Emma Moffatt and Erin Densham perform well behind new ITU record holder Paula Findlay

Beijing Olympians Emma Moffatt and Erin Densham have continued Australia's encouraging performances at this weekend's Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Triathlon Series, finishing fourth and eighth respectively behind untouchable Canadian Paula Findlay in Kitzbuhel, Austria today.

Beijing Olympians Emma Moffatt and Erin Densham have continued Australia’s encouraging performances at this weekend’s Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Triathlon Series, finishing fourth and eighth respectively behind untouchable Canadian Paula Findlay in Kitzbuhel, Austria today.

It was the first time in the Series that Moffatt has threatened the podium after a pair of 13th placings in the opening two rounds in Sydney and Madrid.

Her fellow Beijing Olympian Densham, who has battled health and illness over the last 18 months produced her best Olympic distance race for some time to also finish in the top ten, hanging on well over the closing stages of the run.

Moffatt gave herself every chance of a podium finish, valiantly trying to stay in touch with the leaders who broke away from the four-time world championship race winner with three kilometres to run.

As hard as she tried, Moffatt couldn’t go with the Maple Leaf’s latest star Findlay who went on to claim a record-equalling third straight World Series win this season over her British combatant Helen Jenkins, with the USA’s Sarah Groff producing her first ever podium finish.

The Australian girls efforts and the performances of Brad Kahlefeldt (fifth) and Jamie Huggett (22nd) in yesterday’s men’s race has given the Aussies a huge boost as they head back to their French training camp in Aix le Bain to prepare for their major goals of the season “to peak for the Hamburg (July 16 and 17) and London (August 6 and 7) races and Olympic selection.

Australia’s National and AIS Head Coach Shaun Stephens was “more than satisfied and relieved” with his team’s efforts over the weekend.

“We all sat down as a group after the disappointments in Madrid and there were a lot of sorry faces that’s for sure,” said Stephens.

“They all agreed they had to make some changes and they knew they couldn’t rely on their past performances in the swim “they had to start with more aggression and most of them were able to do that.

“And they knew they had to stay in touch to have any chance of improving their placings and I was happy with their efforts and somewhat relieved that we are getting back on track.

“We always targeted Hamburg and London and we are looking forward now to getting a solid block of training in over the next month.

“Moffy is threatening again and she knows what she has to do to match it with those leading girls and it was great to see the old Erin back “she has certainly been through her ups and downs.”

Kinder weather conditions greeted the women with an earlier start than yesterday’s men’s race and it was blue skies replacing the rain and wind for the first hour of the race at least before intermittent rain, hail and shine greeted the field during the second half of the race.

Monterrey World Cup winner Sarah Haskins from the USA produced the swim of the weekend to lead the field by over 20 seconds with Moffatt 37 seconds behind and fellow Australians Anabelle Luxford 57 seconds behind and Densham, Felicity Abram and Felicity Sheedy-Ryan making up the Aussie contingent in the second half of the field.

The Australian girls had adhered to their coach’s instructions: “Don’t lose touch on the swim.”

It was Haskins and British Olympian and former world champion Jenkins who linked up to share the lead over the first three laps on the bike with the 20-strong chase group, including Luxford, Densham and Moffatt, riding hard to catch the breakaways.

By the bell lap on the bike it was champion biker Luxford who positioned herself at the front of the bike pack with New Zealand’s top rider Mooloolaba World Cup winner Nicky Samuels.

World champion Moffatt and Canada’s 22-year-old dual winner in Sydney and Madrid Findlay aligned themselves in the pack as the field jostled for the transition into the run.

But it was 27-year-old Jenkins who took the field out on the first run lap, with Densham and Findlay, the USA trio Haskins, Laura Bennett, Sarah Groff and Chile’s Barbara Riveros amongst the leading runners.

Moffatt also put herself within striking distance as scattered rain and sunshine greeted the runners on different stretches of the course.

The further the race went the combatants from Madrid, Findlay and Jenkins edged to the front with Moffatt, Riveros and Groff forming a break away as Japanese athlete Al Ueda mounted her challenge after coming from 39th place in the second chase pack on the bike “35 seconds behind at the start of the run.

Findlay, Jenkins, Moffatt and Groff then dropped Riveros as Ueda gradually picked off the field one by one in a stunning running performance, pushing to eighth place with four kilometres left and eventually finishing seventh.

With three kilometres to run it was Moffatt who dropped off the lead group, with Findlay, Jenkins and Groff setting up the podium finish as they approached the bell lap.

Findlay and Jenkins, as they did in Madrid then took off, dropping Groff.

Fortune again favoured the brave as Findlay broke away on an incline in the run home to edge in front of Jenkins to record her third win of the season and her record fifth World Championship race victory.

Australia’s other starters Felicity Abram finished 49th with Felicity Sheedy-Ryan 52nd while Luxford withdrew after working hard to bring the field through the 40km bike course.

