It was a hot day in the Dominican Republic yesterday, hot enough that organizers sent the men’s race off early to try and beat the heat, then shortened the run for the women’s race to 5 km “due to the high temperatures.” New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt took an emotional win in the women’s race (four years to the day after losing her fiancee Laurent Vidal) when race leader Taylor Knibb stopped to serve a 15-second penalty just before the finish line. The men’s race saw an American sweep of the podium as Matthew McElroy led three Americans across the line ahead of three Swiss athletes. Canada’s Matthew Sharpe took seventh after leading the men onto the run course.
Sharpe races at the front
Super-swimmer Richard Varga (SVK) led the way out of the water, but it didn’t take long for a large lead pack to form on the bike, which stayed together until T2. Sharpe aggressively led the way out of T2, but it wasn’t long before a pack of three Americans: McElroy, Kevin McDowell and Morgan Pearson, along with Switzerland’s Max Studer, Florin Salvisberg and Adrien Briffod pulled clear.
At the 5 km point of the run McElroy pushed the pace and only his countrymen were able to stay with him – he upped the pace again with 700 m to go and ran his way clear to the win, followed by McDowell and Pearson.
“To be honest, that was the hardest swim I have ever done,” McDowell said after the race. “I thought I was having a terrible swim, but I came out the back of the front group. “[The run was] pretty relaxed … I knew those guys were strong. I wanted to sit and make my move about 1 km out, and I was able to do as I wanted.”
Jamnicky gets 18th
Hungary’s Zsanett Bragmayer led the way out of the water and was joined by a group that included Kirsten Kasper (USA), Taylor Knibb (USA), Anna Godoy Contreras (ESP), Andrea Hewitt (NZL) and Barbara Riveros (CHI) on the bike. Starting the run, Hewitt pushed the pace in the early going. Knibb had a 15-second penalty for leaving equipment outside her bin, so she went to the front in hopes of opening enough of a gap so she could serve the penalty and still get the win. She pulled clear, but not by enough as Hewitt cruised by her as she watched from the penalty tent just short of the finish line.
“It was crazy out there,” the Kiwi said after the race. “I didn’t know that Taylor had a 15-second penalty. I didn’t know until that last corner when I saw her in the penalty box. I was in third at halfway and I had two girls on my back. I was running for the podium, but then I found myself in front of the tape. I didn’t even know that I had won today.”
“For me it is crazy to also have to celebrate (the victory) today because today is the anniversary of the saddest day of my life,” she continued, acknowledging the anniversary of Vidal’s death.
Guelph, Ont.’s Dominika Jamnicky was the only one of the four Canadian women in the field to finish the race as Amelie Kretz dropped out, while Karol-Ann Roy and Elisabeth Boutin were lapped out of the race.
|First||Last||Country||Overall||1.5 km Swim||40 km Bike||5 km Run|
|First||Last||Country||Overall||1.5 km Swim||40 km Bike||10 km Run|