NEW PLYMOUTH, New Zealand — Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) was just eight seconds off the podium Sunday in New Plymouth, New Zealand, leading the U.S. in the third stop on the ITU Triathlon World Cup circuit. The 2018 USA Triathlon Women's Rookie Triathlete of the Year, Sophie Chase (Carlsbad, Calif.), also raced well with a ninth-place showing.
The sprint-distance race featured a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run, starting at Ngamotu Beach and traveling the scenic coastal roads of Taranaki.
Australia’s Emma Jeffcoat took the lead out of the choppy swim, but a strong group of women were right her heels. Gorman found herself in the lead pack on the bike, pushing the pace along with Jeffcoat, Italy’s Angelica Olmo, Switzerland’s Jolanda Annen, Australia’s Jaz Hedgeland and Tasmyn Moana-Veale, New Zealand’s Nicole Van Der Kaay and Chile’s Barbara Riveros.
The run turned into a battle between Olmo, Annen, Hedgeland and Gorman out front. Olmo would take her first career ITU World Cup win with a time of 1 hour, 3 minutes, 27 seconds. Annen grabbed the silver in 1:03:28, and Hedgeland completed the podium in 1:03:36. Gorman was not far behind, finishing in 1:03:44.
Chase ran her way to ninth in 1:04:26, matching the career-best ITU World Cup finish she recorded last season in Huatulco, Mexico.
The men’s race featured the much-anticipated return of Javier Gomez Noya, the five-time world champion from Spain, to the ITU racing circuit. Leading out of the swim were Slovakia’s Richard Varga, Ireland’s Russell White and Italy’s Gianluca Pozzatti. After quick transitions, New Zealand’s Sam Ward and Tayler Reid joined with Varga and Pozzatti to form a four-man lead pack on the bike. A strong group of chasers were not far behind, and ultimately Gomez Noya was also able to jump into the lead pack.
Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.) and Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) both narrowly missed the leaders on the bike, but would execute strong runs to move their way up from the chase.
But it was Australia’s Luke Willian who laid down the hammer on the run, recording a 14:31 5k to take the victory in 56:04. Germany’s Justus Nieschlag earned the silver in 56:10, outsprinting bronze medalist Sam Ward of New Zealand in a photo finish where both recorded the same official finish time.
Smoragiewicz recorded the sixth-fastest run of the day, a 14:49, picking off several competitors to finish 17th in 57 minutes flat. McElroy was just a few steps behind, crossing the line 18th in 57:04. Other finishers for the U.S. included Jason West (Boulder, Colo.), 29th in 58:31, and Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 36th in 59:03.
The next major stop on the ITU circuit is MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda — the second race of the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Series — on April 27.
2019 New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Angelica Olmo (ITA), 1:03:27
2. Jolanda Annen (SUI), 1:03:28
3. Jaz Hedgeland (AUS), 1:03:36
4. Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.), 1:03:44
9. Sophie Chase (Carlsbad, Calif.), 1:04:26
Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), DNF
Elite Men — Complete Results
1. Luke Willian (AUS), 56:04
2. Justus Nieschlag (GER), 56:10
3. Sam Ward (NZL), 56:10
17. Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.), 57:00
18. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 57:04
29. Jason West (Boulder, Colo.), 58:31
36. Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 59:03
Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.), DNF
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).