Vicky Holland clocks top-10 in final Olympic qualifier
Vicky Holland was Britain’s top female finisher at the ITU World Triathlon Series in Madrid today, as Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig claimed her first series win of the season and Ireland’s Aileen Morrison, pictured above, finished second. In the final race of the Olympic qualification period, Liz Blatchford was also 10th.
Holland and Blatchford were strong in the two-llap swim, with Abbie Thorrington having led them around. However, swim specialist Thorrington, was unlucky to puncture on the first lap of the bike tough bike course around the Casa de Campo park.
Britain’s Jodie Stimpson rode strongly in the front group on the bike, often taking a leading position and attacking the 12% hill, which the athletes climbed eight times during the 40km route.
Stimpson, Blatchford and Holland were all in strong positions at the start of the run. Holland got into a breakaway group of seven and held onto seventh place with Blatchford 10th and Stimpson 13th.
Holland said: “I had a great swim again, and felt good so that was a good start. It’s a hard course but most of the time I was pretty comfortable.
“I felt fantastic for the first lap and a half of the run, but Aileen (Morrison) really pushed the group and I just kept as close as I could.
“I couldn’t give any more than that. I’ve dreamed of going to the Olympics for twenty years, I just hope that I have done enough.”
Liz Blatchford recovered from a bad transition from swim to bike, and stomach cramps on the bike to finish tenth. She said: “10th isn’t bad, but I would rather it had been a less eventful race!”
Simpson said: “I put is all on the line today. Finally things are starting to click into place. Whoever makes the team, best of luck to them. We’ve got such a strong team.”
Jonathan Brownlee races tomorrow having already met the Olympic qualification criteria. Britain’s other five men in Madrid will have their eyes on the one remaining place in TeamGB, which will be announced next month.
1. Nicola Spirig SUI 2:06:35
2. Aileen Morrison IRL 2:06:38
3. Barbara Riveros Diaz CHI 2:06:40
7. Vicky Holland GBR 2:07:20
10. Liz Blatchford GBR 2:07:43
13. Jodie Stimpson GBR 2:07:57
21. Vanessa Raw GBR 2:08:54
DNF Kerry Lang GBR
DNF Abbie Thorrington GBR