Emotions and enthusiasm for the first edition of Icon Livigno Xtreme Triathlon

By Micol Ramundo

The first edition of ICON LIVIGNO XTREME triathlon was held in a beautiful sunny day, that lasted the whole day making the place a perfect stage for the athletes.

Fifty five heroes coming from fourteen different countries. Italy, Turkey, Venezuela, Denmark, Switzerland, United States, Hungary, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Great Britain, Greece, Czech Republic.
Surrounded by the pitch black of the latest hours of the night, extremely suggestive, all the athletes were aligned on the beach where at 5.30 they started to swim in the Lago di Livigno.
Hidde Bekhuis from the Netherlands, dominated the swim race, followed by Maximilien Vuylsteke from France. Lorenzo Barnabè is the first Italian athlete to enter the T1 area in 3rd position followed ahead of only few seconds of the Greek Nikiforos Fokas.
The long and hard cycling section has completely changed the games. The gap between the first and the second has been erased and the roles inverted. Great performance by Alessandro Bertolini, an ex professionals rider, who has won many times in his career.

In order, Forcola, Bernina, Fuorn, the mythical Passo Stelvio and Foscagno, are for him the perfect stage to show his great talents.
The French was conducting the race till the 115km, were he missed a signal and takes the wrong turn, wasting a handful of minutes and the Dutch is ahead again.
Nothing changes till the arrival at T2 located at Trepalle of Livigno. Bekhuis dominated till that point and he is the first one to exit the changing area.

Vuylsteke comes after 14' and Bertolini after 20’. The latter looses more minutes since the first 10 km of the run. Cristiano Tara, follows about half an hour later in 4th position.

The Dutch pushes very hard since the beginning of the running fraction, increasing the distance between himself and the French.

At the 25th km, when Bekhuis reaches the meeting point where he meets the support team, 23’ separates him from Vuylsteke.

The last 10km of the running section, takes the athletes up to Carosello 3000, with an ascent very stiff that very hardly challenges the athletes that are already tired.

Bekhuis regularly proceed and he can easily manage his advantage on the other athletes arriving at the finishing line 40’ before the French Vuylsteke who arrive successfully second. Third on arrival and on the podium is Cristiano Tara, able of a very important catch up on Bertolini, who pays the bike big effort and he finds himself to deal with an important crisis in the last km of the run.
Cristina Sonzogni, the only woman who participates at the event, leaves behind herself many of her male opponents. Her race is very well managed, with a bit of suffering in the swim fraction, but largely overcome on the bike. 21th at the finishing line at Carosello 3000, Cristina becomes the very first ICON woman of this event.
ICON Livigno Xtreme triathlon ends happily with positive feedbacks from the athletes about the organizations. Livigno confirms to be the perfect location to host big international events and a huge stage for triathlon, in its most extreme and spectacular form.
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