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American ITU athlete Alan Webb contributed to this report.
One week after two U.S. women took the top spots in the historic Cuban CAMTRI triathlon, up-and-coming U.S. triathletes Erin Jones and Taylor Spivey went 1–2 at Sunday’s Punta Guilarte CAMTRI Triathlon American Cup.
According to USA Triathlon, Jones, Spivey and third-place Melissa Rios (PUR) comprised the lead group out of the water, and along with American Julie Stupp worked to separate themselves from the rest of the field. Once the leaders hit the second transition, Jones sprinted ahead for the fastest run split of the day, nearly two minutes faster than any other competitor.
“It was a good race,” Jones says. “The swim and bike were both long—1900 meters and 43K, and the run was short, so the distances were a little off. It was about 90 degrees for our race, humid and super windy. Less than ideal conditions. But happy to see where my fitness is.”
It was Jones’ first career ITU win, finishing in 2:09:56, and Spivey’s first ITU podium finish (2:12:54). Rios crossed the line in third in 2:14:36.
On the American side of the men’s race, former Indiana University track standout Sean Jefferson took 5th and Ian Boggs followed in 6th (more results below). Jefferson, who trains under elite coach Darren Smith, says the race was a good start to the year and panned out pretty much how he anticipated.
“With only 20 guys in the race, I figured there would be a small group who would push to get off the front,” Jefferson says. “Five got away towards the first loop of the swim and held a 20–30 second gap into T1. I was near the front of the second pack out of the water and a group of five formed in the first part of the bike.”
Working with Ireland’s Bryan Keane and a Colombian athlete, Jefferson tried to catch the front pack on a windy bike course. “[There were] no crashes, but a near-miss when a two-foot iguana ran across the road in front of us,” he says. “We lost time, however, and by lap four, the gap was two minutes. We maintained that gap into T2.”
Jefferson says he went out quick but controlled on the run, serving a 15-second penalty for goggles out of the box after the first lap. He ran down two guys from the first bike group and moved up to fifth. “It was a solid first race. I was expecting to be closer off the bike and make a run for the podium but unfortunately it didn’t happen,” he says. “The guys in the front pack worked really well together and rode hard. While the pack I was in rode hard, we were disorganized and lacked effort from two guys in the group.”
2015 Punta Guilarte CAMTRI Triathlon American Cup
1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Erin Jones (Hood River, Ore.), 2:09:56
2. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 2:12:54
3. Melissa Rios (PUR), 2:14:36
6. Nicole Truxes (Tempe, Ariz.), 2:16:08
9. Julie Stupp (Austin, Texas), 2:17:53
Elite Men — Complete Results
1. Leonardo Chacon (CRC), 1:54:24
2. Michel Gonzalez (CUB), 1:54:32
3. Carlos Javier Quinchara Forero (COL), 1:55:34
5. Sean Jefferson (Palisades, Calif.), 1:57:07
6. Ian Boggs (Zionsville, Ind.), 1:57:54
11. Alex Libin (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2:03:12
12. Dylan Morgan (Fairfax Station, Va.), 2:04:46
13. Dan Feeney (Wilmington, Del.), 2:07:24