Summer Cook of the U.S. overcame a swim false start penalty and Vicente Hernandez of Spain ran away from Eli Hemming of the U.S. at Miyazaki, Japan to win the final World Cup of the year.
Cook took her second World Cup gold of 2018 (after a win at Antwerp) with a women’s race-best 34:27 split in the 10 kilometer run that gave her a 10 seconds margin of victory over fellow U.S. competitor and training partner Chelsea Burns and 53 seconds over 3rd place Miriam Casillas Garcia of Spain.
Cook incurred a 15 seconds penalty after jumping the gun at the swim start which left her in 12th place after the bike leg in which she pulled out all the stops in an effort to make up for 15 seconds lost in the penalty box.
Charged up to erase her deficit, Cook zoomed to the front halfway through the first lap of the run and was joined by Burns, the only woman capable of initially matching Cook’s long strides. After a women’s-best 34:27 run, Cook finished in 2:01:01 which gave her a 10 seconds margin over runner-up Burns, who ran a women’s second-fastest 34:33 split for the final 10 kilometers. Miriam Casillas Garcia of Spain ran a women’s tied-for 4th-fastest 35:19 split to hold off a late surge by Jaz Hedgeland of Australia to take the bronze.
The win marked Cook’s second ITU World Cup victory of 2018, and seventh of her career. Previously at Miyazaki, Cook took silver in 2016 and won in 2017.
“Chelsea is one of my training partners, and she is a very strong runner,” Cook told USA Triathlon media. “I think we worked well together trying to build a gap. It’s pretty hard to race this late in the season, so it felt good to be running with a training partner and a friend.”
Burns’ second place finish was her career best in World Cup competition.
Hernandez overcame a 25-seconds deficit and 18th place swim with an 8th-best bike split before jetting away from the field with a 2nd-fastest 30:42 run to finish in 1:49:11 with a 19 seconds margin of victory over Eli Hemming of the U.S., who closed with a 3rd-best 31:01 time for the 10 kilometer run.
Delian Stateff of Italy took third place, 37 seconds behind Hernandez, powered by a 31:21 run. Crisanto Grajales of Mexico could not challenge for the podium after sub-par swim and bike splits, but closed to 13th place with a race-best 30:31 run.
“I felt good from the start,” Hernandez told ITU media. “I swam well and I felt that my pace was good enough to keep at the front and I’m happy to finally get the win.”
Hemming had a career-best 11th-place ITU World Triathlon Series finish in April in Bermuda, and placed 16th at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in the Gold Coast. He earned his first career ITU World Cup medal in October with a bronze at Tongyeong, South Korea, and two weeks later earned a silver in Miyazaki.
Miyazaki ITU World Cup
November 10, 2018
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Summer Cook (USA) 2:01:01
2. Chelsea Burns (USA) 2:01:`11
3. Miriam Casillas Garcia (ESP) 2:01:54
4. Jaz Hedgeland (AUS) 2:01:56
5. Julie Derron (SUI) 2:01:59
6. Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) 2:02:22
7. Charlotte McShane (AUS) 2:03:01
8. Erika Ackerlund (USA) 2:03:17
9. Renee Tomlin (USA) 2:03:28
10. Yuko Takahashi (JPN) 2:03:33
1. Vicente Hernandez (ESP) 1:49:11
2. Eli Hemming (USA) 1:49:30
3. Delian Stateff (ITA) 1:49:48
4. Alessandro Fabian (ITA) 1:50:00
5. Marcel Walkington (AUS) 1:50:07
6. Christophe De Keyser (BEL) 1:50:15
7. Ilya Prasolov (RUS) 1:50:16
8. Ryan Bailie (AUS) 1:50:17
9. Gianluca Pozzatti (ITA) 1:50:18
10. Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) 1:50:21
17. Jason West (USA) 1:51:47
20. Seth Rider (USA) 1:52:01
50. Collin Chartier (USA) 1:56:19