UA triathlon team member Roberto Sánchez Mantecón becomes U23 world champion
Fernando Alarza, also from the UA, finishes fourth at elite ITU World Triathlon Series
Both sportsmen competed in the WTS Grand Final in Lausanne last weekend
Roberto Sánchez Mantecón
Alicante. Monday 2 September 2019
University of Alicante triathlon team member Roberto Sánchez Mantecón was crowned U23 World Champion after claiming victory at the Grand Final held in Lausanne, Switzerland, last Friday. He excelled on the run leg, where he was far superior to the rest of contenders.
The young triathlete from Mislata trains in the UA’s main triathlon team, led by Roberto Cejuela. Aged 23, he has already competed in elite World Triathlon Series (WTS) events. However, it was in the U23 category that he exceeded expectations as he won the final and the title with a great race. While he was not in the front group after the swim, the UA triathlete caught them during the cycle ride and left his rivals behind after the first metres of the run. With a lead of up to 22 seconds halfway through the run segment, no other triathlete could reach him.
According to his coach Roberto Cejuela, “he earned third place at the U23 European championship and 20th at the WTS. He has a great future ahead, but winning the WTS was not his goal. Considering the progress he has made, however, it is not surprising either, as he is a world-class athlete on the bike and run legs.” On 14 September, Sánchez Mantecón will fight for the U23 European Championship in Valencia, and for the U23 Spanish Championship in A Coruña at the end of the month, “in both of which he aims for victory,” the UA coach points out.
On the other hand, Fernando Alarza, top triathlete of the UA’s professional team, almost climbed the podium in the WTS overall ranking. The grand final took place last Saturday, also in Lausanne. Alarza, who had chances of winning gold at the WTS, finished third, his best result at a world final. Nevertheless, his direct rivals all finished in the first 6 places, with France's Vicent Luis as world champion followed by Mario Mola (second), Javier Gómez Noya (third) and Fernando Alarza (fourth).
Alarza’s result, Cejuela highlights, “is the second best in his career. He fell twice on the bike legs, so it is really good, even though he was going for gold.” Cejuela adds, “Now he will keep working for next season and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”