Alberte Kjær Pedersen runs away with gold in Miyazaki
Sun Beach Hitotsuba set the scene for race day in the 2022 World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki, just outside of the city centre. Elite athletes were greeted with a stunning coastal day, with slight windy conditions, for the sprint-distance race which featured a 750m choppy ocean swim, a flat 20km (4-lap) bike course with technical sections and a twisting and fast 5km (2-lap) run to finish the race. 47 Elite women lined up on Sun Beach to contest in the battle for World Cup victory in Miyazaki.
In the women’s race Great Britain’s Mathias led the field through the choppy 750m swim in Miyazaki. Italy’s Ilaria Zane, Mathias and Spain’s Sara Guerrero Manson had smooth transitions to lead the women out onto the 20km technical bike course. Sandra Dodet of France and Claire Michel (BEL) didn’t make the front group in the swim and therefore had a lot of work to do on the bike in an attempt to bridge the gap.
Through the final stages of the bike segment, the leaders extended the gap out by 42-seconds. Denmark’s Alberte Kjær Pedersen and Hungary’s Zsanett Bragmayer were taking turns in the front seat while Mathias continued to keep the pressure on. Japan’s Niina Kishimoto was showing her strength and power by sticking with this lead group, impressing all the home-crowd support.
Out onto the twisting 5km sun-drenched run course, it was Mathias who went straight to the fun but it wasn’t long before top-ranked Pedersen surged out front and continued to build into the run, with no looking back. With no other women in sight, Pedersen was able to soak up the finish line atmosphere as she powered down the finish chute to earn another World Cup gold medal. Her first World Cup victory was in Huatulco, Mexico in 2021. Pedersen was elated with the triumph in Japan after admitting that the pressure of being the top-seeded Elite woman was nerve-wracking.
“I am just so happy, it was hard wearing number one from the start and I just really wanted to win the race and I did so I am just so happy.
“I was quite nervous before the run today because I haven’t felt my run legs in the training lately. My plan was just to keep with the other girls in the front and then tried to feel how the legs were. I just felt good, just started running my pace and hopefully, no one would catch me and I was quite happy.
“It gives me a lot of confidence and it’s great to get to know the other girls so when we’re travelling around the world, we’re friends outside the course as well so it’s quite nice,” said Pedersen.
In an exciting battle for second and third, Italy’s Zane showcased a powerful race set-up to earn silver in Miyazaki and her first World Cup medal.
“Very emotional because it’s my first podium ever, I am not as young as the others and I am really proud of the job that I have put in the bag over the past month. I am over the moon because I was excited. I was electric before the start and I love the waves, I made the most of it.
“The swim was very difficult but I always enjoy these waves. It was very fun out there, after the first few strokes I was out the front with Olivia (Mathias) so I think everything went smoothly and I am happy about that. I am racing the Finals in Abu Dhabi and that will be my wrap-up for the season,” Zane said.
After not having the race she wanted in the recent World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong, Mathias showcased a confident and aggressive style of racing today which paid off as the British triathlete claimed bronze and a career-first World Cup medal.
“I am so happy, just finally on the podium. I feel like it’s been a long time coming this year. I had four shots and finally on the fourth one.
“I just wanted to really enjoy it. I kind of lost that last time in Tongyeong. I was just thinking just soak it up, it’s the last one of the year. We’ve got a really good group here and although I am the only GB girl, I’ve been here with the GB boys, they’ve taken me under their wing and really looked out for me since being out here so thank you to them.
“It actually started out quite bad, I dived in and got hit by a wave and did a handstand, I literally hit the bottom but when I got up I saw that everyone else had some the same so I told myself not to panic. I couldn’t really see the buoys. I had picked out points before. I tried to keep on the front and keep out of the fight,” said Mathias.
Lea Coninx (FRA) displayed a brilliant run portion of the race to cross the line in fourth and Germany’s Tanya Neubert in fifth.
Related Event: 2022 World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki
Japan Triathlon Union hosts Technical Official Development Project in Miyazaki08:48 - 28 Oct, 2022
Athletes return to the coastline of Miyazaki for the next World Triathlon Cup11:05 - 27 Oct, 2022