By ITU Admin on 11/07/04 at 12:00 am
ITU World Cup 2004- HARROP WINS - MEN’S EVENT CANCELLED
Edmonton, Canada: For immediate release: It was a clear, sunny day to start the 2004 ITU Edmonton World Cup and mark the beginning of a momentous period for ITU media with the first live coverage of an event since www.itutv.com was officially launched. The water temperature over the morning was high enough to ensure that it was a non-wetsuit swim for the elite women.
The women’s start was picture perfect with Loretta Harrop of Australia moving to the front on the first lap. She was followed closely by Pip Taylor, Annabel Luxford, and Melanie Mitchell of Australia, Annaliese Heard of Britain and Jill Savege of Canada – a tight group of six set up as the lead pack.
At the swim to run transition the field had divided into 3 groups. The six at the front included Harrop, Taylor, Heard, Mitchell, Hill and Savege, while the chase pack of 10 back 15 seconds included Liz Blatchford of Britain, Samantha Warriner of New Zealand, Annabel Luxford of Australia, Sharon Donnelly and Tara Ross of Canada, Susan Williams of the USA and Susan Williamson of New Zealand. The second chase pack was almost a minute back with Leanda Cave of Britain, Canadian team-mates Natasha Filliol, Carolyn Murray, Lauren Groves, Samantha McGlone, Ai Ueda of Japan, Magda Stovickova of Slovakia, and Miranda Carfrae of Australia.
Savege and Heard did not stay the pace with the lead group and were caught by the chase group on the first lap. On the second lap the lead group of four were then also caught by the chase group to form a pack of 12 at the front.
Pip Taylor and Loretta Harrop worked their magic at the front of the lead group and over the next 2 laps increased their lead to 2 minutes over the chase group. An interesting side story was Sharon Donnelly in the lead pack and Samantha McGlone in the chase pack – both vying for the last spot on the Olympic Games Triathlon start list. McGlone teamed up with Carfrae on the second last lap and pulled away from the chase group and started to decrease the gap to the leaders.
Just before the athletes entered the second transition the skies opened up with fierce wind, rain and hail. Loretta Harrop was first off the bike and onto the run with Annabel Luxford, Susan Williams and Jill Savege on her shoulder. The risky breakaway by Samantha McGlone and Miranda Carfrae paid dividends, with the two brave athletes reducing the deficit to just over a minute.
Harrop took charge on the run and moved strongly to the front as Rina Hill dropped back ten seconds. Warriner and Blatchford ran shoulder to shoulder a further ten seconds back. Susan Williamson was in fifth at this time a few seconds back. Samantha McGlone took 40 seconds out of the leaders on the first lap and closed in on Sharon Donnelly who she needed to beat to earn that elusive final Olympic spot.
With the rain and hail thundering down the athletes were playing a cautious game, and making sure not to damage any of their Olympic chances so close to the games.
Entering the final lap, Samantha McGlone was truly giving a champion performance Aiming as she started to eat away at the gap to the leaders.
The weather took a drastic turn for the worst as the elite athletes approached the finish line. Loretta Harrop and Rina Hill battled the weather to get to the finish line in an exciting sprint finish, as Samantha Warriner posted her best performance to date.
conditions made it impossible to start the elite men’s race and the race
organisers in conjunction with the ITU and the athletes decided to cancel the
event for the athletes’ safety.