Haug repeats in Auckland

Anne Haug from Germany started the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Series the same way as she finished it the end of last season - with an emphatic win in Auckland, New Zealand. Maaike Caelers and Felicity Abram completed the podium.

About an hour after the Elite men had finished their race in Auckland 32 Elite women stepped up to the start to see who would be fastest this early in the season. Yuka Sato led most of the 1500 meter swim and came first out of the water in 19:17. Aileen Reed, Nicky Samuels and Anja Knapp were right behind Sato and so was another large group of athletes. Notable athletes who had missed the decent sized front group were Gwen Jorgensen, Andrea Hewitt, Barbara Riveros Diaz, Sam Warriner and defending champion Anne Haug.

Samuels was often seen up front during the bike segment much to the joy of the Kiwi crowd and the hard pace forced several athletes to get dropped. Haug though made a huge effort and reeled in that hard driving front group, but Emma Jackson and Gwen Jorgensen decided to call it a day as they drifted back further and further. In the latter stages of the bike it was Alice Betto and Anne Haug who were seen mostly up front and they kept the pressure up. 35k into the bike segment the front group contained 13 athletes and the chasing bunch of 9 led by Hewitt and Warriner were 1:14 behind. Samuels led the front group into transition and the chasers had managed to gain a few seconds during the final 5k of the bike segment.

Anja Knapp led the women out of transition, but the front group was soon down to Felicity Abrams, Anne Haug, Maaike Caelers, Yuka Sato, Kate McIlroy and Jessica Harrison. Harrison fell off the pace first and after 2.5k it was down to 5 leaders, but soon after Sato got dispatched by the hard pace of Abrams. The four though ran together until the last few hundred meters when Haug finally pulled away with a relentless push to take the win. Caelers grabbed second place and Abrams finished third.

"I like the hilly course. I mean here especially you can’t relax on the downhill part because it’s so technical around sharp corners and we are all concentrated and no one can relax and you can’t hide you have to put your cards on the table, everyone has to work and I really like a hard hill. I don’t think they hurt my legs so much so I’m’ fresh for the run,” said Haug.

ITU World Triathlon Series Auckland
Auckland, NZL / April 6, 2013
1.5k swim / 40k bike / 10k run

Top women

1. Anne Haug (GER) 2:08:20
2. Maaike Caelers (NED) 2:08:23
3. Felicity Abrams (AUS) 2:08:33
4. Kate McIlroy (NZL) 2:08:43
5. Nicky Samuels (NZL) 2:09:25
6. Yuka Sato (JAP) 2:09:43
7. Jessica Harrison (FRA) 2:09:46
8. Juri Ide (JAP) 2:09:57
9. Charlotte McShane (AUS) 2:10:13
10. Natalie Van Coevorden (AUS) 2:10:15