Stimpson Takes The Win In Kitzbühel
Jodie Stimpson claims her first ITU WTS win in Kitzbühel
The women’s swim began with Natalie Milne (GBR) getting quickly to the front. Making short work of the 750m swim, the Brit was first out of the water in 9:38 having managed to edge ahead and put clear water between herself and the chasers, headed up by Nicky Samuels (NZL). Series leader Gwen Jorgensen was down in 17th place, 21 seconds down while Anne Haug (DEU) was 30 seconds back.
Once out onto fast beginnings of the bike course, the field came together with no hard chase to catch Milne before the climb began. The main group caught Milne on the lower slopes of the Kitzbühler Horn.
Running-specialist Jorgensen was immediately dropped on the climb with Anne Haug soon seen at the front of the bike pack. The German began to push the pace with five other athletes holding onto her wheel including Jodie Stimpson (GBR), Samuels, Andrea Hewitt (NZL), Emma Jackson (AUS) and Barbara Riveros (CHI), who was the first to look in difficulty as she fell off the pace, leaving five women ahead.
Stimpson worked strongly out of the saddle with Haug riding hard but remaining seated. Behind the leaders, Vanessa Raw (GBR) overtook Riveros while Hewitt worked to hold on, losing ground as the gradient ramped up on each hairpin and continuing to yo-yo off the back before eventually losing contact.
Kirsten Sweetland (CAN) soon moved up into sixth with Hewitt in her sights while Stimpson and Jackson took a long turn at the front as Haug moved back into fourth wheel.
With the gradients ramping up Stimpson pushed on into the lead, dropping the others, while Sweetland overtook Hewitt in the final kilometre.
Stimpson reached transition after 52:15, Samuels, Haug, Jackson and Sweetland following the Brit onto the run 50 seconds later, Hewitt another 15 seconds back.
Stimpson maintained excellent form, running strong and fast with Jackson in second and Haug in third place while Hewitt moved back up into fourth place.
Cresting the end of the final climb, Stimpson ran onto the blue carpet, high-fiving the crowd before crossing the line in 1:03:22 to claim her first ever ITU WTS win in domineering style. Jackson claimed silver in 1:04:21 with Haug taking third in 1:04:34 to go top of the rankings. Hewitt recovered well to come fourth while Samuels was fifth and duathlon champion Katie Hewison (GBR) ran herself into seventh.