2016 Olympic bronze medalist Vicky Holland ran away from fellow Brit, teammate and friend Non Stanford to dominate the 2018 season opening World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.
Holland blew away all rivals with a second-best 16:36 split for the 5 kilometer run, finishing the sprint distance contest in 58:18 with a 34 seconds margin of victory over 2013 WTS World Champion Stanford and 49 seconds over 3rd place finisher Zsanett Bragmayer of Hungary.
In another step on her comeback trail after a five year hiatus due to physical problems, 2007 ITU Olympic distance World Champion and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal finished 17th of 27 with an encouraging 10th-best run.
Bragmayer led the 750-meter swim with a 9:05 split which gave her a 5 seconds lead on Stanford and Melanie Santos of Portugal, 6 seconds on Holland, 8 seconds on Simone Ackerman of South Africa, Sara Vilic of Austria and Gabriela Ribeiro of Portugal, and 12 seconds on Jure Ide of Japan and Rachel Klamer of the Netherlands. Bragmayer jetted to a bigger lead with a race-best 36 seconds transition, leading a front pack into the run.
In her first ITU race since Yokohama last May when an injury took her out of competition for 9 months, Holland (and Stanford) led a hard-riding pack of six women including Bragmayer, Ackermann, Rani Skrabanja of Netherlands, and Santos with sub-32 minutes splits into T2 with a 35 seconds gap on the rest of the field.
Thanks to her 16:36 run which was 37 seconds better than Stanford and 50 seconds better than 3rd place Bragmayer, Holland cruised to the win. Ai Ueda of Japan, who gave away 37 seconds on the swim and 1:40 on the bike leg, posted the race-best 16:26 run which could only advance her to 10th place at the finish.
Fernandes combined a 21st best 9:47 swim, a 17th fastest 32:48 bike split and a 10th quickest 17:30 5k run.
Cape Town World Cup
Cape Town, South Africa
February 11, 2018
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k
Elite Women Results
1. Vicky Holland (GBR) 58:18 - $7500
2. Non Stanford (GBR) 58:52 - $6000
3. Zsanett Bragmayer (HUN) 59:07 - $4500
4. Simone Ackermann (RSA) 59:28 - $3000
5. Juri Ide (JPN) 59:38 - $2100
6. Rachel Klamer (NED) 59:44 - $1800
7. Chelsea Burns (USA) 59:52 - $1500
8. Melanie Santos (POR) 59:59 - $1500
9. Kirsten Nuyes (NED) 1:00:07 - $900
10. Ai Ueda (JPN) 1:00:21 - $675
17. Vanessa Fernandes (POR) 1:01:29