Annika Koch takes first World Triathlon Cup victory in Huatulco

(Photo: World Triathlon)

Germany’s Annika Koch claimed her first World Triathlon Cup victory. After 1:00:01 hours, she took the win at the World Triathlon Cup in Huatulco, Mexico. Koch shared the podium with Canada’s Emy Legault, who took second, and Italy’s Bianca Seregni, who took third. It was a big win for Koch, because she managed to break the tape more than ten seconds before Legault crossed the line with silver.

“It’s amazing, I hoped for a podium and I felt good the whole race. I gave it my all, and I am really happy that it went so well”, Koch said after the finish. “I mean, you always race to win, but it doesn’t happen that often – it’s just the best feeling. I started running and felt quite good, but said to myself not to keep the pace too high because from one second to the next, in the heat, it can get really bad, so I just tried to hydrate the whole time and cool down at every aid station”, she says about her race tactics.

Koch was 10th out of the water, swimming 9:58 minutes over 750 meters. Despite having a 31-second deficit to the first woman – Seregni – she managed to reach the front pack during the bike part. Serengi, who hopped on the bike well ahead of the field, was soon caught by three athletes: among them Lagault. Halfway through the bike, another group of athletes merged with that lead pack, creating a group of 32 athletes.

Once on the run, Koch made it clear that she had plenty of energy left to run a fast 5000 meters. Only Legault and Seregni were sort of able to hang on, but even they saw the German athlete create quite a gap. Running 16:48 minutes Koch was first across the line, 11 seconds later Lagault took second, while Seregni took third straight after her.