Stimpson and Jenkins took third and fourth at the New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup, Mola takes his second win

Podium finishers at the New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup 2014 / triathlon.org

Photo: triathlon.org

Jodie Stimpson opened her 2014 season with a podium finish at the New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup in New Zealand. Helen Jenkins also finished fourth in what was her first race since the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Racing over the sprint distance, the USA’s Katie Hursey claimed gold while New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt outsprinted Stimpson for the silver. Hursey appears to be in fine form having also finished second to Gwen Jorgensen (USA) in Mooloolaba, Australia last weekend.

After securing a spot in the 13-strong lead group on the bike – that also included Carolina Routier, Jenkins, Stimpson, Sarah Groff, Hewitt, Kate McIlroy, Kirsten Sweetland, Paula Findlay, Yuka Sato, Alice Betto, Pamela Oliveira and Xterra World Champ, Nicky Samuels – Hursey burst out of the gates from T2. The rising American star then stayed there all the way to the finishing tape, which she broke in a time of 57:27. It was her third ITU World Cup win, from a career that currently spans just 12 races, and her second consecutive World Cup podium.

Stimpson commented afterwards that she was pleased with third place in her first race of the season. Jenkins was also pleased to be back racing and commented that the result was better than she had expected. Both will now prepare for the opening round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Auckland on 6 April.

In the men’s race Matt Sharp was the highest finishing British competitor in 12th place. The race was won by Mario Mola (ESP) who narrowly beat his compatriot and ITU world champion, Javier Gomez

After taking the opening title of the season in Mooloolaba just last weekend, Mola was forced to wait a little longer to make his race-changing move in New Zealand. In a lead pack of 35 men on the bike, it wasn’t until the run that Mola, Gomez and Joao Silva asserted themselves. But just minutes into the 5km sprint distance run leg it was clear that the title would be between Mola and Gomez, and following on from his impressive 13:55 5km split in Mooloolaba, Mola reeled in this week’s win in 14:06, and a total time of 52:30.

It marked the first race that Gomez has lost in New Zealand, after wins in New Plymouth (2008 WC), Queenstown (2003 U23 World Championships) and twice in Auckland (2012 & 2013 World Triathlon Series).

In Mexico, Leanda Cave was delighted to win the La Paz PACTO Pan American Cup. The former Ironman World Champion dropped down to the standard distance (1,500m/40k/10k) as part of her bid to gain selected for Team Wales at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Selection will take place in May.

New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup Results

Women

1. Katie Hursey (USA) 57:27
2. Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 57:38
3. Jodie Stimpon, (GBR) 57:39
4. Helen Jenkins (GBR) 57:54

17. Vicky Holland (GBR) 59:39
25. Lucy Hall (GBR) 1:00:28
26. Lois Rosindale (GBR) 1:00:45
28. Natalie Milne (GBR) 1:00:49

Men

1. Mario Mola (ESP) 52:30
2. Javier Gomez (ESP) 52:33
3. Joao Silva (POR) 52:56

12. Matt Sharp (GBR) 53:28
15. Grant Sheldon (GBR) 53:34
27. Tom Bishop (GBR) 54:00
51. Adam Bowden (GBR) 55:48

La Paz (MEX) PACTO Pan American Cup Results

1. Leanda Cave (GBR) 2:04.15
2. Paola Diaz (MEX) 2:04.44
3. Andrea Gutierrez (MEX) 2:04.58