The USA’s Gwen Jorgensen won a thrilling women’s race in Stockholm last weekend with a time of 1:55:31, and now finds herself locked in a three-way fight with fellow podium finishers Non Stanford (GBR) and Anne Haug (GER) for the 2013 World Triathlon Series title.
Britain’s Jodie Stimpson was among those leading the pack out of the water and into the uphill transition, before being closed down by a chase pack that included strong cyclists like Lisa Norden (SWE) and Haug.
The bike leg drama continued with Britain’s Vanessa Raw and Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand opting to make a break after five laps, securing a gap of over 30 seconds as they went into transition.
However, Jorgensen was working hard to reel in Raw and Hewitt, overtaking both within the first two laps, followed by Stanford, who crossed the line in 1:56:20. After a final tussle with Stimpson and Maaike Caelers (NED), it was Haug who managed to push ahead and grab third place with 1:56:45.
Behind Haug, 220 Triathlon columnist Vicky Holland (GBR) was running her way through the field in her best WTS performance of the season to claim fourth place, while Stimpson’s fifth place meant that there was an impressive three British women within the top five places.
‘I can’t be disappointed after such a great year’
With just 13 points between her and series leader Jorgensen, Non Stanford now has a very strong chance of winning this year’s series title – provided she finishes ahead of Jorgensen and Haug at the Hyde Park finals in London next month.
“I was quite apprehensive [ahead of Stockholm] as I knew that I had to podium in order to stay in the running for the series title, and after struggling for a few weeks with my arm, I really wasn’t sure how I would hold up,” Stanford told 220 Triathlon earlier today.
“There were a lot of question marks, but things are rarely perfect; it’s half the battle. We prepared as best we could considering the circumstances.
“London is going to be very exciting. A lot of people have asked me how I’m going to cope with the pressure, but I’m viewing it more as an opportunity, rather than a burden. I feel very fortunate to be this position, to be within touching distance of being a World Champion. That’s an honour, and quite surreal.
“I’ll approach the race like any other, and like always, will do my best. I can’t do more than that and whatever the outcome I can’t be disappointed after such a great year.”
Women’s current rankings
|1.||Gwen Jorgensen (USA)||3033 points|
|2.||Anne Haug (GER)||3025 points|
|3.||Non Stanford (GBR)||3020 points|
|4.||Jodie Stimpson (GBR)||2855 points|
|5.||Andrea Hewitt (NZL)||2309 points|
|6.||Maaike Caelers (NED)||2158 points|
|7.||Ashleigh Gentle (AUS)||2077 points|
|8.||Emma Moffat (AUS)||1879 points|
|9.||Juri IDE (JPN)||1717 points|
|10.||Felicity Abram (AUS)||1601 points|