As with the men’s race at the Tradeinn International Triathlon just outside of Girona, Spain, strength on the bike was the name of the game for the leaders – the inaugural event, which served as the Spanish Long Distance Championship, offered up a technical and challenging bike course with 2,400 m of climbing, along with a four lap run over a mix of surfaces – everything from road to loose sand. In the end it was Great Britain’s Emma Bilham who overcame a big deficit out of the water to bike and run her way to the women’s title.
Ivet Farriols Arimont led the women out of the water in 42:39 with Tessa Kortekaas (NED) just over a minute behind. Then there was a huge gap to Sweden’s Jenny Nilsson, who exited the water in 49:21, with Bilham over 14-minutes out of the lead as she hit the bike.
By the 83 km point of the bike Kortekaas was in front, with Bilham just over six minutes down in second with Spain’s Judith Corachan Vaquera in third just a few seconds behind the Brit. By the end of the ride Bilham had moved out in front. leading Corachan Vaquera by just over two minutes, while another British athlete, Niki Bartlett, had moved into third, just a few seconds behind the Spaniard. Kortekaas was now over seven minutes off the lead.
At the end of the first lap of the run Bilham’s lead remained about the same over Corachan Vaquera, with Bartlett hanging in third about 16-seconds out of second. At the end of the second lap Bartlett had managed to move into second, but Corachan Vaquera was right on her shoulder, while Britain’s Chantal Cummings moved to fourth, but was almost 26 minutes behind Bilham, so it seemed that the medals would likely come from the first three.
Bilham managed to open up some space on the two chasers through the third lap, while Corachan Vaquera made her move during the fourth lap, finally pulling away from Bartlett. There was no touching Bilham, though, who took the win in 9:32:11, with Corachan Vaquera taking second in 9:37:55. Bartlett rounded out the podium in 9:39:35, with Cummings taking fourth in 10:09:12 and Germany’s Katharina Wolff finishing fifth in 10:14:37.