Olympian earns first career ITU World Cup podium finish
U.S. Olympian Manuel Huerta raced to third place at Sunday’s Guatape ITU Triathlon World Cup to secure his first career ITU World Cup podium finish.
|Manuel Huerta was third Sunday in Guatape. (Paul Phillips/Competitive Image)|
Competing for the first time since the 2012 London Olympic Games, Huerta (Miami, Fla.) logged a time of 2 hours, 2 minutes, 24 seconds on the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course. Mexico swept the first two spots with Crisanto Grajales earning the win in 2:02:14, and Sergio Sarmiento edging Huerta for second in 2:02:23.
Mexico’s Irving Perez led the race out of the water, with Huerta among an 11-man chase pack early in the bike. By the time the cyclists hit the bell lap of the 40k ride, Huerta was part of the 10-man lead group and he and Grajales led the charge out of T2 and onto the run course. The eventual podium finishers opened up a sizeable gap on the field entering the final lap of the run, with Grajales then pulling away from Huerta and Sarmiento to secure his first career ITU World Cup win.
Huerta’s third-place finish marked a career-best effort on the ITU World Cup circuit, besting fifth-place finishes earlier this season in Edmonton and in Monterrey in 2010. Huerta now owns three ITU podium finishes in 2012 after placing second at the Dallas ITU Pan American Cup and third at the Bridgetown ITU Pan American Cup.
Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson won the women’s race in 2:12:21. Huerta was the lone American in action in Guatape.
Next up for Huerta is Saturday’s USA Triathlon Elite National Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. Visit usatriathlon.org for an event preview.
2012 Guatape ITU World Cup
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
Men – Complete Results
1. Crisanto Grajales (MEX), 2:02:14
2. Sergio Sarmiento (MEX), 2:02:23
3. Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.), 2:02:24