In the 2014 ITU Triathlon season kick off, Gwen Jorgensen and Mario Mola ran their way to the top of the podium at the Mooloolaba World Cup under bright blue skies and blazing temperatures.
In a USA double, Gwen Jorgensen and Katie Hursey came out on top of a 34-strong field to finish first and second respectively in the opening women’s ITU World Cup sprint race of the season on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast this Saturday.
It was a particularly gritty performance from Jorgensen in a race that saw four of the world’s top-10 women compete after the late withdrawal of world ranked number three and 2013 Mooloolaba winner Anne Haug (GER) due to an infection.
Under sunny skies Jorgensen once again showed the foot speed that floored the competition in three World Triathlon Series races last year, taking the lead on the second lap of the run to win in 59:55. Hursey finished fifteen seconds in arrears while Japan pocket rocket Ai Ueda took third a further four seconds behind.
If Javier Gomez is the king of triathlon in Spain, Mario Mola is the prince. A precisely-timed killer kick during third run lap of the opening men’s ITU World Cup saw the Spaniard take gold, dispatching a quality field of 68 men from 20 countries who lined up in the 12th edition of the Mooloolaba event.
He crossed the line in 27 degree C temperatures in an equally sizzling winning time of 54:18 to take gold in an event that boasted five of the top ten men in the world. World number four and Mooloolaba debutante Richard Murray (RSA) crossed the line 18 seconds behind Mola (54:37) to take silver while Athens Olympic Games bronze medalist Sven Riederer (SUI) snared the bronze in 55:04.
Mola was lurking after a congested bike transition and soon a three way race-within-a-race had developed between the Spaniard, Murray and Great Britain’s Tom Bishop. The pace seemed to quicken at this point as Mola gained ascendency, while Murray and a fast-finishing Reiderer were keen to go with him.
But a trademark Mola kick at the 4km mark was the defining moment of the race of the race and there was no way from that point that he’d be headed. His run time of 13:55 was 19 seconds faster than Murray’s and 50 seconds quicker than Reiderer’s.
2014 Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup
March 15, 2014 – Mooloolaba, Queensland
.75km swim, 20km bike, 5km run
1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) 59:55
2. Katie Hursey (USA) 1:00:10
3. Ai Ueda (JPN) 1:00:14
4. Ellen Pennock (CAN) 1:00:25
5. Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 1:00:32
6. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1:00:44
7. Kirsten Sweetland (CAN) 1:00:52
8. Rebecca Robisch (GER) 1:00:55
9. Anja Knapp (GER) 1:01:07
10. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) 1:01:10
1. Mario Mola (ESP) 54:18
2. Richard Murray (RSA) 54:37
3. Sven Riederer (SUI) 55:04
4. David Hauss (FRA) 55:07
5. Kaleb Vanort (USA) 55:08
6. Thomas Bishop (GBR) 55:15
7. Fernando Alarza (ESP) 55:21
8. Ryan Fisher (AUS) 55:27
9. Brendan Sexton (AUS) 55:30
10. Irving Perez (MEX) 55:32