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Chrabot Wins Huatulco World Cup
Matt Chrabot stepped onto the top step of an ITU Triathlon World Cup podium for the first time with an impressive victory in the Pacific coastal town of Huatulco, Mexico. Crossing the line in 1:57:22, the 2009 USA Triathlon elite national champion held off Ruidi Wild from Switzerland to take the win with compatriot Jarrod Shoemaker in third.
Despite the morning start, the men faced high temperatures as the sun rose over the Pacific, and the swim provided no let up with a hard pace being pushed from the onset by Dustin McLarty from the USA. Despite McLarty's efforts, he was unable to take advantage as a large pack of 32 athletes came together early on the bike as a tactical race developed.
Making his move at halfway on the bike, Chrabot hit the front and quickly opened up a large lead of 1 minute, 20 seconds over the diminishing chase pack, which was reduced down to 12 athletes as the heat and hills took their toll on the field. Wild also fancied his chances and broke away, but he could not catch the flying American.
Chrabot proceeded to put 2 minutes into Wild and 4 into the chasers to give himself an seemingly unassailable lead going onto the 10k run. Wild chased hard but could not make any inroads whilst Shoemaker comfortably dropped the other athletes around him to seal a podium place ahead of Danylo Sapunov from the Ukraine.
"I went out on a suicide mission today," Chrabot said. "It was so hot and so hilly it made it really tough, but I took my chances and I really like this course. I grew up for a few years in the Philippines which means I like the heat, and I knew if I was going to win I had to go for it on the bike. Two years ago I did a similar thing in Mexico at the Pan American Championships in Mazatlan and won, so I thought I'd try the tactic again."
"I've been doing a lot of cycle training to get strong so I thought I'd put it to use today," Wild said. "I didn't expect to be on the podium so I'm really pleased; I thought I might slow down a lot on the run and the final lap was tough trying to stay ahead of Shoemaker."
"This year's race here was definitely hotter than 2008," Shoemaker said. "I had my two best races this season in the cold and rain so maybe I need to train for the heat a bit more, but to be on the podium here for the second year running is really great."
Americans Ben Collins (7th) and Kevin Collington (8th) also finished in the top 10.
Ai Ueda of Japan won the women's race in 2:12:47. Margaret Shapiro was the top American finisher in 8th while Jillian Petersen finished 10th.