LIMA, Peru — Sophie Chase (Burke, Va.), Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.) each earned top-five finishes Sunday in the penultimate stop of the ITU Triathlon World Cup season in Lima, Peru. Both the women’s and men’s sprint-distance races came down to the wire, as Japan’s Ai Ueda and Brazil’s Manoel Messias came away with victories.
The races were held at the Playa Agua Dulce, with athletes covering a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. The Lima ITU World Cup is a key legacy event of the Pan American Games held here in July, which hosted an Olympic-distance triathlon competition.
The women’s race kicked off the action Sunday. The Czech Republic’s Tereza Zimovjanova and Hungary’s Zsanett Bragmayer were the first two athletes out of the water, with Chase just five seconds back in third. A long train of women were not far behind, though, leading to a 27-strong lead pack on the bike.
Chase and Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.) rode with the leaders for the entire four-lap bike course, as Amy Sloan (Colorado Springs, Colo.) worked to make up ground in the chase pack. The two groups had merged by the second transition, leading to a fast-paced 5k run to determine the podium.
By the 2.5k mark, five contenders emerged off the front: Chase, Ueda, Ukraine’s Yuliya Yelistratova, Ecuador’s Elizabeth Bravo and Mexico’s Cecilia Perez. In the final minutes, Ueda, Yelistratova and Bravo had the legs to break away. The trio would all record identical times of 59 minutes, 12 seconds, with the Japanese star earning gold, the Ukrainian silver and the Ecuadorian bronze.
Chase crossed the line 10 seconds later (59:22) for fourth place, matching her performance at the Pan American Games. That finish also ties her career-best on the ITU World Cup circuit, as she took fourth in Tongyeong, South Korea, earlier this month.
Sloan was the second American across the line, running her way to a career-best seventh in 59:25. Ackerlund rounded out the U.S. contingent with an 18th-place finish in 1:00:11.
In the men’s race, Bob Haller of Luxembourg, Peter Denteneer of Belgium and Kenji Nener of Japan were the first out of the water — but the rest of the field was hot on their heels. Soon, a peloton of 40 men had formed on the bike, with Pearson, McDowell and West all in the mix.
At the second transition, McDowell and Pearson were toward the front of the lead pack and got off to strong starts on the run. They ran shoulder-to-shoulder with Messias, Switzerland’s Florin Salvisberg and the ITU’s Felix Duchampt for nearly the entire 5k course, maintaining a 4:36-minute-per-mile pace.
With about 300m to go, Messias laid down a finishing kick that no one could answer, claiming the win in a time of 52:30. Salvisberg and Duchampt took silver and bronze, respectively, with identical times of 52:32.
McDowell crossed the line fourth in 52:35, just three seconds off the podium, while Pearson rounded out the top-five in 52:43. The performance marks McDowell’s sixth top-five finish on the ITU World Cup circuit this season, and Pearson’s second.
West ultimately finished 13th in 53:12, and Clayton Hutchins (San Anselmo, Calif.), was 45th in 56:04.
The final ITU Triathlon World Cup stop of the 2019 season is set for Sunday, Nov. 10, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Lima ITU Triathlon World Cup
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Ai Ueda (JPN), 59:12
2. Yuliya Yelistratova (UKR), 59:12
3. Elizabeth Bravo (ECU), 59:12
4. Sophie Chase (Burke, Va.), 59:22
7. Amy Sloan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 59:25
18. Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.), 1:00:11
Elite Men — Complete Results
1. Manoel Messias (BRA), 52:30
2. Florin Salvisberg (SUI), 52:32
3. Felix Duchampt (ITU), 52:32
4. Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.), 52:35
5. Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 52:43
13. Jason West (Boulder, Colo.), 53:12
45. Clayton Hutchins (San Anselmo, Calif.), 56:04
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).