Helen Jenkins finished second at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in Madrid to go one place better than her third place finish from last year.
A courageous performance saw Jenkins take on the lion’s share of the work on the hilly bike course and put together an excellent run to forge a lead with Canada’s eventual winner, Paula Findlay. She had to work hard out of transition to pull up to Findlay and New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt, but was able to catch and run with them for the majority of the 10km.
Hewitt was eventually dropped and overtaken by France’s Emmie Charayron, who claimed third place. Jenkins stayed with Findlay until the Canadian made a final kick for the finish. Her winning margin was just three seconds over Jenkins.
Jenkins moves up to fifth in the world rankings, having had a slow start due to a bike crash at the previous round in Sydney.
She has also satisfied one part of her bid for Olympic selection, which is to finish on the podium at a World Championship Series event in the lead up to the two key events in Hyde Park and the Grand Final in Beijing. Podium finishes at either of those races will secure the Bridgend based former world champion a place at her second Olympic games.
Helen Jenkins said: “I am really happy. I’ve been on the podium three times in Madrid now, so I it’s a good course for me, I really enjoy it.”
She added: “I managed to catch back up to Andrea and Paula and I was really suffering then, I was hanging on and my legs didn’t feel great. I knew Paula was going to push on at some point and I just thought hang with her, hang with her. I thought I might be able to get her at the end but she was just too strong on the last 400m.
“Kitzbuhel is my next race and it’s just training then until Hyde Park, which will be a big race for us.”
Paula Findlay achieved her fourth win in six races, including having won in Hyde Park last year. She said: “Helen Jenkins did a phenomenal job on the front of the bike.”
She added: “I felt really controlled. I knew I had that other gear that I could use at the end but I also knew Helen did too, so I didn’t have it in the bag.”
Jodie Simpson finished 15th and Vicky Holland 22nd. Abbie Thorrington enjoyed the limelight in her first Series race by exiting the swim in first place and cycling with the lead group. She eventually finished 41st.
Madrid Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series – June 5, 2011
Final Results – Elite Women
Gold – Paula Findlay (CAN) 02:03:46
Silver – Helen Jenkins (GBR) 02:03:49
Bronze – Emmie Charayron (FRA) 02:03:58
4. Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 02:04:00
5. Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI) 02:04:43
6. Kate McIlroy (NZL) 02:04:57
7. Sarah Groff (USA) 02:05:28
8. Laura Bennett (USA) 02:05:33
9. Svenja Bazlen (GER) 02:05:35
10. Rachel Klamer (NED) 02:05:58
15. Jodie Stimpson (GBR) 02:06:32
22. Vicky Holland (GBR) 02:08:12
41. Abbie Thorrington (GBR) 02:10:48
Image: Delly Carr/ITU