Press Release - 2003 ITU Madeira World Cup - Elite Women

Press Release - 2003 ITU Madeira World Cup - Elite Women

By ITU Admin on 19/10/03 at 12:00 am

SHEILA TAORMINA
WINS MADEIRA WORLD CUP

Funchal, Madeira: Despite tropical showers that threatened to dampen spirits,
a large crowd of locals and tourists lined the course of the final “premiere”
Triathlon World Cup of the season.

American teammates Sheila Taormina and Barb Lindquist joined forces from the   start and by the halfway point of the 1.5km swim had already started to pull   away from the field. Spain’s Pilar Hidalgo, Britain’s Jodie Swallow and Canada’s   Jill Savege did not allow them to get out of reach, and were just 8 seconds   back at the swim to bike transition.

That mere 8 seconds was enough for Taormina and Lindquist to get away onto   the hilly and technically challenging 8-lap, 40km bike course, and working like   a well-oiled machine, they lap-by-lap slowly pulled away from the chase pack   of 10. By the 20km mark their lead had built to 1:48.

Jessica Harrison of Great Britain tried to organize the hunt for the leaders,   but the size and diversity of the chase group was too disorganised, so she decided   to try to bridge to the leaders alone, leaving German teammates Anja Dittmer   and Ricarda Lisk, along with Portugal’s Vanessa Fernandes, the task of keeping   the chase group in touch with the leaders.

By the 25km mark, Harrison was back with the chase pack, as Taormina and Lindquist   passed the 2 minute gap mark leaving little doubt about the first 2 steps on   the podium.

Steady rain increased the challenge of the course, as the many technical turns   became drenched. This didn’t dampen the efforts of the duo at the front as they   powered up the hill and through the tight corners of the city street. By the   start of the final lap they had built up a lead of 2:24 - unsurmountable for   even the talented runners in the chase group.

Pilar Hidalgo and Michellie Jones led the chase group through the second transition,   now almost 3 minutes behind Lindquist and Taormina.

After the 1st lap of the run, Sheila Taormina was in the lead with Barb Lindquist   on her shoulder. Jill Savege and Michellie Jones moved through the chase pack   in a vain attempt to caught the leaders, but were still 2:33 back as the rest   of the chase pack faded.

By the 5km point on the run, Jill Savege and Michellie Jones had taken 45 seconds   out of the 3 minute lead as Barb Lindquist moved ahead of Taormina. The race   for the top step and the 3rd step of the podium created lots of drama for the   spectators huddled under their umbrellas.

Barb Lindquist led into the final lap with a 3 second lead on Taormina, as   Savege and Jones ran shoulder to shoulder 1:55 back.

With less than a kilometre to go, Sheila Taormina made a dramatic move on her   teammate and broke off the front making a little World Cup history for herself   by beating Lindquist for the first time. She romped home to win by 19 seconds.   The sprint for the 3rd spot between Jill Savege and Michellie Jones was so tight   that it took a competition jury and a review of the finishline camera to sort   it out. In the end Savege was given 3rd place, 1:46 behind the Taormina with   Jones 4th. Jodie Swallow was 5th a further minute back.

After the race Sheila Taormina said, “Wow - it’s so great to have the   confidence to know I can run with Barb (Lindquist), then actually out-kick her   at the end. We were very lucky to build up that lead on the field, because the   course was so slippery with all the rain - we were all pretty cautious.”

Most of the field will now move on to Athens for next weekend’s World Cup event   on the Vouliagmeni course which will be the site of next year’s Olympic Games   Triathlon.

Find more details about this event - 2003 Madeira ITU Triathlon World Cup

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