Pre-race talk centred on the stacked field for WTS Abu Dhabi, but all that faded when Gwen Jorgensen unleashed a run of incredible ferocity to overhaul leader Flora Duffy (BER) and take gold in stunning fashion.
The 2015 World Triathlon Series got off to a beautiful start with air temperature a balmy 26° as they started the sprint distance race (750m swim/20km bike/5km run) just after 3pm local time. Carolina Routier (ESP) took a firm lead of the swim, followed by Britain’s Lucy Hall.
Jorgensen left the water 38secs down on Routier, with Jodie Stimpson (GBR) further back still. Routier quickly established a lead pack of 10 or 11 athletes that included Lucy Hall, Flora Duffy (BER), Lisa Norden (SWE) and a number of American athletes including last year’s WTS Stockholm winner, Sarah True (née Groff).
By the halfway point and around half an hour on the clock, a large chase pack including Jorgensen, Stimpson, Aileen Reid (IRL) and Emma Moffatt (AUS) was chasing hard but found themselves unable to bridge up to the leaders, who reached T2 with a lead of around 1min.
Onto the run and the only thing that could happen, did happen – Jorgensen unleashed her ferocious run, blowing through the field with an astonishing pace of 20kph according to the speed gun.
Jorgensen overtook Duffy just after the end of lap one, with her fellow US athletes nipping at the heels of the Bermudan. There was only one outcome possible though, with Jorgensen crossing the line in 58:59mins, followed by Katie Zaferes (USA) and Flora Duffy.
Britain’s top finisher was Jodie Stimpson in 17th position with a time of 1:00:11, followed by Lucy Hall in 35th with a time of 1:00:56. Heather Sellars placed a respectable 42nd on her WTS debut with a time of 1:01:18, and Emma Pallant finished 50th in 1:02:05.
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