Gallery: Challenge Forte Village-Sardinia

The biggest race on the beautiful island of Sardinia was hotly contested in the pro field, with many age-groupers also making the trip to the Forte Village resort. Images: www.joseluishourcade.com

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Athletes from 35 nations lined up on Sunday 25th October at the second edition of Challenge Forte Village in Sardinia, in a thrilling race that eventually saw Alessandro Degasperi of Italy and Brit Susie Cheetham take the wins in 3:53:56 and 4:26:20 respectively.

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At 8:00am the pro field lined up including European Champion Filip Ospaly (CZE), Joe Gambles (AUS) and Ritchie Nicholls (GBR), together with two strong Italians Alessandro Degasperi and Massimo Cigana determined to battle until the end for a place in the podium.

After 1.9km swim the lead group all came out of the water within one minute of each other, with Cigana four minutes down. Gambles pushed very hard on the bike course arriving first in T2, followed by Cigana who put in a super fast bike split to join the chase pack which also included Ospaly, Nicholls and Degasperi. 

On the run, the first surprise arrived at the end of the second loop when Gambles, who’d started the run with a 3:30 lead, had to pull out due to injury. The lead group was at this point made of Ospaly, Degasperi and the young Albert Moreno Molins (ESP). Degasperi made his final move at the 19km mark and claimed victory just eight seconds ahead of Ospaly with Molins.

In the womens’ race, Cheetham, who had just finished sixth at Kona, had to push to the end to take the win and to leave behind Maja Stage Nielsen (DEN), who arrived at the finish line in less than 2 minutes after her. Marta Bernardi (ITA) completed the podium.

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Images: www.joseluishourcade.com