A rejuvenated Emma Moffatt put in a sensational display of ‘off the front’ triathlon in round two of the ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS), only to come up short, against new generation ofÂ ‘runners’ Gwen Jorgensen (USA) and under 23 world champion Non Stanford (GBR).
Leading the swim, establishing a 59 second buffer to the chase pack off the bike and leading for the majority of the 10km run, Moffatt had done everything right and looked the goods. Yet in the final minutes, she saw the race slip from her grasp.
On home soil and looking to be the first US woman to win a WTS race, it was a charged up Jorgensen who stormed past Moffatt in the final kilometre and then Stanford grabbed the Aussie in the shadows of the finish line, to relegate Moffy to third place.
There was no disgrace in Moffatt’s effort, she was just beaten two athletes in sensational form and both possessing lethal run legs.
While the women’s field was missing a few big names, the depth of talent and outstanding performances rendered it irrelevant, because the elite girls provided the massive crowd with some of the most exciting triathlon seen in recent years.
It all started to unfold on the run when the chase group of five, (Haug, Stanford, Stimpson, Abram and Jorgensen), embarked on their quest to haul in the lead pair of Moffatt and Groff.
By the end of the second lap Groff had been swallowed up and then on Jorgensen did her own thing went after Moffatt. At the start of the final lap the gap between the two was down to 29 seconds, but with every stride it became obvious Moffy’s lead was under threat.
With a 33:10 run split, Jorgensen, the collegiate runner and swimmer recorded her best ever win and a significant result for Team USA. The former Wisconsin Badger literally ran her way into the history books and together with Stanford has lifted the WTS bar once again.
“The girls made me work for it but I never really thought about the gap, I just focused on my race and just did what I had to do.â€
“It is really exciting and a huge honour to win a WTS race and the win is extra special because it’s our national championships and on home soil. Hopefully it’s going to motivate and push other US athletes as well,” Jorgensen said
So hot was the racing in San Diego that the in-form and pre-race favourite Anne Haug was dropped by Jorgensen and Stanford on the run and could only manage fourth place.
Recovering from plantar fascia problems, young Aussie Ashleigh Gentle came into San Diego with some queries over her fitness, but she produced yet another sensational result with a ninth place.
Felicity Abram was well positioned throughout the race and running with the main contenders before but catching the eye of the officials. She was forced to serve a penalty, effectively putting pay to any chance she had to repeat her sensational performance in Auckland.
Triathlon.org for full details
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