It was a picture-perfect day of racing at the birthplace of triathlon, San Diego’s Mission Bay, where the elite women battled it out for the second race in the ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS). With temperatures in the low 80s, strong Santa Ana winds and not a cloud in the sky, the stage was set for some fast racing at the second annual Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego.
Brazil’s Pamela Oliveira led out of the water, entering T1 with a small group including former ITU world champion Emma Moffatt of Australia, race-favorite and London Olympic fourth-place finisher Sarah Groff, and Spain’s Carolina Routier. Moffatt lost some time getting her wetsuit off, starting the bike 20 seconds back of the other three swim leaders, but she wasted no time claiming her place at the front.
Once out on the eight-lap bike course, these four ladies worked together to keep a small but manageable distance of roughly 30 seconds in front of the chase pack, which included Americans Gwen Jorgensen and two-time Olympian Julie Ertel. By the start of the third lap the first big move of the day was made as 2013 ITU WTS Auckland winner Anne Haug of Germany climbed from the second chase group to the front of the chase pack.
By the halfway point of the 40K bike the chase packs had merged into one, but were unable to gain any ground on the leaders, and the gap eventually widened to just under a minute. Meanwhile up at the front, Groff, Moffatt, Routier and Oliveira took turns leading the charge, knowing full well that despite there being a minute separating them from the chase pack, there were some serious runners in that group ready to hunt them down. These standouts included Haug, Aussie Ashleigh Gentle, Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson and her countrywoman Non Stanford. Stanford won the 2012 Under-23 ITU Grand Final in Auckland, and recently knocked out a stunning 32:40 off the bike.
Once the lead pack entered transition, Groff made her move and exited four seconds ahead of Moffatt, with Routier and Oliveira getting left behind with the fast-approaching chase pack. For the first 2K, Groff looked unstoppable, but after coming through transition on her way to the second lap of three, Groff began to lose steam, and Moffatt began to find her stride, passing her at the 5K mark.
But behind Moffatt was a group of women dead set on running her down. Jorgensen, Stimpson, Haug and Stanford took in almost 15 seconds during the first lap, and appeared to be gaining momentum. With less than 2K to go, Jorgensen made her move, pulling ahead of the other women and within striking distance of Moffatt. In the final 800 yards of the race the women fought to find their placing, with Moffatt, Stanford and Jorgensen careening through the final twists and turns of the course. In the end Jorgensen proved to have the most kick left in her, sprinting ahead to cross the tape in 1:59:59. Stanford just barely edged out Moffatt for second place, each finishing in 2:00:03.
Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego
April 19, 2013
San Diego, Calif.
1500M swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA), 1:59:59
2. Non Stanford (GBR),2:00:03
3. Emma Moffatt (AUS), 2:00:03
4. Anne Haug (GER), 2:00:06
5. Jodie Stimpson (GBR), 2:00:31
6. Andrea Hewitt (NZL), 2:01:22
7. Sarah Groff (USA), 2:01:27
8. Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI), 2:01:41
9. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), 2:01:46
10. Juri Ide (JPN), 2:01:56