On Feb. 10th, the ITU World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa kicked off the 2019 short course season.
In the women’s race, it was Japan’s Ai Ueda who got the better of Summer Rappaport (USA) and Tamara Gordon (USA).
Heading out of the water, a lead group of six formed on the bike and built a gap of 16 seconds. Heading out of T2, it looked to be a six women race for the podium, but Ueda was steadily working her way through the field and gaining. At the final aid station, the Japanese athlete made her move and took the 25th ITU win of her career.
Top 5 Women
On the men’s side, Richard Murray (RSA), the hometown favourite was forced out of the race due to illness. In his absence, the hopes of South Africa shifted onto Henri Schoeman (RSA), the 2018 Commonwealth champion.
Schoeman, Richard Varga (SVK) and Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) got an early break on the rest of the field coming out of T1. Heading into the final lap on the bike, just 17 seconds separated the top 40 athletes. Separated by just a handful of seconds, the first World Cup of 2019 was going to be decided in a foot race.
Staring the run in a large trailing group, Britain’s Alex Yee ran a 14:41 5K to blow by the leaders and take the first World Cup win of his career. In a four-man sprint for second and third, Tony Smoragiewicz (USA) and Joao Silva (POR) were victorious.
Canada’s Alexis Lepage finished 31st.
Top 5 Men