Sunday, April 6, 2008

Moffatt Takes New Plymouth Gold

Australian Emma Moffatt ran away with today’s New Plymouth BG Triathlon World Cup and in the process asserted herself as the front runner for a spot on the highly competitive Australian Olympic team. She finished with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute and 1 second to collect her second career world cup title. She won’t be racing in Ishigaki next weekend and knew this was her final chance to impress Aussie Olympic selectors.

“I had a bit of pressure on myself for today to make sure I performed since and it was the last opportunity to do this, so I had to see what I could do and I guess I did it,” said Moffatt.

Just six seconds behind for the silver was Swede Lisa Norden who is enjoying a spectacular start to 2008 after taking bronze last week in Mooloolaba. It’s not only a breakthrough for Norden but also for the Team BG Elite Athlete Development Programme. Moffatt’s teammate and fellow Aussie Olympic hopeful Felicity Abram took the bronze for her first career world cup podium finish.

A large group of women exited the water closely bunched together including Moffatt and home favorites Samantha Warriner and Andrea Hewitt who was keen so consolidate her Olympic selection with a strong showing at home. They rode in the lead pack in the 40-kilometer bike leg with a number of others including Norden and Brit Andrea Whitcombe. In the final lap, Nicky Samuels, who was named an alternate to the New Zealand Olympic team, broke away from the field and rode into T2 herself. As Samuels headed out onto the 10-kilometer run course, she held a 35-second lead over chase pack which included Moffatt, Warriner, Norden, Felicity Abram, Liz Blatchford and Hewitt.

But Samuels wasn’t able to hold the lead in the run and within the first three kilometers, she was reeled in by strong runners Moffatt, Abram and Norden. The three ran together for most of the run until Moffatt showed off her strong finishing kick, crossing the line to take her second career world cup title. The victory adds to an already impressive 2008 season in which she has collected wins at the Oceania championships and at the Gold Coast.

2008 New Plymouth BG Triathlon World Cup
Elite Women – Unofficial Results
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Gold – Emma Moffatt (AUS) 2:01:01
Silver – Lisa Norden (SWE) 2:01:07
Bronze – Felicity Abram (AUS) 2:01:16

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