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The Two Aussie Emmas Prove Unstoppable In DC

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Emma Moffatt and Emma Snowsill of Australia ran their way to first and second place at the Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Washington, D.C. This marks the first time since 2005 that someone other than Portugal’s Vanessa Fernandes (who sat out this race due to injury) has beaten Snowsill in an ITU race.

While the men’s race saw a small group take the lead and hold it throughout the race on Sunday, the female’s race was full of surprises and tactical moves. Battling tough currents and tight packs in the Potomac River, a strong pack of U.S. swimmers including Sarah Haskins, Laura Bennett and Sarah Groff headed out of the water and onto the bike course first. Right behind them were Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins and Jessica Harrison of France. Within the first lap of the bike several groups had formed, the second one behind the lead including the Aussie Emmas, along with Sweden’s Lisa Norden and Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf. “There was a surge right off the bat in the swim,” said Snowsill. “It was one of the more fierce swims I’ve had; a lot of war injuries on my arms and my back so I wasn’t too impressed by that.”

By the top of the third lap, the chase group was gaining ground on the lead pack fast, going from a 35 second gap to 20 in less than 4 kilometers. Soon after, the two packs merged, and riders continued to breakaway in attempt in getting ahead. With only one lap to go, Haskins and Great Britain’s Mary Beth Ellis broke away from the lead pack, eventually gaining 30-plus seconds heading into T2. But it wouldn’t last for long. By the end of the first lap Haskins and Moffatt had passed Ellis, and Snowsill was quickly gaining ground. “I had that 30 second lead heading into T2 but that’s not really enough running against the Emmas,” said Haskins. “You need a couple of minutes on them.”

At the halfway mark Snowsill had successfully pushed into second, followed closely by Haskins and Ryf. Moffatt, however, was in her own time zone by that time, running 25 seconds faster on her third lap than on her second, and coming in first in a time of 1:59:54. “I knew that I had Emma behind me the whole way,” explained Moffatt. “You never know what she is going to be able to do because she is such a strong runner so I really had to keep the pace up.” Snowsill crossed the line for the silver medal in 2:00:19, followed by Ryf in 2:01:00. Moffatt’s win puts her in first place for the women in the ITU World Championship Series leading into the next race in Kitzbühel, Austria on July 11.

Check out the photo gallery here.

Dextro Energy ITU World Championship

Washington, D.C.–June 21, 2009

1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run

Elite Women

1. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1:59:54

2. Emma Snowsill (AUS) 2:00:19

3. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 2:01:00

4. Sarah Haskins (USA) 2:01:17

5. Helen Jenkins (GBR) 2:01:26