American Jackie Hering timed her surge to the finish line to perfection, overcoming a deficit of almost five and a half minutes off the bike to take a brilliant win at Clash Daytona – catching Great Britain’s Lucy Hall in the last kilometre of the race to take the win.
It was Hall, who represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics as a swim/ bike domestique, who led the women out of the water, managing to get a bit clear of Spain’s strong-swimming Sara Sala by the time she hit T2. Third out of the water, over a minute behind her countrywoman, was Challenge Miami winner Jodie Stimpson.
Hering would hit T2 just under three-minutes behind Hall, alongside Canada’s Rach McBride and American Meredith Kessler.
Out on the bike Hall continued to gain ground on the rest of the women. Sala would eventually drop out of the race, so Hall ended up hitting T2 with a lead of just under four minutes on countrywoman India Lee, with McBride another minute back and Hering hitting T2 5:19 off the lead.
“I was a little back after the swim, except I came out with Meredith (Kessler) and Rach McBride, so I was actually pretty pleased with that and had some confidence that Rach would ride really strong like she normally does,” Hering said after the race.
Hering steadily gained ground on the rest of the field and was in second place by the 6 km point of the run. Hall was putting together a gutsy performance, though, and it wasn’t until the closing meters of the race that the American was finally able to pull clear.
“The run I really wasn’t sure if I could catch Lucy or not … on that last lap I caught a glimpse of her and just decided to just go for it and run as fast as I could and see what happens,” Hering said after the race. “I didn’t know if I would catch her until that very last bit.”
Hering would hit the line in 3:32:49 with Hall crossing in second in 3:33:12, just 23 seconds later. France’s Marjolaine Pierre had a brilliant run to move herself into third place (3:34:37), getting to the line just a few seconds ahead of Stimpson, who was fourth (3:34:43). Another Brit, Laura Siddall, rounded out the top five in 3:35:41.
McBride would take a solid seventh-place finish in 3:37:50.