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Lukas Verzbicas won his ITU World Cup debut Sunday. (Janos Schmidt/ITU)

Jorgensen, Verzbicas Sweep Gold at Banyoles ITU Triathlon World Cup

U.S. sweeps top spots at an ITU World Cup for first time since 1992


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BANYOLES, Spain — 2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team qualifier Gwen Jorgensen earned her second career ITU World Cup win, and rising star Lukas Verzbicas was victorious in his ITU World Cup debut to give the United States a gold-medal sweep at Sunday’s Banyoles ITU Triathlon World Cup.

The victories from Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.) lifted the U.S. to its first sweep of gold at an ITU World Cup event since 1993.

Photo by: Janos Schmidt/ITU
Gwen Jorgensen on the podium.
Jorgensen overtook eventual runner-up Erin Densham of Australia on the final lap of the run to earn the victory in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 39 seconds on the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course. Densham was second in 1:59:55, and fellow Aussie Ashleigh Gentle took third in 2:00:02.

Great Britain’s Lucy Halland and Spain’s Carolina Routier led the women out of the water and broke away on the bike to carry an advantage of nearly two minutes onto the run. Densham surged to the front and held a nine-second advantage on Jorgensen heading to the final lap of the run, but Jorgensen grabbed a lead she would not relinquish with 2k to go. She used a 35:10 10k run split — the day’s fastest by 20 seconds — to claim her first World Cup title since winning in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, a year ago.

“We had some really good runners out there. Erin took out, and I just tried to keep within distance. I knew it was hot out, so I just tried to ... build throughout the race,” said Jorgensen, who has four top-eight ITU finishes in 2012.

Visit for a complete women’s recap, including video highlights.

In the subsequent men’s race, the 19-year-old Verzbicas also made his move on the run to claim victory in 1:47:28, 17 seconds clear of two-time Olympian Laurent Vidal of France, who was second in 1:47:45. Russia’s Dmitry Polyanskiy rounded out the podium in 1:48:04. Greg Billington (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was 11th in 1:49:03, and Tommy Zaferes (Soquel, Calif.) placed 17th in 1:49:33 to give the U.S. three men in the top 20.

Verzbicas was 45th out of the water and joined the chase group out of T1 and onto the bike. On the second lap of the bike, the two lead groups merged, and 54 riders hit T2 within seconds of one another. The eventual podium finishers pulled away on the first lap of the run, and Verzbicas surged with 1k to go to lock up his second consecutive win. His 30:55 10k run split was 27 seconds faster than anyone else in the field.

Photo by: Janos Schmidt/ITU
Lukas Verzbicas on the podium.
“It’s a great feeling – first World Cup, first victory,” Verzbicas said. “Those guys really pushed me, and I was lucky enough to have the kick in the end.”

Visit for a complete men’s recap, including video highlights.

Today’s ITU World Cup gold-medal sweep was the fifth all-time for the U.S. and first since Karen Smyers and Mike Pigg earned wins at the 1993 St. Thomas ITU Triathlon World Cup. Americans also swept ITU World Cup wins on two occasions in 1991 and once in 1992.

Jorgensen and Verzbicas are among five Americans slated to compete at next weekend’s ITU World Triathlon Kitzbühel.

Banyoles ITU Triathlon World Cup
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)

Women – Complete Results
1. Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.), 1:59:39

2. Erin Densham (AUS), 1:59:55
3. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), 2:00:02
DNF Kelly Whitley (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Men – Complete Results
1. Lukas Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:47:28

2. Laurent Vidal (FRA), 1:47:45
3. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS), 1:48:04
11. Greg Billington (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:49:03
17. Tommy Zaferes (Soquel, Calif.), 1:49:33
47. Matt Wisthoff (Wilmington, N.C.), 1:53:19

About USA Triathlon
Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon – one of the fastest growing sports in the world – as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions 4,000 races and connects with more than 150,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including ITU World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the International Triathlon Union and the United States Olympic Committee.