There is nothing unusual about seeing a USA athlete on the top of the podium but this time it was Katie Zaferes taking the top spot instead of Gwen Jorgensen, who had to settle for third place. In a great performance Rachel Klamer from The Netherlands took second and her first podium finish.
Jorgensen was always the favourite for WTS Hamburg, which was raced over the sprint distance, but both Zaferes and Klamer had a great swim leg exiting in the lead group behind Britain’s Lucy Hall, and from then on never lost their command of the race.
They formed a lead group of eight on the bike leg which included Hall, Charlotte Bonin, Mari Rabie, and Caroline Routia and quickly managed to gain a lead of about 30 seconds on the first chase group which contained Gwen Jorgensen. Initially Helen Jenkins and Jodie Stimpson were in the second chase group, but then the two groups merged and the pair came to the front to try and push the pace.
To have any chance of making the podium Jenkins and Stimpson had to make a break on the bike but just could not dent Zaferes and Klamer’s advantage and they entered the run leg with a 45 second lead. Stimpson and Jenkins entered the run ahead of the running machine Jorgensen who had entered the run leg at the back of the pack, but could just not keep her at bay.
However despite some some serious running from Jorgensen, which saw her complete the 5km in just 15:43 she just could not catch Zaferes and Klamer and in the final stages Zaferes proved she had more left in her legs and made a move away from Klamer to secure her first WTS victory with Klamer in second.
“I am so excited! The first part, this beginning of the year was not what I wanted, said Zaferes. “I was not the Katie that I know I am, and today I just raced like me and I got the reward and it was awesome!”
“I just decided to keep it simple, I had been overthinking stuff at the beginning of the year and today I just was going to go as hard as I can in the swim, bike and run and that is what I did and I believed in myself. This is exactly what I needed just going into Rio, is just to see that I was the same person that I was last year.”
“I am really happy, I can’t describe it,” said Klamer. “The last couple of years I have made progress and this morning I was talking with Richard (Murray) and I was like ‘one day I want to be on that podium’, thought it probably would not be today, but maybe in a year from now. But when we were racing in the swim, which actually I was most worried about, I felt like I had a good position so just had to keep working on it. And then on the bike, the girls were working together, which was really good and then on the run when I looked back I thought, ‘well today must be that day’.”
This is the second time Jorgensen has been beaten this year after Jenkins beat her in Gold Coast
Despite being beaten by Jorgensen Stimpson had a great run leg to finish in 4th meaning she now lies second in the series behind current leader Flora Duffy, while Helen Jenkins finished in 14th and Lucy Hall finished 20th.