New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt put the perfect finishing touch on her already excellent 2011 season, leading a bike breakaway en route to a dominant World Cup win in Auckland.
After impressive victories in Beijing and Yokohama, Hewitt was the female triathlete to beat at home in the final World Cup race this year. And the World Championship silver medallist did not disappoint on the course that will host the 2012 Dextro Energy Triathlon Series Grand Final.
After quickly catching the leaders from the swim, Hewitt rode hard to lead a breakaway of five athletes on the tough, hilly and technical bike course before easily pulling away on the run for her third consecutive major win in a time of 2 hours 14 minutes and 12 seconds, almost a full minute ahead of Japan’s Tomoko Sakimoto who claimed her second consecutive World Cup silver. Her teammate Mariko Adachi claimed bronze, finishing a further 13 seconds behind Sakimoto.
Hewitt’s comfortable winning margin allowed her plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere in Auckland, where thousands of people lined the CBD streets. In the final kilometre, she took the time to wave and high-five fans, and had a huge smile on her face all the way to the finish line.
"It’s amazing, the feeling was so incredible running that last lap. It’s actually really hard to run and smile at the same time. But, it was just such a great race," Hewitt said.
It was an excellent day for the Japanese women’s team, with 40-year-old three-time Olympian Kiyomi Niwata running through the field to claim fifth and Ai Ueda‘s ninth giving them four athlete inside the top 10. Click here for full recap