Non Stanford won her first ever ITU World Triathlon Series gold medal with a blistering performance in Madrid today. Jodie Stimpson won bronze to make it a double celebration for Great Britain.
Stanford and Stimpson were prominent throughout the race, pushing the pace on the bike to catch the early breakaway riders after the swim. Vanessa Raw made a big contribution to keeping the pace high during the hilly bike ride around the Casa de Campo park, which ensured that the current world number one, Gwen Jorgensen was unable to catch them.
Stanford made an immediate break for the front out of the second transition and was followed by Stimpson and Germany’s Anne Haug. However, Stanford was in complete control and was never challenged on the 10km run. Stanford picked up a Welsh flag on her way to the finish line and won by a margin of 26 seconds over Haug.
Stanford said: “That was a really hard race. It was probably one of the hardest swims I’ve done for a long time, it was really physical.”
She added: “The bike was never going to be easy. The British girls worked really hard, which was fantastic. The plan was to go off really hard on the run, which I did, but I thought ‘oh no I’ve gone off far too hard’ but I managed to hold it together. It’s what you always work for and when it finally pays off it’s really nice.”
Jodie Stimpson said: “It’s a good feeling. At the beginning of the season the main goal was to be a consistent athlete and I’m glad that it’s started off that way. I hope it will continue.”
British Triathlon Performance Director, Brendan Purcell was pleased with the performances: “It’s the start of the three year build up to Rio, so it’s a good opportunity to try new things and do things differently.
“We’ve never got two British women onto a World Triathlon Series podium before so we’re definitely going in the right direction. Of course there is a long way to go and some big names still race yet, but credit to Non and Jodie, and to Vanessa Raw for their hard work and great results today.”
Gwen Jorgensen retains her position as the world number one. Jodie Stimpson is in third and Non Stanford fifth.
The next round of the Series takes place in Kitzbuhel on 6 July, but Non Stanford will race again before that at the ETU European Championships in Alanya, Turkey, 14-16 June. The World Triathlon Series Grand Final takes place in London, 11-15 September, where the 2013 ITU World Champions will be decided in Hyde Park.