Marlene Gomez Islinger claims first big win at World Triathlon Cup Arzachena

(Photo: Triathlon Today)

As soon as she got T2 in sight, Julie Derron showed that she had only one thing on her mind today: winning. And while it seemed for most of the run that she was going to do that, in the final kilometer Germany’s Marlene Gomez Islinger suddenly became a big threat. With only about a minute to go, Gomez Islinger overtook Derron with an impressive sprint. Gomez Islinger ended up winning her first big event, Derron had to settle for a silver medal only four seconds behind her, and Italy’s Verena Steinhauser (+0:19) completed the podium.

It was Brazil’s Vitoria Lopez who put together the strongest swim and managed to reach her bike in 8:59 in first place. Portugal’s Helena Carvalho was right on her heels and the two ended up forming a front pack on the bike early in the run. Soon, however, the chase group – with about ten athletes – caught them on a descent. Given the hilly course it didn’t take long before the dynamics changed again. A few women started to struggle to keep up on the climbs and got dropped. It wasn’t just the athletes in the front group that had a hard time keeping up the pace, behind them the groups became smaller, too, with many women finding themselves riding alone as they had to let go of their group.

Before the second transition, Derron biked to the front of the pack and looked eager to be the first woman to go out on the run course. She was able to execute her plan initially, but in the final kilometer Gomez Islinger overtook her with a strong move. Gomez Islinger stopped the clock at 1:00:51 to take the win, Derron took home silver and Steinhauser earned herself a bronze medal.