Pablo Dapena Gonzalez (ESP) roared back from injury in perfect style with victory at Lotto Challenge Gdańsk on Sunday – his first race for nine months.
And Margie Santimaria (ITA) took the first middle distance win of her career in convincing fashion in the women’s race.
It was a three-man battle from start to finish.
Kacper Stępniak (POL) was out of the water first in 23:32, but Sergiy Kurochkin (UKR) was only two seconds back, with Dapena Gonzalez five seconds down.
The trio rode together throughout the 90km bike with chasers never getting within a couple of minutes of them.
However, it was all change on the run when Dapena Gonzalez underlined why it’s his strongest suit. Within the first three kilometres he had put 1:30 into chaser Kurochkin, a lead he continued to extend until he crossed the finish line to take the win in 3:44:47.
Pablo Dapena Gonzalez wins in Gdansk [Photo credit: Challenge Family}
Kurochkin held onto second in 3:49:22 and Stępniak rounded out the podium in third in 3:51:02.
Pro Women – Santimaria powers clear on bike
In the women’s race, Rosie Weston (GBR) was first out the water in 25:07, nearly two minutes ahead of Santimaria.
She held onto this lead until halfway through the first 30km lap of the bike when Santimaria moved to the front and stayed there, moving further and further clear.
That pattern continued on the run as she claimed a convincing win in 4:20:02.
Margie Santimaria crosses the line in triumph [Photo credit: Challenge Family}
Behind her, it was an ever-changing battle for second and third between Paulina Kotfica (POL), Johanna Ahrens (DEU) and Maria Cześnik (POL). Eventually, it was Kotfica who prevailed to take second in 4:27:17 with Cześnik in third on 4:28:54.
Lotto Challenge Gdańsk 2022 results
Sunday 19 June 2022 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
1. Pablo Dapena Gonzalez (ESP) – 3:44:472. Kacper Stępniak (POL) – 3:49:223. Sergiy Kurochkin (UKR) – 3:51:02
1. Margie Santimaria (ITA) – 4:20:022. Paulina Kotfica (POL) – 4:27:173. Maria Cześnik (POL) – 4:28:54
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