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Erin Densham wins ITU Hamburg

Densham's second ITU World Triathlon Series title of 2012.

Erin Densham (AUS) added another highlight to her already stellar year on Sunday, this time pulling away from Emma Moffatt (AUS) and Sarah Groff (USA) in Hamburg to record her second ITU World Triathlon Series win of 2012.

It was the third time Densham had raced in Hamburg and her first podium, and she said it was brilliant to win in front of the great Hamburg crowd.

“It is awesome, they are always out, they are so passionate, and they do drive you on,” she said. “It’s just great to race here.”

While Densham’s other win in Sydney this year started with a strong swims, this time she came out of the water almost 30 seconds behind the leaders Pamela Oliveira, Moffatt, Groff, Aileen Morrison, and Rachel Klamer and was 20 seconds down leaving transition despite having the fastest T1 time. But in a busy first bike lap, Densham managed to get herself into the 19-strong lead bike pack, as did Anja Dittmer, Ricarda Lisk and Kate Roberts.

While the first chase pack, which was led by Ashleigh Gentle, Anne Haug and Emma Jackson, initially looked like they would catch the leaders, Moffatt’s blistering pace in the lead helped them stay in front. While there was just an eight second difference leaving T2 between the chase packs, it was enough for the leaders to get the jump and Moffatt and Roberts immediately rocketed to the front, overtaking Lisk who was first out of T2.

But Densham was looming just a few metres back, and quickly worked her way past the field. While Moffatt and Roberts stayed in front for the next kilometre, it wasn’t long until Densham made her move. Roberts dropped first, and while Moffatt hung on for a while longer, she couldn’t stay with Densham who pulled away in the final kilometre to win her second race in the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series.  She clocked a total time of 56 minutes and 7 seconds, anchored with a run split of 15 minutes and 50 seconds. Densham was the only woman to run under 16 minutes, adding another impressive stat to her pre-Olympic preparation. She said she was happy with her run, particularly after a tough week.

“I like to get into transition at the front but I wasn’t quite there, I just didn’t feel like I had the go straight away, but I just seemed to build into it really well,” Densham said. “I was really happy with how I ran because I felt flat all week, and I’m just thinking hopefully I can come out of this and have a good race.”

Behind her the race for podium places was far from over, as Groff pulled up to run with her training partner Roberts. After overtaking her, she had her sights set on Moffatt but couldn’t quite catch the reigning Hamburg champion who held on for second place – her first WTS podium since Yokohama last year, but her fourth podium in Hamburg. Moffatt hasn’t finished lower than second in the four years that Hamburg has been on the ITU World Triathlon Series circuit. Groff finished third, the second WTS podium of her career.

2012 Dextro Energy Triathlon Hamburg – July 22, 2012

Final Results – Elite Women – 750mkm swim, 20km bike, 5km run

1. Erin Densham AUS AU 00:56:07
2. Emma Moffatt AUS AU 00:56:19
3. Sarah Groff USA US 00:56:21
4. Anne Haug GER DE 00:56:35
5. Kate Roberts RSA ZA 00:56:40
6. Agnieszka Jerzyk POL PL 00:56:49
7. Ashleigh Gentle AUS AU 00:56:53
8. Kate McIlroy NZL NZ 00:56:56
9. Ainhoa Murua ESP ES 00:57:01
10. Annamaria Mazzetti ITA IT 00:57:03

Full results

Race Notes:

– The win was Erin Densham’s third major win of 2012, after the Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup and Dextro Energy Triathlon Sydney, and fifth major podium, as she also claimed silver at ITU World Triathlon Sydney and the Banyoles ITU Triathlon World Cup

– Densham is the only woman to claim three World Triathlon Series podium places so far in 2012

– Emma Moffatt has always finished on the podium in Hamburg since the start of the ITU World Triathlon Series in 2009, claiming wins in 2009 and 2011, and silver medals in 2010 and 2012

– This was the first sprint distance ITU World Triathlon Series race of 2012

The next ITU World Triathlon Series event is the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Stockholm on August 25 and 26.