Monday, September 28, 2009

Jarrod Shoemaker wins Duathlon Worlds

The USA’s Jarrod Shoemaker used a blazing final sprint to come back from outside the top 20 on the final 5k run to win the elite men’s ITU Duathlon short course World Championship in a photo finish over France’s Damien Derobert.

Shoemaker, the 2005 Under 23 Triathlon World Champion, fired off a 13:52 final 5k -- 23 seconds faster than Derobert – to take the win by a chest lean at the tape in a time of 1:49:02.

Shoemaker, a 2008 Olympian who won a breakthrough first ITU World Championship Series race this summer in Hamburg, almost fell out of contention when a crash in the misty rain on lap five of the bike put him half a minute back of the lead pack. But Shoemaker worked with a strong chase group to pull into T2 in 20th place, just over 20 seconds back of the lead pack which included Derobert, Jurgen Dereere of Belgium and Sergio Silva of Portugal.

Shoemaker jetted after the leaders on the run, rising to 4th place after 2.5k. By the time he reached the home stretch on the tarmac of Lowe’s Motor Speedway where NASCAR racers routinely are flying along at 180 mph, Shoemaker had dispensed with Silva and had Derobert and Dereere in his sights.

Shoemaker surged into the lead, and then Derobert counter attacked. But with a final burst that put the lie to Shoemaker’s reputation that he did not have a finish line sprint, the Sudbury, Massachusetts flash nipped the Frenchman at the tape.

While crediting any duathlon or triathlon event, even world championships, with accurate measurement is a low percentage bet at best, Shoemaker’s 5,000-meter split would have won gold at the 1952 Olympics...

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