An epic sprint finish saw New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt and Sweden’s Lisa Norden cross the line together with a time of 2:05:58 at the second round of the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series race in Madrid, Spain.
Switzerland’s Magali Di Marco Messmer moved into the top position on the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series Rankings as her sixth place finish combined with seventh in the opening leg in Tongyeong, Korea gave her a total of 1043 points.
Following a strong swim Hewitt placed herself well in the lead pack during a tough cycle which saw many of the race favourites dropped over the hilly course as temperatures reached in excess of 30 degrees celsius.
Once on the run a group of five formed including France’s Jessica Harrison, Germany’s Christine Pilz and Sarah Haskins from the USA as well as Norden and Hewitt. The athletes ran side by side for the first 9.8km but as the five entered the finish chute Norden pulled away to open a small gap; however a last ditch effort by Hewitt saw the New Zealander cross the line an inch ahead of the Swede.
The top two were made to wait for five minutes whilst ITU officials confirmed the result with a check of the photo finish images in a repeat of the men’s race at the opening fixture in Tongyeong, Korea. Harrison was confirmed in third with Pilz fourth and Haskins in fifth.
Hewitt’s win sees a change in the fortunes of the twice Madrid runner-up. At the opening leg of the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series in Tongyeong, Korea, a bike crash left the 25 year old with cuts and bruises and a disappointing 39th place finish.
“I’ve never been in a photo finish before,” said Hewitt. “We ran together for the whole run, pacing off each other. The Kiwis have had a great start to the season and we’re just going to keep going for the rest of the season like this.”
Norden was equally pleased with her result having missed the start of the season with injury.
“I didn't have any expectations going into the race,” she admitted. “I had two weeks of running build up, but have been doing lots of swimming and biking, and that was in place today. I was feeling pretty good on the last lap and tried to give energy for the sprint, but Andrea came up really fast on the inside. I gave it everything. I surprised myself on the run; I'm very happy with the outcome.”
Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Rankings
After Race One of Eight
1. Magali Di Marco Messmer (SUI) 1043pts
2. Jessica Harrison (FRA) 1024pts
3. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1018pts
4. Juri Ide (JPN) 985ts
5. Samantha Warriner (NZL) 965pts
Madrid Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Elite Women - Official Results
Gold – Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 2:05:58
Silver – Lisa Norden (SWE) 2:05:58 +0:01
Bronze – Jessica Harrison (FRA) 2:05:59 +0:02
4th – Christiane Pilz (GER) 2:06:02 +0:05
5th – Sarah Haskins (USA) 2:06:04 +0:07
6th – Magali D Marco Messmer (SUI) 2:06:18 +0:21
7th – Samantha Warriner (NZL) 2:06:45 +0:48
8th – Daniela Ryf (SUI) 2:06:52 +0:55
9th – Sarah Groff (USA) 2:07:25 +1:28
10th – Ai Ueda (JPN) 2:07:31 +1:34
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