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photo: JANOS M SCHMIDT
Groff Takes Seventh to Lead U.S. Women at ITU World Triathlon Kitzbühel
Gwen Jorgensen shares fastest run split to move to 11th-place finish
Kitzbühel, Austria — 2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team qualifier Sarah Groff continued her preparation for London Saturday with her top performance of the season, a seventh-place finish at the ITU World Triathlon Kitzbühel.
Groff (Hanover, N.H.) covered the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 20 seconds to record her sixth top-10 World Triathlon Series finish over the past two seasons. Fellow Olympic qualifier Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.) ran her way into 11th place in 2:06:42, while Kelly Whitley (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was 24th in 2:10:45 to earn her first career WTS points.
Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig won her third straight ITU start in 2:05:37, with Lisa Norden of Sweden and New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt rounding out the podium in 2:05:40 and 2:05:43, respectively. Visit triathlon.org for a complete recap from ITU.
Groff and France’s Jessica Harrison led the women out of Schwarzsee Lake and into T1 following the two-lap, non-wetsuit swim. A lead group of 15, including Groff, formed on the bike and eventually built a lead of more than two minutes on the chase pack, which included Jorgensen and Whitley. The leaders saw their advantage trimmed to 90 seconds entering T2.
Early in the run, Groff was among six women who broke away from the rest of the field. That lead group stuck together for much of the 10k before Groff faded just before the bell lap and held on for a season-best seventh-place finish.
Meanwhile, Jorgensen closed the gap on the leaders over the course of the run, eventually finishing 11th. Her 34:29 10k run equaled the effort of Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle for the day’s fastest run split.
Through four ITU World Triathlon Series events in 2012, Jorgensen ranks 18th in the series to lead the U.S. women.
The men will be in action in Kitzbühel on Sunday with Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) and Lukas Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.) set to represent the U.S.
ITU World Triathlon Kitzbühel
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
Women’s Results - Complete Results
1. Nicola Spirig (SUI), 2:05:37
2. Lisa Norden (SWE), 2:05:40
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL), 2:05:43
7. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 2:06:20
11. Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.), 2:06:42
24. Kelly Whitley (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2:10:45
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.