Third victory of the year for Spirig at ITU World Triathlon Series
Saturday, 23 June 2012
June 23 - Swiss triathlon star Nicola Spirig powered to victory today at the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series in Kitzbühel.
With this win, the 30-year-old (pictured above and below, centre), who this year won the Eilat ETU Triathlon European Championships and also took the ITU World Triathlon Madrid title, cemented her position as London 2012 medal favourite.
In a tightly fought running battle, Spirig successfully edged out Sweden's Lisa Nordén (pictured below, left), who – recently returned from injury – took silver, leaving New Zealander Andrea Hewitt (pictured below, right), three seconds behind Norden, with bronze.
"I had a good rhythm and I could run with a group of six and I knew I had a really fast sprint, so I wasn't the one who had to make the pace, I could sit in and wait for the sprint and it worked so I'm really happy," said Spirig.
During the two-lap, non-wetsuit swim France's Jessica Harrison and Sarah Groff of the United States led the women out of the water and into T1, where the most powerful riders – Spirig, Nordén, Harrison, Nicky Samuels from New Zealand and Groff – showed their mettle.
Moving onto the run, the same pack, with the addition of Bárbara Riveros Diaz from Chile, who finished fourth, led from the front but no one made any major surges.
Nearing the final lap, however, Spirig and Norden surged to the front, with Spirig reaching the finish first.
Spirig's triumph was achieved in 2 hours 05min 37 secs, marking her second victory in Kitzbühel and fourth career World Series title.
"It was almost a perfect race for me," said Spirig.
"I had a really good swim, I was really happy with it.
"The bike was good, we were a small group and people were working so we had quite a comfortable lead in the end and after that I felt really comfortable on the run."
Tomorrow (June 20) the elite men take over Kitzbuehel as a number of Olympic favourites – British brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, Spaniard Javier Gomez and Jan Frodenclash from Germany – face-off for the final time in a huge pre-Olympic battle before London 2012 kicks-off.
April 2012: Hat-trick heaven for Gomez and Spirig in triathlon's Euro Championships