The Auckland instalment of the 2015 World Triathlon Series saw Britain’s Jessica Learmonth lead the athletes out of the swim for the first time – but it was the USA’s Gwen Jorgensen who romped home for her 10th career victory, followed by fellow American Katie Zaferes.
Jorgensen emerged from the 1,500m swim with a 40-second deficit behind Learmonth and Spain’s Carolina Routier, but her effort on the early laps of the bike catapulted her into the lead group and she was able to remain there for the entire 40km — giving her the time to push ahead early on the 10km run.
Crossing the finish line in 2:09:04 with a lead of over 90secs, she earned her second gold of the year and in the process became the first female athlete ever to hold ten WTS golds.
>>> Gwen Jorgensen wins WTS Abu Dhabi 2015
“I really wanted to be with the leaders in T2 so I am really happy that I was able to do that,” said Jorgensen afterwards. “I was able to execute with my run today but my main goal is to keep with front pack during the bike.”
After the first transition, a strong lead group was pulled along by Lucy Hall (GBR) and Sarah True (USA) for the first couple laps of the bike. But entering into the third lap a huge push from the chase group caused the frontrunners to turn into a 21-women merger. The last part of the bike ride the leaders dwindled down to an 11-athlete pack that included Jorgensen, True, Lisa Norden (SWE), Andrea Hewitt (NZL) and Vendula Frintova (CZE).
Norden executed a strong performance on the bike as she brought herself back from a 40sec deficit from the water to be the leader on the bike for five out of the eight laps. However she was forced to pull herself out of the race once she hit the run portion with confirmed Achilles trouble.