Two U.S. women now ranked top five in ITU world rankings
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — USA Triathlon National Team members and 2012 Olympians Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah Groff raced to third and fourth place on Saturday at the inaugural ITU World Triathlon Cape Town, the second stop of the ITU World Triathlon Series.
Gwen Jorgensen (pictured here in Mooloolaba last month) finished third on Saturday in Cape Town. (Delly Carr/ITU)
Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 46 minutes, 33 seconds on the 750-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course, posting a blistering 32:46 run split to move from 16th at the start of the run to third. Groff (Hanover, N.H.) finished fourth in 1:47:11 for her second consecutive top-five finish in the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series.
Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson topped the podium with a time of 1:46:11, followed closely by her fellow Briton Helen Jenkins, who clocked in at 1:46:18.
Originally scheduled as a 1,500m swim, the course was shortened to 750 meters due to cold water temperature. Groff was third out of the water and joined the lead pack of 12 women on the bike, putting time between the leaders and the chase group on each of the eight laps. Jorgensen missed connecting with the lead pack, and at the start of the run was more than 2 minutes behind Groff, Stimpson and Jenkins.
On the run, Groff moved into third by the end of the first lap, with Stimpson and Jenkins battling it out for the top spot. Groff stayed in a solid position, putting more distance on Ainhoa Murua of Spain and others from her bike pack. Meanwhile, Jorgensen was running through the field with an average 5:16 mile pace, nearly catching Stimpson and Jenkins by the end of the final lap.
“Once the gun goes off you just race and everyone has the same situation. It’s nothing you can control, it’s just part of racing,” Jorgensen said after the race when asked if the temperatures impacted her. “I am doing triathlon because I want to push myself, push my limits, push everyone else. So I just go out there and do what I can do.”
With third- and fourth-place finishes today, Jorgensen and Groff are now in the top five in the Threadneedle ITU World Triathlon Series rankings. Groff is ranked fourth with 1,219 points, and Jorgensen is fifth with 1,024 points. Complete rankings are available at triathlon.org.
The men will compete in Cape Town on Sunday, with the race scheduled to begin at 9:06 a.m. ET, and live coverage will be available on triathlonlive.tv.
Then athletes will head to the next series stop in Yokohama on May 17-18. ITU World Triathlon Yokohama will be the first event in which ITU World Triathlon Series points will count toward Olympic team selections.
ITU World Triathlon Cape Town
750m swim, 40k bike, 10k run
1. Jodie Stimpson (GBR), 1:46:11
2. Helen Jenkins (GBR), 1:46:18
3. Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), 1:46:33
4. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 1:47:11
38. Lindsey Jerdonek (Sagamore Hills, Ohio), 1:51:31
DNF Katie Hursey (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Threadneedle ITU World Triathlon Series Rankings
1. Jodie Stimpson (GBR), 1,600 points
2. Helen Jenkins (GBR), 1,425 points
3. Anne Haug (GER), 1,282 points
4. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 1,219 points
5. Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), 1,024 points