The current European champions Sergei Yakovlev, from Russia, and Virginia Berasategi claimed victory in the Gernika International Duathlon held in the sun, with wind and between 22 and 24 degrees temperature, a large audience and fewer participants than other years.
The late release of Belgian Rob Woestenborghs, world runner-up in 2010, reduced the pressure of the candidates for victory in the men's category, Víctor del Corral and Yakovlev.
The event was launched by José Fuentes-Pila, brother of the athletes Iris, Zulema and Margarita, all of whom were Spanish champions at some point and at different distances.
The Russian Yakovlev was the first to liquidate the 5,2 km. with a time of 15:37, six seconds more than the record made by the Portuguese Jorge Silva in 2010 in the two laps through the center of Gernika.
The participants made with lateral wind and in front of the cyclist route towards the beach of Laida, where they made the turn to, with wind blow in favor, return to Gernika totaling 26 kms.
Asturian Emilio Suárez was thoroughly employed in a technical and speed bumps circuit. He was the fastest at 39:21. Yakovlev made 40:17.
The Catalan Del Corral was the first to make the transition from bicycle to footwear in the pits to run the last 2.500 meters in the crowded streets of Gernika.
Del Corral - the European duathlon player will compete in Limerick in 7 days, with a podium option, and the World Cup in Gijón at the end of September -, could not defend his meager advantage against Yakovlev due to a pull on the left twin that allowed the fugue from Russian.
Yakovlev allowed himself the luxury of walking the final 10 meters until he crossed the finish line at 1.03: 21. Del Corral second ahead of Australians Raf Baugh and James Attad, who had very regular behavior in leading positions.
The Cantabrian Félix J. Martínez -the fastest in the third section of the duathlon with 7: 09- and the Basque Kepa Ruiz -very good performance in the cycling segment- met with remarkable.
Virginia Berasategi, who had already won here in 2005, added her first win of the season with a certainly special value: without completely healing her left foot and after coming out of a sentimental breakup.
The Bilbao, specialist in long distances, disputed this competition with real hunger and rage with some footage that was not very favorable to her interests.
The reigning European champion in long distance comfortably resolved the challenge of overcoming the also Biscayan, but settled in Cantabria, Inma Pereiro, Spanish runner-up in short distance.
The key was in the strong rhythm of Berasategi in the first section on foot, in which he beat for 15 seconds another woman of great background, the athlete Tamara Sanfabio, current Spanish marathon champion. He took Inmaculada Pereiro 3:21 at the end of the cycling stage on the right bank of the Urdaibai estuary.
Berasategi won with an overall time of 1.13: 41 and 1:56 advantage over Pereiro, while Sanfabio arrived 8 minutes after the winner.
Virginia Berasategi, who hugged Inma Pereiro, cried for a long time as a kind of natural discharge, reacting to the last few months of tension and disgust at injuries and heart issues. At the end of April, he will participate in the American Mildflowers triathlon.