British running star Beth Potter won her first World Cup as she unleashed a race-best 16:45 5k to edge 2012 Olympic champion Nicola Spirig of Switzerland by 3 seconds at Valencia, Spain.
Potter emerged from the back of the lead bike pack in 10th. By the end of the first lap of the run, Potter took the lead of seven athletes including Spirig, Lisa Tertsch of Germany, Luisa Baptista of Brazil, Melanie Santos of Portugal, Verena Steinhauser of Italy and Beatrice Mallozzi of Italy. Potter quickly dropped Santos, then Mallozzi and Steinhauser from the lead group. On the final lap Potter put on the jets and 2012 and 2016 double Olympic medalist Spirig was the last rival to surrender.
After her 16:45 run – six seconds better than Spirig, Potter hit the line in 56:35 with a 3 seconds margin of victory on Spirig, 4 seconds on third place Tertsch, 5 seconds on 4th place Baptista and 23 seconds on 5th place Mallozzi.
Potter, who finished second at the Arzachena World Cup earlier this year, obliterated her 15:24 personal best 5k run. “To end the season on two highs, I am really happy,” Potter told ITU media. “I was quite nervous. I wanted to come off on a high, I am glad I could go one better than Arzachena. I came off towards the back of the pack and when I felt like I could make that move on the run, I just went for it.”
In her first international race after an injury hiatus, Spirig appears to be ready to vie for another medal in what would be her fifth Olympics.
“I am really happy,” she told ITU media. “I always try to give it all. Today I think I gave a really good race. I wasn’t quite there in the swim, I tried to make the ride hard for the other girls and I had a really good run. I think the tactics went well on the bike, I just wanted to have a good hit out and I go home really happy.”
Tertsch grabbed the last spot on the podium after a fourth-best 16:53 run. “It was amazing. I have never sprinted that much in my life. I kept thinking that I didn’t want to finish in fourth place, and I delivered,” she said.
Valencia World Cup
November 7, 2020
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k
1. Beth Potter (GBR) S 9:32 T1 00:51 B 29:07 T2 00:20 R 16:45 TOT 56:35
2. Nicola Spirig (SUI) S 9:44 T1 00:54 B 28:47 T2 00:22 R 16:51 TOT 56:38
3. Lisa Tertsch (GER) S 9:47 T1 00:54 B 28:44 T2 00:21 R 16:53 TOT 56:39
4. Luisa Baptista (BRA) S 9:40 T1 00:50 B 28:58 T2 00:21 R 16:51 TOT 56:40
5. Beatrice Mallozzi (ITA) S 9:32 T2 00:48 B 29:06 T2 00:22 R 17:10 TOT 56:58
6. Verena Steinhauser (ITA) S 9:36 T1 00:41 B 29:08 T2 00:21 R 17:17 TOT 57:03
7. Natalie Van Coevorden (AUS) S 9:27 T1 1:01 B 28:59 T2 0:22 R 17:16 TOT 57:05
8. Melanie Santos (POR) S 9:20 T1 00:54 B 29:12 T2 00:23 R 17:21 TOT 57:10
9. Anna Godoy Contreras (ESP) S 9:32 T1 00:52 B 29:07 T2 00:25 R 17:35 TOT 57:28
10. Djenyfer Arnold (BRA) S 9:16 T1 00:56 B 29:18 T2 00:22 R 17:43 TOT 57:35
28. Gina Sereno (USA) S 9:48 T1 00:59 B 33:57 T2 00:25 R 17:50 TOT 1:02:59