Sunday, June 22, 2008
Emma Snowsill cashes in for huge payday
One year after failing to finish the race in Des Moines, Iowa, Australian Emma Snowsill roared back this season, convincingly winning today's Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup. Snowsill not only claims her third world cup title of the year, she also takes home $200,000 (all funds USD). Fellow Aussie Emma Moffatt finished second and picks up $40,000. Great Britain's Helen Tucker took bronze, continuing a remarkable four weeks of racing in which she took silver in Madrid and gold at the world championships in Vancouver, Canada, two weeks ago.
Due to the disastrous floods that have hit Iowa, the course had to be reconfigured and moved to West Des Moines nine days before the race.
The final U.S. Olympic spot was on the line in this race, and it was a duel between Sarah Groff and world-championship silver medalist Sarah Haskins. Groff needed to be the top American across the line, otherwise the spot would go to Haskins.
A hefty $5,000 bonus sponsored by Speedo went to swimming powerhouse Sara McLarty, who easily exited the Blue Heron Lake first, holding a sizeable lead on the rest of the field.
McLarty cycled on her own for the first lap and a half before she was reeled in by the strong chase group that included some of the sport's heavy hitters: Snowsill, Laura Bennett, Moffatt, Julie Ertel and world champion Tucker. Ten women rode in the lead pack together, adding time to its lead. The chase pack that included Hollie Avil, Jasmine Oeinck and Felicity Abram was down by about 90 seconds early in the bike and found themselves trailing by more than two minutes as they took the bell lap.
As the women headed out onto the 10-kilometer run course, Snowsill immediately surged to the front, establishing a 19-second lead. Moffatt was in second place with Bennett a further six seconds behind her. Tucker, Haskins and Liz Blatchford were not far behind as four women were battling for the final spot on the podium. But no one was going to catch Snowsill as the three-time world champion cruised to the finish line, celebrating the ninth world cup title of her career. Moffatt wasn't challenged as she easily finished second. In the third of four laps, Tucker passed Bennett and held on for the bronze. Haskins was sixth, but more importantly she claimed the final spot on the U.S. Olympic team, joining Ertel and Bennett.
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
1. Emma Snowsill (AUS) 02:03:15
2. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 02:04:35
3. Helen Tucker (GBR) 02:05:21
4. Laura Bennett (USA) 02:05:30
5. Liz Blatchford (GBR) 02:05:41
6. Sarah Haskins (USA) 02:05:45
7. Julie Ertel (USA) 02:07:12
8. Becky Lavelle (USA) 02:07:44
9. Sarah Groff (USA) 02:08:57
10. Erin Densham (AUS) 02:08:59