.

World Triathlon Cup Vina Del Mar 2022 Sandra Dodet
Photo Credit: Wagner Araujo / World Triathlon

This was Dodet’s second World Cup win of the year after Arzachena, with Serono behind her finishing on the podium for her first time ever in a World Cup in Vina del Mar. In the battle for third place, Velasquez outlasted Claire Michel to grab her first ever podium spot at a World Cup event.

In the post race interviews, Dodet showed her delight at being able to hold off Dodet as she said: “I thought at the end she might come back to me, but I managed to keep a good pace and hold her off.”

And the American acknowledged her fellow competitor’s run pedigree, calling Dodet “a fantastic runner” and describing her first podium as “a big step up for me, I’m really excited to come away with this result as I didn’t know it was coming”.

Elite Men: Castro takes the tape ahead of Moya

By the time the men’s race got underway it had started heating up on the coast of the Pacific. In the water, it was Diego Moya (CHI) and Jawad Abdemoula (MAR) who led out to the first buoy, before Moya took the lead and started to string the rest of the field out.

On the way back to the beach we again saw athletes coming in a little wide of the swim exit, but Moya managed to navigate his way up the beach to the roars of the home crowd and lead out of T1.

Behind the Chilean, Abdemoula was in and amongst the main pack around 15 seconds back leaving T1, with the Moroccan, Luis Knabl (AUT) and Stefan Zachaus (LUX) working their way up to Mona by the end of the first lap of the bike. As the race progressed, the lead group of 18 worked well together to maintain a half a minute lead over the chase pack that included the likes of Roberto Sanchez Mantecon (ESP) and Rotislav Pevstov (AZE). Apart from a small unsuccessful attack by Vincente Trewhela (CHI), the group remained intact up into T2.

With a host of the best runners, including Mantecon and Morgan Pearson (USA) out of the picture, the foot race for the win looked down to Abdemoula and anyone brave enough to go with him. The Moroccan, a renowned runner, had been steadily getting back to shape after an injury earlier in the season, and wearing #1, he had the pedigree and the speed to take the win.

However, it was in fact the hometown hero Moya who really took the race by the scruff of its neck. With eight men still together after the first lap, the Chilean started to wind things up a mile and a half from the finish, with only Castro capable of staying on the shoulder of the 24-year-old.

With the roar of the home crowd pushing him on, Moya relentlessly tried to break the Spaniard, but Castro held strong, timing his sprint to perfection to lead on to the blue carpet and take the tape. Abdemoula looked like he might pip the Chilean in the dying moments but Moya kept on for the silver, his highest ever World Cup result to date.

World Triathlon Cup Vina Del Mar 2022 David Castro Fajardo
Photo Credit: Wagner Araujo / World Triathlon

After the race, Moya, who was smothered by a crowd of fans immediately after the race, cut a delighted figure in the post race interview, sharing his astonishment of the support and saying: “I’ve been amazed by all the people here and their support.

“I have been working hard for this race with my coach for a long time”, he added, which makes the end result even sweeter. The same venue will host the Americas Championships in 2023, where Moya will hope he can go one better and become the continental champion in front of the adoring fans of his hometown.

World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mar Results 2022

Saturday November 13, 2022 – 750m / 20km / 5km

ELITE WOMEN

  • 1. Sandra Dodet (FRA) – 57:13
  • 2. Gina Serono (USA) – 57:18
  • 3. Maria Velasquez (COL) – 57:21
World Triathlon Cup Vina Del Mar 2022 Elite Women podium - Sandra Dodet, Gina Sereno, Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto
Photo Credit: Wagner Araujo / World Triathlon

ELITE MEN

  • 1. David Castro (ESP) – 50:56
  • 2. Diego Moya (CHI) – 50:58
  • 3. Jawad Abdemoula (MAR) – 50:59

World Triathlon Cup Vina Del Mar 2022 Elite Men podium - David Castro Fajardo, Diego Moya, Jawad Abdelmoula
Photo Credit: Wagner Araujo / World Triathlon
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