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photo: JANOS M SCHMIDT
Sarah Groff Races to Third in Hamburg in Final Olympic Triathlon Tune-Up
National Team member records second career ITU WTS podium finish
HAMBURG, Germany — In her final tune-up prior to the Aug. 4 London Olympic Games women’s triathlon, USA Triathlon National Team member Sarah Groff displayed strong form en route to a third-place finish at Sunday’s Dextro Energy World Triathlon Hamburg, the fifth stop of the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series.
In a rare sprint-distance World Triathlon Series event due to the upcoming Olympic Games, Groff (Hanover, N.H.) covered the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer run, 5-kilometer run course in 56 minutes, 21 seconds to clinch her second career WTS podium finish. According to ITU, 25 London-bound women were on the start list in Hamburg.
Australia swept the top two spots with Erin Densham taking the win in 56:07 and Emma Moffatt earning second in 56:19. Visit triathlon.org for a complete recap and video highlights.
Groff was among the leaders from the start as she was one of the first women out of the water and rode with the lead pack throughout the 20k bike. Moffatt and South Africa’s Kate Roberts held the lead early on the run before Densham made her move to secure the win in the final kilometer. Groff, who posted a 16:05 5k split, overtook Roberts for third late in the run and nearly caught Moffatt for second, finishing two seconds back.
“I had a really rough start to the season, so it’s really nice to know that things finally falling into a place a little bit,” Groff said. “It’s always nice to have a little confidence boost and hopefully I’ll be able to carry this into the next couple of weeks.”
Groff, who was also third in Kitzbühel a year ago and went on to finish third in 2011 series rankings, is the only American with multiple podium finishes in the four-year history of the WTS. She is the top U.S. woman and stands 16th in the 2012 series rankings through five events.
In the lead-up to her Aug. 4 race in London, Groff will return to her training base in Davos, Switzerland, and “hopefully find that extra gear and a little more speed.”
Five U.S. men were in action Saturday with USA Triathlon National Team member Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.), recording the top showing with a 27th-place finish in 52:44. South Africa’s Richard Murray was the men’s winner in 51:48.
Following next month’s Olympic Games triathlon events, the ITU World Triathlon Series resumes Aug. 25-26 in Stockholm, Sweden. Groff will be joined by Laura Bennett (Boulder, Colo.) and Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.) in the Aug. 4 women’s Olympic triathlon, while Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.) and Hunter Kemper (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will represent the U.S. in the Aug. 7 men’s Olympic triathlon.
2012 Dextro Energy World Triathlon Hamburg
(750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)
Women – Complete Results
1. Erin Densham (AUS), 56:07
2. Emma Moffatt (AUS), 56:19
3. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 56:21
Men – Complete Results
1. Richard Murray (RSA), 51:48
2. Javier Gomez (ESP), 51:53
3. Steffen Justus (GER), 51:59
27. Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.), 52:44
30. Matt Chrabot (Aptos, Calif.), 52:49
52. Lukas Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 55:38
54. Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.), 55:48
57. Greg Billington (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 57:18
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.