Findlay does it again....
Findlay’s record-breaking win in Kitzbühel was also her toughest so far in 2011. After a tough swim, where she was more than a minute down from the leaders, she was part of a 19-athlete chase group that caught the breakaway leaders, Helen Jenkins and Sarah Haskins, at the end of the fourth bike leg - before setting the pace on the run. From there, just like in Madrid, it came down to a head-to-head with Jenkins, but Findlay proved too strong - running away in the final 200 metres to claim her third straight win of this season. Although, Findlay did say it had been tougher as Jenkins turned-up the pace with two kilometres to go.
“I’m just thrilled again, that was a really hard race, I have so much respect for Helen, I really didn’t think I could stay with her, I was running at maximum the whole way,”Jenkins said it had been a tactic to try and push Findlay earlier than she did in Madrid.
“After Madrid, I knew I wasn’t going to beat her over the last 400 metres and over the last 2.5 kilometres I was just really trying to push on and break her, and I could see she was working, but in the last few hundred metres I just couldn’t catch her,” Jenkins said.
“I’m happy with second, I wish I hadn’t waited now, but it’s racing you had to give it a go, Sarah is so strong and I thought we could get there. I’m just happy with the run, I felt awful on the first lap, but came good.”
Early in the race it was Haskins, who won her first career ITU World Cup title just last month in Monterrey, who started aggressively with the swim and had a 20-second lead out of the water. Jenkins was next out and worked hard to catch the American on the first lap. Together, they evoked memories of the 2008 Vancouver ITU World Championships, when they made a break on the bike and Jenkins (nee Tucker) out-sprinted Haskins in the final straight to win her first world title. It wasn’t to be in Kitzbühel though as a chase pack of 19 athletes, led by Andrea Hewitt, Svenja Bazlen and Annabel Luxford - and including Findlay and reigning World Champion Emma Moffatt – consistently cut the gap. After it started at 40 seconds in the first lap, the chase caught Haskins and Jenkins at the end of the fourth lap.
That group of 21 then hit T2 together, with Findlay, Haskins, Bennett, Groff, Melanie Annaheim, Erin Densham and Barbara Riveros Diaz moving to the front quickly in the run. Moffatt then caught that group and as others dropped - it came down to her, Groff, Findlay and Jenkins in the final lap. Groff held on to win bronze, her first ever Dextro Energy Triathlon Series medal.
In other notable results, Ai Ueda of Japan ran through a large portion of the field to finish seventh.
|5.||Barbara Riveros Diaz||CHI||02:06:41|