The difference seemed to be made in the water at today’s World Triathlon Cup Pontevedra, but Czech’s Petra Kurikova and Germany’s Lisa Tertsch weren’t going to let a “bad” swim stop them from winning a medal. Although she was one-minute down to the leaders in T2, Kurikova ran to the victory, passing Tertsch in the final kilometer. Tertsch ended up taking second and France’s Sandra Dodet completed the podium.
During the swim, there were six ladies who created a big gap towards the rest of the field. Once they got to hit the bike course Britain’s Sophie Alden, Germany’s Lena Meissner, France’s Mathilde Gautier, Belgium’s Jolien Vermeylen, Britain’s Kate Waugh and Ukrain’s Maryna Kyryk enjoyed a one-minute advantage. That didn’t change during the bike part. The rest of the field merged into one big chase group – containing Tertsch and Kurikova – behind these leading women. Kyryk wasn’t able to stay with the other five during the second discipline, so that left five athletes in front.
Still about one minute ahead of the rest of the field, Alden, Meissner, Gautier, Vermeylen and Waugh racked their bikes. On the run, it seemed like Vermeylen started to struggle as she faded away in the first kilometers. Surprisingly, she later closed her 12-second deficit again and ran to first place. Meanwhile, from behind, Tertsch and Kurikova had started to move up with big steps. About halfway through the run, it was Tertsch who took over the leading position. Once she did that, she disappeared out of sight for the initial leaders, but Kurikova was still pushing from behind, too.
Kurikova had found a great rhythm, as she nearly started to become a threat to Tertsch. Tertsch held her off for quite a while, but in the last kilometer it was done. Kurikova flew by and ran to an impressive win. Tertsch had to settle for second and Dodet ran to third. That means none of the swim and bike leaders ended up on the podium.