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The weekend of racing kicked off with all eyes on women’s world No. 1 Gwen Jorgensen as she raced in front of her home crowd. The women marched out to the starting pontoon under hot, windy and humid weather, with conditions warm enough not to wear wetsuits on the 1.5K swim. Tactics were immediately apparent as Jorgensen lined up on one side of the starting line and other strong swimmers clustered together opposite of the American, who has taken the lead and dominated on the run in recent WTS races.
Jorgensen came out of the water 30 seconds off of lead swimmer Carolina Routier (ESP) and within reach of the lead group. She had a strong transition, but was unable to hold onto the front cyclists and ended up in the chase pack. After 40 kilometers of biking, the front pack, which included main contenders like Helen Jenkins (GBR), Emma Moffatt (AUS) and Juri Ide (JPN), worked quickly to try to maintain a distance from Jorgensen. The American came into T2 just over a minute back of the leaders and quickly went to work on the brutally hot and humid run course.
Jorgensen picked off the stronger riders one by one, with Jenkins and Ide holding strong out front. The question was if Jorgensen would have enough space—and be able to hold up in the humidity—to catch Jenkins and Ide. It took the majority of the 10K run, but Jorgensen was able to catch both Jenkins and Ide. She stuck with Jenkins and Ide for a couple of minutes, but eventually found another gear to take the lead on her own. The American turned in a 34:14 10K to win the race in 1:55:33. The victory is Jorgensen’s sixth career WTS win, which makes her the winningest woman in the WTS’ short history.
“I didn’t have the swim I wanted, but I came back and the crowd really pushed me through to the finish,” Jorgensen said at the finish line. “On the bike I wasn’t really in great position, so I just tried to stick in it.”
Jenkins broke away from Ide to earn the silver spot in 1:55:53. Ide claimed third at 1:56:00.
Over 4,000 age groupers and the elite men will compete Sunday.
ITU World Triathlon Series Chicago
June 28, 2014 – Chicago, Ill.
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) 1:55:33
2. Helen Jenkins (GBR) 1:55:53
3. Juri Ide (JPN) 1:56:00
4. Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) 1:56:56
5. Charlotte Bonin (ITA) 1:57:04
6. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1:57:08
7. Kirsten Sweetland (CAN) 1:57:08
8. Vendula Frintova (CZE) 1:57:18
9. Lisa Perterer (AUT) 1:57:25
10. Charlotte McShane (AUS) 1:58:03