Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (July 29th 2012) - Australia's Chris McCormack wins the 2012 ITU Long Distance World Championships, over the 4km swim, 120km bike and 30km run in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain today.
Australia's Chris McCormack added the ITU Long Distance World Championship to his already impressive resume with a stellar run leg in Vitoria-Gasteiz on Sunday, bettering Spain's Eneko Llanos and Luxembourg's Dirk Bockel over the 4km swim, 120km bike and 30km run.
The 1997 ITU World Champion and two-time Kona winner said it was one of the most special wins of his career, largely thanks to the huge crowd gathered in Spain's basque country.
"It was incredible...there was so many people on run course today and it really made the run fast," McCormack said. "It's a fantastic victory for me, I've won lots of races in my life but this one is very special."
McCormack's last ITU world title came in 1997, and yesterday he was among the favourites in this year's long distance world titles. However he left the water in the middle of the pack and two minutes down on Llanos and Bockel among others. While he made up time in the bike leg, he still exited T2 in sixth place and with plenty of ground to make up over the leaders.
But after serving a 15 second penalty, McCormack started to reel in those ahead of him. While Llanos had rocketed to the lead in the first lap of the run, overtaking Denmark's Emil Dalgaard to do so, he couldn't hold off a charging McCormack. The Australian hit the front at the start of the third lap of four, and surged ahead to claim his first ITU Long Distance world title. He said the past 18-months of Olympic distance training and racing had helped give him the speed he needed in the run. He was the only man to go under 1 hour and 45 minutes, with a split of 1 hour 44 minutes and 55 seconds in the final leg.
Llanos was the people's favourite in his home town of Vitoria-Gasteiz, but said he couldn't be disappointed with a silver medal. While Bockel was exhausted, but pleased with his bronze, his first world championships medal. Dalgaard ended-up finishing in fourth spot, after leading from the swim through to the start of the run, and Ukraine's Viktor Zemtsev clocked the second fastest run split of the day to finish 6th.
Vitoria-Gasteiz ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships
Final Results - Elite Men - 4km swim, 120km bike, 30km run
1. Chris McCormack AUS 05:29:47
2. Eneko Llanos ESP 05:31:39
3. Dirk Bockel LUX 05:34:54
4. Emil Dalgaard DEN 05:38:39
5. Martin Krnavek CZE 05:44:47
6. Viktor Zemtsev UKR 05:45:49
7. Nikolay Yaroshenko RUS 05:46:23
8. Duarte Silva Marques POR 05:50:51
9. Pedro Miguel Reig ESP 05:52:11
10. Miquel Blanchart ESP 05:52:42