Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam, 14 April 2013 – Italian Massimo Cigana and Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic added to their Asian triathlon credentials by becoming the first male and female Champions at the inaugural Laguna Lăng Cô – Vietnam Airlines Triathlon 2013, each recording sub-three hour race finishes at the new Laguna Lăng Cô integrated resort in central Vietnam.
The pair – both three-time Champions of sister event Laguna Phuket Triathlon – made their experience count against an elite pro field that included two-time Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack of Australia and fellow Australian Ironman veteran Belinda Granger.
Both had to battle hard against the field and also against weather conditions, with the opening 1.8km swim leg proving a challenge in a heavy sea before the 62km bike and 12km run.
Cigano finished with a swim of 00:16:39; a bike of 01:22:49 and run of 00:47:00, for an overall time of 2:28:29. McCormack, was out of the swim nearly two minutes ahead of Cigana but was then overtaken by the Italian bike specialist and pushed further back on the run to finish in second place 11 minutes behind Cigana in an overall time of 02:39:46. His fellow Australian Justin Granger was third in 02:49:49.
In the women’s field, Czech Olympian Vodickova and Granger were neck and neck on the swim and bike courses with Vodickova holding a lead of just 24 seconds as she began the run, a lead she stretched to more than three minutes at the finish line. She won with a swim of 00:16:04; bike of 01:42:10 and run of 00:51:38 for an overall time of 02:52:14. Granger, wife of men’s third-placed Justin Granger, finished six minutes behind her husband in 02:55:30. Phuket-based age grouper Sarah Wheeler of the UK had a magnificent race to finish third woman in 03:16:30 and also win her 35-39 age group.
The inaugural Laguna Lăng Cô – Vietnam Airlines Trithlon saw more than 200 athletes from 28 countries contesting the course in a race which is the sister event of the legendary Laguna Phuket Triathlon, now in its 20th year.
Champion Cigana said: “It was a very beautiful race, a fun swim, very fast scenic bike course and a lovely run through the golf course. I enjoyed it very much and I’ll be happy to be here next year to defend my title – I hope to bring many more Italians to race at Laguna Lăng Cô.”
Vodickova commented: “I loved everything about my first experience to race in Vietnam – the course, the great organisation and all the friendly and enthusiastic people. I came here to be part of this triathlon as I think it will have a long history like Laguna Phuket Triathlon – I am so proud to be the first women’s champion at Laguna Lăng Cô.”