Jorgensen sprints to her 11th straight victory
Proving that she is also capable at dominating in a sprint, USA’s Gwen Jorgensen claimed victory at the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Hamburg on Saturday. With Great Britain’s Vicky Holland giving Jorgensen some pressured competition up until the last 500 metres, the 11-time WTS consectutive winner showcased her speed and pure talent by breaking away on the blue carpet to ultimately take home yet another gold.
“A lot was going through my head at the end, Vicky really pushed me. I could feel her right there on my shoulder, so I knew it was going to be a fight until the end,” said Jorgensen.
Holland, who earned the only other WTS title this season apart from Jorgensen in Cape Town, displayed a phenomenal performance on the day to finish with the silver medal. While compatriot Non Stanford pushed to join her on the podium, earning the bronze.
Among the large crowds, reaching to the thousands, and picture perfect skies, the women’s race started off with a no-wet suit swim. With only a one-lap 750 metre push in the water, Carolina Routier (ESP) and Margit Vanek (HUN) led strong through the first leg of the race and was able to create a small amount of distance as they exited the waters in the one and two position.
However, Jorgensen put herself in fighting position straight away on the one-lap swim proving more and more what a balanced triathlon she’s become this season. On the hip of the leaders Jorgensen came out in the top five, which set her up perfectly to join a 12 pack of women on the bike.
With six laps on the bike circuit, the leading dozen that included the likes of Holland, Jorgensen, Routier, Vanek, Sarah True (USA), Anja Knapp (GER), Gillian Backhouse (AUS), Sophie Coldwell (GBR), Rachel Klamer (NED), and Laura Lindemann (GER), Rebecca Clarke (NZL) and Anna Maria Mazzetti (ITA) flew through the bike course. They did not give up a second to slow even in transition with strong bikers like Andrea Hewitt (NZL) and Stanford pumping away in the chase.
But by the bell lap, the women successfully bridged up making it a 26-deep lead group. The move put a host of new women in contention for the podium.
Swift transitions from Klamer, Backhouse and Holland helped the trio blast out of T2, while Jorgensen trailed nine seconds after racking her bike to head out on the two-lap run.
Not having the pleasure of more time to space out the kicks, Holland, Stanford and True pushed forward as soon as foot hit the pavement. Staying steady and together for the first kilometre, it was only a matter of time before Jorgensen was able to catch the threesome and put herself in podium position.
After the first lap on the run, Jorgensen was able to make her move in an attempt to gain some distance heading into the finish, but Holland demonstrated incredible stamina as she was able to cling to Jorgensen up until the very end.
But as the amazing runner that she is, Jorgensen pulled away in the last 500 metres and was able to carry herself right into the finish line finishing with a time of 57:08.
The silver medal then was rightfully earned by Holland, who trailed just five seconds behind.
Holland said, “I thought I had a chance of getting closer maybe to catching Gwen than anyone else has done yet this year. I felt like I was working hard to keep up with her a couple times and I managed to cover those relatively easy, but for the last 500 metres I knew I was at my limit. Waiting for that last kick because I knew it was coming, I tried to push one last time, but she just had too much for me on the day.”
“I am really pleased that I had a great swim, came out front pack, worked hard on the bike and then had a good run so I think I had a good all around race today.”
The battle for bronze was not over however, as Stanford and True plugged away to take the last spot on the podium. Not wanting another majority for the U.S., Stanford used that for motivation and was able to kick ahead of True to seize the last medal.
Stanford said, “ We needed to get two British girls on the podium and that kind of gave me a little extra kick at the end because it has been far too long. So to share a podium with Vicky it is fantastic.”
Vincent Luis smashes Hamburg for first WTS title
No stranger to the podium, but a stranger to the top, France’s Vincent Luis produced a remarkable run at World Triathlon Hamburg to claim his first ever World Triathlon Series title over four-time World Champion Javier Gomez Noya (ESP). Engaged in a tight battle with Gomez the entire race, Luis launched past the No.1 world ranked Spaniard in the last 300 metres, becoming the first French athlete to ever win a WTS title.
Gomez scored silver medal after falling just short of Luis on the blue carpet. But the podium placement was enough to keep his overall No. 1 ranking intact.
“It was my first victory in the WTS and the first for the French team. It’s really good for me, but really it is good for the French,” Luis said of his win. “I was really confident. I tried to attack him (Gomez), but then he attacked me. I had to wait until the sprint to set a fast tempo to make sure he wouldn’t attack me before the finish.”
Known as one of the most popular races on the WTS calendar, crowds tallying into the thousands gathered to watch the men take off in Germany.
Entering the warm no-wetsuit required waters, Richard Varga (SVK) and Anthony Pujades (FRA) set the pace on the one-lap swim at a rate fast enough to conjure up a small lead onto the bike. Together with 9 more men, which included Gomez, Luis, Aaron Royle (AUS), Dorian Coninx (FRA), Justus Nieschlag (GER), Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Tommy Zaferes (USA), the pack pushed out a short lead after the first lap.
Two men were quickly dropped from the lead pack and were forced to join the group of 30 athletes that rode a half-minute behind. That large chase group included two top runners with Mario Mola (ESP) and Richard Murray (RSA), the latter of which was served a 10-second penalty for leaving is water bottle in transition.
Although the chase contained several strong cyclists, the leading nine were able to fend off the chase and stay united through the entire bike leg. Then out of T2, Gomez and Luis blew to the front of the pack and immediately dropped their group that included Nieschlag, Zaferes and Schoeman. From there, the race became a sprint between the Spaniard and Frenchman.
Gomez took the front spot for the first lap, but it was clear that Luis was not going to back down. The fight was on for the gold as both Luis and Gomez interchangeably took turns leading the other on the two-lap run. But with about 300 metres to go, Luis produced one final kick to blast past Gomez, ultimately claiming his first WTS crown.
“It was a pretty good race, the first group was working well on the bike, we were able to keep away from the good runners like Mario and Richard,” Gomez said. “And then on the run I did not have a great day, I just tried to hang on. I gave my best, tried a couple of times, but I wasn’t feeling great and I knew Vincent was really fast in the last 200 metres, I tried to go before at one kilometre to go, but he could keep up and then he smashed me in the end. But it’s alright, 2nd place in the Series is alright, I did my best and still managed to get a good result.”
Coming out of the bike, Mola was down by over 30 seconds and looked to be out of podium contention. But the Spaniard showcased the most impressive run in WTS history and was able to blow by the likes of more than a dozen men. His split of 13:55 goes down in history as the fastest 5km run ever recorded in WTS history.
Mola said, “I had to believe that I could get on the podium. I was in a tough position at the beginning of the run, but you have to believe. I have been training very hard for the last couple weeks so I gave everything I had today to become third so I am very happy and pleased with that.”