PosNameCountryTimeSwim Bike Run 
1Paula FindlayCAN2:05:520:19:251:10:060:34:54
2Helen JenkinsGBR2:05:560:18:441:10:490:35:00
3Sarah GroffUSA2:06:270:19:011:10:310:35:27
4Emma MoffattAUS2:06:310:19:001:10:300:35:27
5Barbara Riveros DiazCHI2:06:410:19:231:10:120:35:49
6Laura BennettUSA2:06:440:18:551:10:360:35:46
7Ai UedaJPN2:07:000:19:511:10:060:35:37
8Erin DenshamAUS2:07:030:19:251:10:000:36:13
9Svenja BazlenGER2:07:100:19:101:10:210:36:17
10Nicky SamuelsNZL2:07:110:19:251:10:040:36:19
11Andrea HewittNZL2:07:130:19:221:10:070:36:20
12Kate McIlroyNZL2:07:160:19:221:10:100:36:20
13Zurine RodriguezESP2:07:240:19:251:10:120:36:27
14Kathrin MullerGER2:07:330:19:201:10:090:36:42
15Sarah HaskinsUSA2:07:370:18:231:10:520:36:44
16Melanie AnnaheimSUI2:07:460:19:131:10:190:36:53
17Ainhoa MuruaESP2:07:500:19:091:10:150:36:54
18Lisa MensinkNED2:07:550:19:191:10:100:37:01
19Jodie StimpsonGBR2:08:010:19:061:10:270:36:58
20Jessica HarrisonFRA2:08:060:18:581:10:310:37:11
21Anja DittmerGER2:08:120:19:461:10:090:36:54
22Debbie TannerNZL2:08:130:19:231:10:040:37:20
23Kate RobertsRSA2:08:150:19:311:10:240:36:56
24Zsofia KovacsHUN2:08:200:19:331:10:150:37:00
25Sarissa De VriesNED2:08:200:19:041:10:310:37:24
26Yuka SatoJPN2:08:210:19:221:10:110:37:23
27Liz BlatchfordGBR2:08:270:19:141:10:370:37:07
28Akane TsuchihashiJPN2:08:420:19:301:10:240:37:17
29Alice BettoITA2:08:440:19:101:10:230:37:47
30Sarah FladungGER2:08:510:19:231:10:400:37:26
31Irina AbysovaRUS2:08:560:19:211:10:350:37:18
32Kathy TremblayCAN2:09:040:19:451:10:030:37:42
33Elizabeth MayLUX2:09:170:19:401:10:080:38:03
34Lydia WaldmüllerAUT2:09:190:19:381:10:190:37:58
35Jillian PetersenUSA2:09:210:19:421:10:170:37:52
36Marina DamlaimcourtESP2:09:310:19:451:11:160:36:54
37Margit VanekHUN2:09:350:18:561:10:510:38:09
38Danne BoterenbroodNED2:09:420:19:341:10:140:38:25
39Mariko AdachiJPN2:09:490:19:351:10:200:38:24
40Carla MorenoBRA2:10:040:19:241:12:020:37:07
41Juri IdeJPN2:10:130:19:311:10:190:38:45
42Anne HaugGER2:10:150:20:091:11:520:36:54
43Michelle FlipoMEX2:10:200:19:391:10:140:38:59
44Annamaria MazzettiITA2:10:340:20:031:12:010:37:08
45Hideko KikuchiJPN2:10:370:19:371:10:320:39:13
46Alexandra RazarenovaRUS2:10:540:19:581:12:010:37:29
47Yuliya YelistratovaUKR2:11:140:20:111:11:490:37:45
48Rachel KlamerNED2:11:280:19:581:11:550:38:03
49Felicity AbramAUS2:11:290:19:471:10:130:39:59
50Charlotte BoninITA2:11:550:19:371:10:480:39:55
51Maria CzesnikPOL2:12:470:19:491:12:070:39:16
52Flavia FernandesBRA2:13:060:19:201:10:380:41:43
53Rebecca SpenceNZL2:13:190:19:511:12:010:39:49
54Felicity Sheedy-RyanAUS2:14:250:20:031:15:380:37:17
55Tomoko SakimotoJPN2:14:340:19:281:10:200:43:12
56Lisa PertererAUT2:15:570:20:001:15:440:38:40
57Elizabeth BravoECU2:15:580:19:501:15:540:38:45
58Zsofia TothHUN2:19:020:20:081:15:390:41:50
DNFMaaike CaelersNED0:00:000:21:140:00:000:00:00
DNFLauren CampbellCAN0:00:000:00:000:00:000:00:00
DNFPaulina KotficaPOL0:00:000:19:581:12:050:00:00
DNFKerry LangGBR0:00:000:19:281:10:290:00:00
DNFAnnabel LuxfordAUS0:00:000:19:201:10:010:00:00
DNFAnastasiya PolyanskayaRUS0:00:000:20:000:00:000:00:00
DNFRebecca RobischGER0:00:000:19:120:00:000:00:00