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Wolfaardt fades to fifth

Pre-race favourite Erhard Wolfaardt paid the price for setting too hard a pace in the cycle of the 2010 Tshwane-Pretoria Africa Cup Triathlon, held over the Olympic distance, on Sunday.

Wolfaardt emerged third out of the water in the 1500m swim, some 20 seconds down on Hungary’s Balacs Pocsai and Morocco’s Mehdi Essadig. But once on the 40km bike ride he quickly closed the gap and attacked immediately. That was a mistake he would come to rue, as the draft legal race saw Pocsai and Essadiq joined by Attila Fecskovics (Hungary), and the three proceeded to work together, always keeping Wolfaardt in sight.

The effort of staying ahead of the chasing trio, took its toll, and Wolfaardt could not respond when Fecskovics attacked on the first of four 2.5km laps of the 10km run. Fecskovics flew passed Wolfaardt and never looked back. In fact so hard had Wolfaardt ridden on the bike, he could not respond to any of the attacks levered at him on the run and he faded to fifth overall.

Fecskovics had the lead pretty much sown up on the first lap of the run and went on to win in 1hr 51min 44sed, but behind him the battle for the minor placings was fierce. Brasil’s Mauro Cavanha Conceicao, who had finished third a week ago in Zimbabwe at the Africa Cup, clawed his way up the field on the run from fifth to finish third.

Wolfaardt had won in Zimbabwe a week ago. Fecskovics’ compatriot Balasz moved up from fourth to second and Morocco’s Mehdi Essadig dropped from second to fourth.

If the men’s race was dramatic, the women’s turned out to be a time trial for Andrea Steyn. Third after the swim, Steyn hauled in first Tyla Glover and then Hungary’s Zita Szabo within the first kilometre of the bike. From there on there was only one person in the race, and Steyn comfortably won, finishing in 2hr 09min 11sec in very hot conditions.

1. Attila Fecskovics          (HUN)                           1:51;44
2. Balacs Pocsai                  (HUN)                           1:53;00
3. Mauro Conceicao         (BRA)                                    1:53;21
4. Medhi Essadiq                  (MOR)                           1:53;40
5. Erhard Wolfaardt         (RSA)                                    1:55;44
1. Andrea Steyn                  (RSA)                                    2:09;11
2. Zita Szabo                  (HUN)                           2:14;20
3. Tayla Glover                  (RSA)                                    2:17;03
4. Riana De Lange         (RSA)                                    2:21;33