Vicky Holland (GBR) scorched through the run at the penultimate race of the 2015 World Triathlon Series in Edmonton to score her second World Triathlon win of the year. Behind her, Flora Duffy (BER) and Gillian Backhouse (AUS) completed the podium, with Duffy securing her highest WTS finish ever, while the bronze for Backhouse was her first WTS medal.
“I had a really good swim, that set me up for the rest of the race and I didn’t have to chase on the bike,” Holland said. “Kept working hard to keep myself warm. I had a few problems in T2 getting the shoes on and the helmet off but once I got going I felt ok on the run and wanted to give myself as good a session as I could today.”
Carolina Routier (ESP) and Anastasia Abrosimova (RUS) set the pace in the one-lap 750m swim as the first two athletes out of the water. Despite the short swim, a sharp turn around the lake saw the women string out early in the race, which lent itself to a pack of 15 women getting an early lead onto the four-lap 20km bike.
Duffy and Emma Moffatt (AUS) went to work early on the bike course in pushing the pack to keep their cadence too high for the chase to catch. While Kirsten Sweetland (CAN) and Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) rode alone in a two-woman chase to join the leaders, their dual power wasn’t enough to reel in the leaders with two laps to go.
The young Backhouse and Dominika Jamnicky (CAN) had phenomenal showings on the bike, as they alternated taking their turns at the front of the lead pack that included Holland, Helen Jenkins (GBR), and Laura Lindemann (GER), the latter of whom won the Junior World Championships in Edmonton last year.
The chilly temperatures meant several women suffered slow transitions off the bike onto the run, but it was no problem for Anja Knapp (GER) or Jamnicky, who blasted onto the three-lap run course first. However, it didn’t take long for Duffy and Holland to suck the ladies back in and surpass them as they sought out the podium.
By the end of the first of three run laps, Holland ran with intention to claim her second WTS win of the year, zooming ahead of Duffy by four seconds. That advantage only continued to increase over the 5km course, with the Brit ensuring the 2015 World Triathlon Series podium would be topped by only three women to date.
Behind Holland, Duffy maintained her distance over Backhouse, who was also managing to keep Routier at bay. Duffy sailed over for silver, while a jubilant Backhouse ran over for bronze.
“I’m extremely happy with how it went,” Duffy said. “You have to deal with what your dealt with on the day and ironically the girl from Bermuda did well.”
“I’ve been with my coach for two years now,” said an emotional Backhouse. “Particularly this year, we’ve really been able to build into my training and give it a go in the World Triathlon Series.”