Near the end of the 5 kilometer run, Anjelica Olmo of Italy surged to the front of a breakaway pack of five women to edge Jolanda Annen of Switzerland by one second at the line and take her first World Cup win at New Plymouth, New Zealand.
“I don’t believe it, I really don’t believe it,” Olmo told ITU media. “I was expecting to podium but not for the win.”
Jaz Hedgeland of Australia took the bronze for her first World Cup podium, 9 seconds behind the winner, while Tamara Gorman of the U.S. took 4th, 8 seconds further back. Emma Jeffcoat of Australia took 5th, 34 seconds behind the winner.
Jeffcoat sliced through choppy conditions to lead the women through the swim at Ngamotu Beach and into transition at the head of a pack of 10 women who led the field on to the bike leg.
The breakaway group also included Annen, Australians Hedgeland and Tamsyn Moana-Veale, Nicole Van Der Kaay of New Zealand, and Miriam Casillas Garcia of Spain. Sophie Corbidge of New Zealand led the first chase group of eight which also included Carolina Routier of Spain.
During the ride, Olmo, Jeffcoat and Van Der Kaay took turns at the front. By the end of the 4-lap, 20 kilometer bike leg which featured a challenging hill and several hairpin turns, Annen led the leaders into T2 with a 37 seconds gap on the chase pack. After a lightning quick second transition, Hedgeland, Jeffcoat and Annen led the field into the first meters of the run. Soon thereafter they were joined by Olmo, Tamara Gorman, and Barbara Riveros of Chile.
At the final turnaround of the final lap, Riveros, Van Der Kaay and Jeffcoat had fallen back, while Olmo, Annen, Hedgeland and Gorman were left to contend for the podium. With a few hundred meters to the blue carpet, Olmo had the most left in the tank and made the winning surge, creating a gap of a few seconds on Annen.
Annen was gracious with her silver, stating “I had a good race but Anjelica was best on the day.”
Hedgeland was ecstatic with her first World Cup podium. ““Mooloolaba was my first race this year and I just went out way too hard on the run, so I just wanted to make sure I didn’t do the same thing today,” she told Triathlon Australia media. “It was a bit difficult watching the girls run away but I just knew the pacing I was doing and was able to finish hard at the end.”
New Plymouth World Cup
Taranaki, New Zealand
March 31, 2019
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k
1. Anjelica Olmo (ITA) 1:03:27
2. Jolanda Annen (SUI) 1:03:28
3. Jaz Hedgeland (AUS) 1:03:36
4. Tamara Gorman (USA) 1:03:44
5. Emma Jeffcoat (AUS) 1:04:01
6. Barbara Riveros (CHL) 1:04:03
7. Nicole Van Der Kaay (NED) 1:04:05
8. Zsanett Bragmayer (HUN) 1:04:18
9. Sophie Chase (USA) 1:04:26
10. Zsófia Kovács (HUN) 1:04:40