Summer Cook of the USA claimed her first World Triathlon Series victory today in freezing conditions, sprinting away near the end of the run to triumph in Edmonton over sprint-distance.
Base layers, arm warmers and even wooly gloves in Brit Lucy Hall’s case were the order of the day, as athlete’s battled air temperatures of just 8°c. The water wasn’t as cold as expected at 17°c, but still athletes who were expected to be high up the field struggled to get any leeway. Even so, British super-swimmer Jessica Learmonth was first out of the water as expected in 9mins flat, with Hall close behind and series leader Flora Duffy (BER) also up there.
The bike quickly split into two packs, with the American trio of Katy Zaferes, Sarah True and Summer Cook all in there. Flora Duffy took an early lead, but was reeled in by the Americans who controlled the 20km four-lap ride. Non Stanford and Vicky Holland, third and fourth in the Olympics, were in the chase pack and were around 30secs down for most of the ride.
Kirsten Kasper of the USA was first to break on the run, and was quickly joined by Flora Duffy (BER) and Sarah True (USA). Holland and Zaferes managed to bridge some gap on the first lap of the run, and were roughly 7secs back.
That didn’t last long, as True widened the gap and surprisingly the only athlete closing in was fellow American Summer Cook. Despite having a terrible T2, Cook blasted through the pack and finally approached True with 500m to go – as she sprinted past clad in a full compression skinsuit to keep the warmth in, the choice of clothing clearly paid off as she held form and sprinted for the line with pure grit and determination. True came in seconds later, followed by Zaferes to complete an American clean sweep on the podium.
Of the Brits, Vicky Holland and Non Stanford managed to break the top 10 in 5th and 7th place respectively. Jodie Stimpson and Lucy Hall both had disappointing days, both posting DNF’s. Flora Duffy retains her lead in the world series overall, with the final race in Cozumel, Mexico on 18th September.
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Summer Cook (USA) – 56:49
Sarah True (USA) – 56:52
Katy Zaferes (USA) – 56:56
Flora Duffy (BER) – 57:10
Vicky Holland (GBR) – 57:15
Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 57:19
Non Stanford (GBR) – 57:30
Emma Jackson (AUS) – 57:36
Gillian Sanders (RSA) – 57:37
Jolanda Annen (SUI) – 57:41
What did you think of the race? let us know in the comments!