Gwen Jorgensen sublime in New Plymouth World Cup win
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American megastar Gwen Jorgensen continued her domination on top of the podium with another impressive performance, winning the 2016 ITU World Cup in New Plymouth and getting her racing season and Olympic build up off to a confident start.
New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt chose a home race in New Plymouth to get her season under way and what a performance taking second place. Kirsten Kasper (USA) again featured on the podium with a bronze.
“I have been in New Plymouth for a couple weeks now because my coach is originally from here and it has been great, the community has been so welcoming. I have loved being here,” Jorgensen said.
“I came here, there was a lot of good and tough athletes, a lot of fast swimmers so it was a good test. We were really pushing it on the swim, the bike and the run, so it was a really hard race.
“Next week I will start my WTS debut I guess for 2016 in Gold Coast, but the sole focus for me in August 20th, the Rio Olympics, so all of this has just been kind of training for that.”
“I have been working with Jamie since 2010 and he has helped me improve with everything, my swim, my bike, my run, I still have some learning to do, some things that I can improve upon, which is encouraging, but you know I believe I train with the best triathlon coach in the world so it has been great to have him by my side.”
Ideal weather conditions prevailed in New Plymouth this morning with a beach swim over the 750m sprint distance, led out by South Africa’s Marie Rabie, Gwen Jorgensen (USA) AND Carolina Routier (ESP). The stream of athletes behind continued and formed a front pack of 22 on the tight, technical 20km bike course.
The front pack worked well to consolidate the break over the chasing group and after the second lap was out to 35sec.
On the final 5km it was clear the winners would come from the front group with Hewitt at the head along with Rabie, Routier, Emma Jeffcoat (AUS) and Jorgensen keeping the pace high.
As they hit T2 there was a huge cheer as New Zealand’s Nicole Van Der Kaay led out, but Jorgensen made short work of getting to the front on the 5km run after dismounting in 13 position.
Hewitt went with Jorgensen and over the next two laps battled it out at the front. Hewitt never gave up the chase but in the end it was Jorgensen’s trademark run leg that delivered her a 15th career win. It was a perfect silver lining for Hewitt’s return.
“I did not know what to expect today, this was my first race of the season for me,” said Hewitt.
“My training has gone really well and I came here wanting a good result. I was pleased that Gwen was racing; we had a good battle out there, especially on the first lap of the run.
“I started on the left on the swim and I tried to stay on Carolina Routier’s feet, but it didn’t happen because I was just in the back of the front group getting on the bike. But I felt really strong today; we worked really hard on the bike to stay away from that second group,” she said.
Kasper claimed her third World Cup podium in third, with a strong all-round performance. It came off the back of a second place in a Wollongong Oceania Cup event and third place at the Mooloolaba ITU Word Cup.
“I have loved the racing and we have been training over here for a little bit, so it has been a great experience and a great way to start the season off pretty well. Today I think I executed what me and my coach set out to do, I swam hard, I worked on the bike and then it just came down to the run, where I just was able to follow my instinct the best I could,” said Kasper.
Other top ten performances included Marie Rabie’s fourth place after returning to racing late last year and Ainhoa Murua in 9th chasing all important Olympic points.
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