Erin Densham continued her dominant 2012 form as she outran fellow Australian Emma Moffatt to win the ITU World Triathlon Series sprint distance at Hamburg – the final high quality hit out before the London Olympics two weeks hence.
Densham recovered from a 19 seconds deficit after the swim with a top form bike, then unleashed a race-best 15:49 run to hit the line in 56:07 with an 11-seconds margin of victory over Moffatt.
Coming into the Olympics, Densham showed she had recovered well from her exhausting Olympic qualifying surge and seems to be back in the form that gave her a wins at the Mooloolaba World Cup and the Sydney World Triathlon Series event as well as a clutch 2nd place at the San Diego round of the WTS.
“It was nice to win here – I wasn't expecting that,” Densham told to ITU media. “I felt flat all week and tried to rest up. But gosh, the girls kept hammering on the bike and I didn’t think I could catch Moffy.”
Moffatt, who has been off her two-time World championship form all year, looked pleased. “Hamburg brings out the best in me,” Moffatt told ITU media. “I wanted to come here and race really hard to see if I am doing well. So I am pleased.”
Showing that she has tapered almost perfectly for London, the USA’s Sarah Groff was closing on two-time World Champion Moffatt but fell just two seconds short at the line to take her second World Triathlon Series podium. Groff stayed in perfect position with a front pack 9:49 swim and topped her race off with a 16:04 run that matched Moffatt and put her ahead of a host of stars such as fellow Darren Smith-coached athletes Anne Haug and Kate Roberts, and Australians Ashleigh Gentle and Emma Jackson.
“I’ve been in good form for a couple of weeks,” said Groff on the ITU podcast. “I felt comfortable at threshold pace on the run and just fell a bit short. Now I have two weeks to find that last piece.”
ITU World Triathlon Series Hamburg
July 22, 2012
S .75k / B 20k / R 5k
1. Erin Densham (AUS) 56:07
2. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 56:18
3. Sarah Groff (USA) 56:20
4. Anna Haug (GER) 56:35
5. Kate Roberts (RSA) 56:40
6. Agnieszka Jerzyk (POL) 56:49
7. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) 56:53
8. Kate McIlroy (NZL) 56:56
9. Ainhoa Murua (ESP) 57:01
10. Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) 57:03