Lucy Hall won her first ever ITU World Cup race in an exciting sprint finish with training partner and fellow British triathlete Jessica Learmonth.
Richard Murray overcame a penalty for dropping his helmet outside his box at T2 and led a 1-2-3 home country sweep in the men’s contest at the sprint distance South Africa World Cup.
Learmonth and Hall led the swim in 9:07 and 9:10, with Rachel Klamer of Netherlands and Margot Garabedian of France 10 seconds back. Klamer attacked on the bike, but her 32:25 solo split lost another 20 seconds to the British teammates, who drafted one another with efficient precision.
Klamer pushed hard on the run, but lost another 11 seconds to Hall and Learmonth, who cruised together in the lead until they reached the finish chute. “We decided during the run that we would start sprinting once we reach the blue carpet and just to go for it and what happens, happen,” said Learmonth.
Hall had just a tad more in the tank, and she crossed the line in 59:34 with a 1 second margin of victory over Learmonth as they both clocked 6th-best 17:23 splits for the 5k run. “The plan was to use Cape Town as part of our training and have a bit of fun!” Hall told ITU media. ”We wanted to test some training tactics as well and it did work, but triathlon is very unpredictable and there are so many variables…so when it all works out it is just wonderful!”
Ai Ueda of Japan started the run 1:26 back of the leaders and 55 seconds back of Klamer and finished with a race-best 16:30 split which propelled her past Klamer for 3rd place.
“My favorite discipline is running and the weather was perfect today,” said Ueda. “I’m just so happy that I got on the podium again.”
After a 12th-best swim, Murray found his way to the front of the leading pack on the bike leg. Murray hurried a little bit too much in the second transition, dropping his helmet outside his personal box and incurred a penalty he would have to serve after the first of two laps on the run.
Running out of T2, Murray led and Henri Schoeman, the winner of the 2016 WTS Grand Final, pushed hard to follow. “When I heard about that penalty … I thought it was a 15 second penalty and I knew the gap to Henri was not that big, so I was pressed,” Murray told ITU media. “That was the hardest I pushed myself in the first race of the season ever!”
Murray’s pushed hard enough to maintain a 40 meters lead over Schoeman at the tape. With a 15 seconds penalty subtracted from his official 14:41 split, Murray’s running time for the 5k was 14:26 – 10 seconds better than Schoeman’s official 14:36 split.
“I made … one mistake going out on the run when I pushed too hard to follow Richard,” Schoeman told ITU media. “I went in the red a bit too early so I could not push harder at the end when Richard served his penalty. I thought I might have a chance, but my legs were feeling like lead at that stage.”
Murray finished in 51 minutes 33 seconds with an 8 seconds margin of victory over Schoeman and 23 seconds over fellow South African Wian Sullwald. “I very happy for Wian seeing that he is coming back after being injured,” said Murray.
Cape Town World Cup
Cape Town, South Africa
February 11, 2017
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k
1. Lucy Hall (GBR) 59:34
2. Jessica Learmonth (GBR) 59:35
3. Ai Ueda (GBR) 1:00:04
4. Rachel Klamer (NED) 1:00:15
5. Jolanda Annen (SUI) 1:00:31
6. Chelsea Burns (USA) 1:00:50
7. Margot Garabedian (FRA) 1:00:51
8. Juri Ide (JPN) 1:00:59
9. Erin Dolan (USA) 1:01:04
10. Yurie Matsuda (JPN) 1:01:16
1. Richard Murray (RSA) 51:33
2. Henri Schoeman (RSA) 51:41
3. Wian Sullwald (RSA) 51:56
4. Raphael Montoya (FRA) 52:05
5. Lukas Pertl (AUT) 52:08
6. Lukas Hollaus (AUT) 52:11
7. Marc Austin (GBR) 52:15
8. Thomas Springer (AUT) 52:17
9. Erwin Vanderplancke (BEL) 52:21
10. Grant Sheldon (GBR) 52:22