U.S. elites earn six top-15 finishes in late-season event
USA Triathlon National Team member and 2012 Olympian Sarah Groff closed out her 2013 season with a podium finish, clinching a second-place finish at the Cozumel ITU World Cup on Sunday. Groff led the way for the Americans, who picked up six top-15 finishes in one of the last World Cup events of the year.
Groff (Hanover, N.H.) logged a time of 57 minutes, 58 seconds on the 750-meter swim, 19.6-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course, finishing just five seconds behind 2012 Olympic gold medalist Nicola Spirig of Switzerland. Spirig posted the winning time of 57:53 in her return to international racing after London 2012, and Austria’s Lisa Perterer was third in 58:11. Katie Hursey (Hampstead, Md.) took eighth-place in her third career World Cup finish, and Lindsey Jerdonek (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) was 11th.
In the men’s race, Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) was the top U.S. finisher in fourth in 53:32. Shoemaker just missed a podium spot in a photo finish against Dmitry Polyanskiy of Russia, who finished in 53:31 for third place. Spain’s Javier Gomez finished his winning season with yet another win in 53:26, and Aurelien Lescure from France was second in 53:28. Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.) was seventh for his second top-10 World Cup finish of 2013, and Jason Pedersen (Simi Valley, Calif.) was 15th in his best career World Cup start.
The women began the day’s action in Cozumel, and Groff was the first athlete out of the water, followed closely by Hursey and Pamela Oliveira from Brazil. Groff, Hursey and Oliveira were part of a lead pack of nine on the bike, but the chase pack made up time in the first two laps to bridge the gap and bring the lead group to 16 women. Spirig quickly moved to the front of the group after T2, but Groff, Perterer and Rivas were close behind, and Groff maintained a solid position to bring home the silver medal.
“It’s a great way to finish up the season,” Groff said after the race. “The run – oh my, that hurt. I tried to pace myself, knowing that after the big one in London, it’s hard to keep up that momentum. I’m proud to still be able to cross the finish line against some really fast young women.”
In the men’s race, Tommy Zaferes (Soquel, Calif.) was the lead swimmer out of the water but the field quickly formed a massive pack on the bike, sticking together for most of the four laps. Once the run began, Gomez took off to pick up his 14th career World Cup title, and the battle continued for the remaining spots on the podium. It came down to the final seconds of the race, and Polyanskiy was determined the bronze medal winner in what was the closest race of the day.
The Cozumel ITU World Cup, hosted for the first time by the island city, marks the near-end of the 2013 ITU season, with only two World Cup events left on the calendar.
Cozumel ITU World Cup
750m swim, 19.6k bike, 5k run
Women – Complete Results
1. Nicola Spirig (SUI), 57:53
2. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 57:58
3. Lisa Perterer (AUT), 58:11
8. Katie Hursey (Hampstead, Md.), 59:08
11. Lindsey Jerdonek (Sagamore Hills, Ohio), 59:50
23. Erin Dolan (Lincoln, Neb.), 1:03:08
30. Kaitlin Donner (Satellite Beach, Fla.), 1:04:41
39. Florence Chretien (South Salem, N.Y.), 1:08:41
Men – Complete Results
1. Javier Gomez (ESP), 53:26
2. Aurelien Lescure (FRA), 53:28
3. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS), 53:31
4. Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.), 53:32
7. Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.), 53:46
15. Jason Pedersen (Simi Valley, Calif.), 54:06
23. William Huffman (College Station, Texas), 54:32
39. Alex Libin (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 55:50
43. Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.), 56:09
48. Colin O’Brady (Portland, Ore.), 56:52
DNF Tommy Zaferes (Soquel, Calif.)