A cool, misty morning in Corner Brook gave way to sunny calm racing conditions by the time the elite women hit the water for the start of the 8th Corner Brook ITU World Cup Triathlon.
Canada’s Christine Jeffrey led the field through the 3 lap, 1500m swim in Glynmill Pond with Julie Swail of the USA on her toes. Despite the 15.5 degree water, 11 of the competitors were out of the water under 20 minutes. Jeffrey won the swim prime as the first out of the water in a time of 19:07.
Julie Swail was the first up the steep 500m hill to the swim to bike transition and was joined by Jeffrey, Sarah Haskins of the USA and Pip Taylor of Australia to form a tight group at the front of the bike. A few seconds behind was Kiyomi Niwata of Japan who rode the first of the 6 lap bike course alone trying to catch the leaders.
By the end of the 2nd lap Niwata and the chase group had caught the leaders to form a group of 15 at the front. The chase group then became Mirinda Carfrae of Australia and Michelle Dillon of Great Britain joining up with Genevieve Pellerin of Canada and Caroline Kearney of Ireland.
A lead group of 15 can sometimes be a handicap in terms of working together to increase the lead, but this was not the case today. With a great cyclist such as Mirinda Carfrae in the chase pack, one would predict the chasers to make up some time on the leaders, but this was not the case as the leaders gained an average of 10 seconds per lap until by the bell lap when they had a whopping 2:20 lead.
The 2 bike primes for the first across the line on lap 2 and 5 were won by Sarah Haskins of the USA and Jessica Kirkwood of Canada.
The lead group sped through the bike to run transition with Carolyn Murray emerging first onto the 4 lap, 10km very hilly run. The rest of the lead group was onto the run moments later.
Andrea Whitcombe, who represented Great Britain in Athletics before discovering the joys of triathlon, took an early lead on the 4 lap, 10km run with Kornell, Niwata, Swail, and Murray close behind trying to stay in touch.
Whitcombe put together a brilliant run following the tough bike course and extended her lead on every lap. The real action was behind with a seesaw battle taking place between Julie Swail and Kiyomi Niwata for the rest of the podium places.
Whitcombe coasted to victory amid the thunder of the crowd, as Swail out sprinted Niwata for 2nd place. Gillian Kornell posted her best World Cup finish in 4th and Michelle Dillon posted the fastest run split of the day to round out the top 5.
Five countries finished in the top 10, a further indication of Triathlon’s universality as a sport.
|Results: Elite Men|