Best of 2015: Nicola Spirig dominates Baku
Nicola Spirig (SUI) reigns supreme when it comes to elite racing and high-stake conditions. Having won the 2012 London Olympic Games gold medal, she has a wide range of experience and knowledge on what it takes to win an exclusive title.
Her abilities in 2015 were no different.
In its inaugural year, the Baku European Games kicked off in June. Just like she did in London, Spirig was able to walk away with a Major Games gold medal, proving to be a moment worthy of making the Best of 2015 list.
The race started out with tough swimming conditions as the wind blew at such a strong force that officials made a decision to keep the triathletes in the water for the entirety of the swim, instead of having a pontoon-dive lap transition. Spirig had a consistent swim, but left her in a position to be in the chase group on the bike after the first transition zone.
While she led the chase pack for a good majority of the bike leg, she was able to find a burst of energy that catapulted her on a breakaway ride that put her into the group of leaders. As the women entered the second transition, Spirig was among the top alongside Rachel Klamer (NED) and Lisa Norden (SWE).
It was on the run that Spirig proved her gold medal status. With a few strides, Spirig was able to lose the others and put forth a lead big enough that the gold was easily placed in the palm of her hands.