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Warriner wins to take World Cup title
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Sunday 26th October 2008


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ITU BG World Cup - Huatulco, Mexico

The final round of the 2008 ITU World Cup Series is taking place today. An odd mix really - for some, not surprisingly, it's clearly one race too far after a long season including the Olympics, and plenty of athletes haven't even made the start line. The ladies race appears to have had just 17 starters, with even that number seemingly bolstered by seven Mexican athletes. For others, Sam Warriner in particular, the race had great importance as it offered the chance to move into pole position in the season ending World Cup standings, and of course, the rewards ($$$'s!) that go with that.

Americans Sarah Groff and Sarah Haskins, along with Jodie Swallow, Pilar Hidalgo (ESP) and Andrea Hewitt (NZL) exited the water together, with Sam Warriner (NZL), Andrea Whitcombe and Lisa Norden (SWE) - all World Cup winners this season - around 30 seconds back at T1.

Hidalgo and Haskins retired during the eight-lap bike leg with dehydration and a mechanical respectively, while Warriner was able to bridge up to the lead group to make it four, while Norden and Whitcombe didn't, and worked together as the chasers. As expected, several of the Mexican athletes were lapped on the bike and were withdrawn. At T2, Whitcombe and Norden were 1:10 down on the leading four.

With her motivation high, Warriner quickly established a lead on lap-one of the run. Fellow Kiwi Andrea Hewitt was suffering in the heat, while Groff and Swallow held second and third midway through the run, with Whitcombe - despite limited run training all year due to injury - closing fast.

No one was going to stop Sam Warriner though (who we interviewed last month), and it was fitting that she takes the 2008 ITU World Cup Series title by winning the final race, adding to her victory earlier this year in Korea. Starting the final lap of the run, Whitcombe was rapidly closing the gap of Groff and Swallow, and started the final 2.5km less than 20 seconds back. If this is to be Andrea's final World Cup race, she was looking to finish on a high and make the podium again, having already secured a win this season in Hungary. Sarah Groff was able to hold on for second, but Whitcombe passed Swallow to take the final podium position, with Jodie finishing fourth.

No British men made the trip to Mexico. As is usual in ITU racing, the swim made little impact on the race. American Brian Fleischmann did lead out of the water by 10 seconds, but then almost the entire field followed behind within 20 seconds. Fleischmann did try to make a break from the start with Alterman (ISR), but this never achieved much more than a 30 second advantage over the field. Despite a few further attempts from the likes of Kris Gemmell (NZL), again, almost all of the field hit T2 together leaving it to a 10km run for the podium.

From the off, a group of four ran away - Gemmell, Laurent Vidal (FRA), Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) and Serrano (MEX). Despite home advantage, the Mexican would fade, leaving Gemmell and Shoemaker to fight for the win. Gemmell won that battle, Shoemaker made his first World Cup podium and Vidal was third.

Pos Men Women
1st Kris Gemmell (NZL) 2:03:23 Sam Warriner (NZL) 2:14:02
2nd Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) 2:03:32 Sarah Groff (USA) 2:14:45
3rd Laurent Vidal (FRA) 2:04:22 Andrea Whitcombe (GBR) 2:15:02

Full results are available HERE.


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