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Snowsill wins Des Moines

Aussie Emma Snowsill has won her second Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup in Des Moines, Iowa, topping countrywoman Emma Moffatt by 16 seconds

Aussie Emma Snowsill has won her second Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup in Des Moines, Iowa, topping countrywoman Emma Moffatt by 16 seconds. Snowsill came into T2 over a minute behind the leaders and then posted the day’s best run split of 34:05 to take the win.

“I was angry about my position after the bike, so I used that aggression” Snowsill said. “I wanted to reel in as many girls as I could.”

Britain’s Helen Jenkins finished third, less than one second back of Moffatt, with Canadian youngster Paula Findlay finishing fourth.

Severe thunderstorms throughout the morning gave way to calm conditions for the start of the women’s race. As expected, Americans Sarah McLarty and Hayley Peirsol broke away on the first of two laps on the swim, as the pair battled for the $5,000 swim prime. McLarty was the first to exit the water and earn the bonus, topping Peirsol with a hard sprint in the final 100 meters of the swim.

McLarty and Peirsol set off on the bike with a one-minute advantage on the chase pack, which contained a number of the pre-race favourites, including Americans Sarah Haskins and Laura Bennett, Moffatt, and Daniela Ryf of Switzerland. World number one Barbara Riveros Diaz and Snowsill entered T1 in the third group, another minute behind the chasers.

The pair of Americans held off the chase pack of 20 women throughout the entire 40K bike leg, losing only a handful of seconds on each of the eight laps. Peirsol and McLarty exited the second transition with a 40 second gap on the chase pack, but the lead didn’t last long. Snowsill exited transition another 30 seconds back of the chase group, alongside current world number one Riveros Diaz.

A small pack of six women broke away from the first chase group to take the lead on the first lap of the run. In the group were Moffatt, Jenkins, Findlay, Brit Jodie Stimpson, American Laura Bennett and Kiwi Andrea Hewitt. By the halfway point of the run, Snowsill had caught all but the six women running in front. She finally caught the front group on the third of four run laps and immediately moved to the front of the bunch to take the lead. Snowsill broke away from the lead group on the final lap, extending her lead throughout the final two kilometres of the run.

“I knew I had a big gap to make up when I got to transition, but I just started reeling them in one by one and before I knew it I could see the lead group,” Snowsill said.

The 2008 Hy-Vee champ broke the tape in 1:59:35, earning the top prize of $200,000 for the second time in her career. Moffatt’s runner-up finish earned her $50,000, with Jenkins cashing in $25,000 for finishing third.

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Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.