Overcast and frankly dismal conditions in Edmonton, Canada today, yet Vicky Holland didn’t slow down for the World Triathlon Series’ penultimate stop, coming away with her second gold of 2015 after a ferocious run.
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Despite recent algae worries the swim went ahead as planned with a beach start replacing the more usual pontoon. Water temps of 16.1°C were brisk but better than the ambient temperature of 7.6°C. Carolina Routier (ESP) led out of the one-lap swim as she so often does, but two Brits were mere seconds behind – Helen Jenkins in 3rd, and Holland in sixth.
Among the lead pack Flora Duffy (BER), Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), Pamela Oliveira (BRA) and Holland all shared the load at the sharp end, while Non Stanford (GBR) had plenty to do at the front of a chase group nearly 1min back.
Kirsten Sweetland (CAN) and Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) managed to effect a breakaway just before the end of lap two on the bike, edging a 10sec gap over the chase pack led by Stanford. Meanwhile, at the front, Flora Duffy made a break for it but was reeled back in by Oliveira. Australia’s Emma Moffat took her turn at the front, her running abilities well known to the others.
Lingering surface water meant the frequent corners had to be negotiated carefully as the lead pack closed the final kilometres before T2. Germany’s Anja Knapp had a dream transition, practically flawless, but once Holland had got her running shoes on she wasted no time getting going.
Within minutes Holland had caught and overtaken Knapp, and she quickly assumed pole position with Flora Duffy just behind. There was no respite for the Bermudan though, as Holland kept her cadence high and the gap grew bigger and bigger.