Tommy Zaferes led the way for the Americans on Saturday, earning second place in a sprint to the finish at the inaugural Sarasota ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup at Nathan Benderson Park.
Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) was edged out in the last 200 meters of the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course to finish second in 1 hour, 44 minutes, 35 seconds. Joao Pereira of Portugal took the tape in 1:44:33, and Miguel Arraiolos, also of Portugal, rounded out the podium with a time of 1:45:08.
In the women’s race, Canada’s Paula Findlay was first across the line in 1:57:51. Carolina Routier of Spain was second with a time of 1:58:12, and Vendula Frintova from the Czech Republic logged a time of 1:58:44 to finish third. Alicia Kaye (Clermont, Fla.) was the top finisher for the U.S. women in sixth place.
Just one week after competing at the Clermont ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan America Cup, Zaferes and Luke Farkas (Colorado Springs, Colo.) were two-three out of the water, trailing Canadian Andrew McCartney, who had a 13-second advantage. The three athletes formed the lead pack before McCartney broke away, and Zaferes and Farkas were caught by the chase group, which included Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.), Brian Fleishmann (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Eric Lagerstrom (Gresham, Ore.).
Entering T2, a lead pack of six, including Zaferes and Maloy, had stacked up a near 2-minute lead on the chase pack. Zaferes and eventual winner Pereira ran away from the chasers and heading into the final lap were 20 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. In the final 200 meters, the pair sprinted to the finish and Pereira out-kicked Zaferes at the line for the win. Maloy, Lagerstrom and Fleishmann recorded top-10 finishes. Zaferes’ second-place finish is his best result on the ITU circuit since he finished second at the Myrtle Beach ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup in 2011.
The women’s race began with Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla.) leading out of the water, followed closely by Routier. McLarty and Routier were quickly joined by Kaye and Findlay to form the lead bike pack before McLarty dropped back due to a flat tire. McLarty joined Katie Hursey (Hampstead, Md.) midway through the 40k bike and maintained their position behind the lead trio into T2, more than a minute ahead of the main chase group.
Findlay, who finished fifth last weekend in Clermont, maintained her lead from T2 to the finish. Kaye held the third-place position until the final lap but was caught by Frintova and Canadians Joanna Brown and Amelie Kretz. Hursey was seventh for the second straight weekend, and Kaitlin Donner (Gainesville, Fla.) and Tanelle Berard (Clive, Iowa) also finished in the top 10.
A sprint-distance men’s Under-25 Elite Development Race began the day’s action with T.J. Gleason (Sioux Falls, S.D) earning the win. Gleason, second-place finisher Dan Hedgecock (Minneapolis, Minn.) and third place Jacob Rhyner (Clermont, Fla) all earned elite cards one week ago in Clermont.
Three of Saturday’s EDR finishers earned their elite cards with their fourth, fifth and sixth finish positions – John O’Neill (Edwards, Colo.), Aaron Bachman (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) and Hunter Honeycutt (Tifton, Ga.)
Sarasota ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
Women’s Top 10
1. Paula Findlay (CAN), 1:57:51
2. Carolina Routier (ESP), 1:58:12
3. Vendula Frintova (CZE), 1:58:44
4. Joanna Brown (CAN), 1:58:50
5. Amelie Kretz (CAN), 1:59:24
6. Alicia Kaye (Clermont, Fla.), 2:00:17
7. Katie Hursey (Hampstead, Md.), 2:00:25
8. Radka Vodickova (CZE), 2:00:51
9. Kaitlin Donner (Gainesville, Fla.), 2:02:01
10. Tanelle Berard (Clive, Iowa), 2:02:51
Men’s Top 10
1. Joao Pereira (POR), 1:44:33
2. Tommy Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 1:44:35
3. Miguel Arraiolols (POR), 1:45:08
4. Andrew Yorke (CAN), 1:45:18
5. Conor Murphy (IRL), 1:45:42
6. Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.), 1:45:52
7. Bruno Pais (POR), 1:46:13
8. Fransesc Godoy (ESP), 1:46:36
9. Eric Lagerstrom (Gresham, Ore.), 1:46:58
10. Brian Fleishmann (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:47:08
USA Triathlon Under-25 Development Race
(750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)
Men’s Podium Finishers
1. T.J. Gleason (Sioux Falls, S.D.), 55:08
2. Dan Hedgecock (Minneapolis, Minn.), 55:17
3. Jacob Rhyner (Clermont, Fla.), 52:20