She started with bib number one and was seen as the biggest favorite and now it turns out why: Nina Eim just won the World Triathlon Cup Rome. After a somewhat disappointing swim, a strong bike leg and a defining run, the German athlete triumphed.
During the swim, Italy’s Bianca Seregni took the lead and after 9:36 minutes she had completed her 750 meters. In her wake came Jolien Vermeylen, Olivia Mathias, Mathilde Gautier, Alice Betto, Anna Godoy Contreras and Natalie van Coevorden out of the water, after which Maya Kingma ran in eighth towards her bike.
After a crucial transition – while there was also quite a bit of running to do from the water before the athletes got to their bikes – Gautier, Mathias and Vermeylen took off in three. This trio went on an adventure and throughout the five bike laps, each time with a short but tough climb, the three women stayed out of the hands of the chasing pack. Initially there were two smaller groups chasing each other but they soon came together to eventually form a large chasing peloton.
The chasing group rode almost the entire time at about half a minute behind, but on the last bike lap they put on extra throttle and their deficit shrank pretty fast. Once in T2, the peloton was only 12 seconds behind the three front-runners, so an on paper exciting run part seemed guaranteed.
During the run, Vermeylen boldly took the lead, on her own and without looking over her shoulders. The Belgian athlete ran so strongly that she saw her lead grow quite quickly. Halfway through the run, Vermeylen did start to look over her shoulders a bit more and that was not surprising; she felt by everything that Nina Eim, Cathia Schär and Marlene Gomez-Göggel were getting closer and closer and not much later even passed the Belgian.
At the front of the race a nice battle ensued between the four women, who stayed together for a long time and got closer and closer to the finish line. Eim was the woman who constantly set the pace and seemed the strongest, while Vermeylen became the first one in problems as a result and lost the connection.
Eim continued to accelerate in the final meters and in the end no one could follow her. It earned her the victory in 51:16 minutes. Gomez-Göggel was second a few seconds later, while Schär was third again a few seconds later.