KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic — Gwen Jorgensen won gold on one of the most demanding courses on the world cup circuit, making it a back-to-back Olympic-distance triumph after last week’s win in Valencia. Jorgensen is working to secure a place in the Championship Finals Pontevedra later this month.
It was no surprise to see Italy’s Bianca Seregni spearheading the swim from her position on the right as the athletes hit the first buoy and began to string out early in the 1500m Rolava Lake swim. Right with her was Therese Feuersinger (SUI) and Sophie Alden (GBR). As that trio pulled clear over the first lap, Selina Klamt (GER) hung on.
When they came out of the water to run down the long ramp and launch back in for lap two, Jorgensen was just 20 seconds back, but that gap had doubled by the time the athletes had negotiated the short transition and were out on the bikes.
Feuersinger came out of the water first. The front quartet came together for the point-to-point bike with almost a minute over the chasers. But Julie Derron and Anja Weber set about reeling them in, along with home favorite Tereza Zimovjanova, Jorgensen and Klamer.
Lotte Miller (NOR) drove a small third group with Sinem Francisca Tous Servera (TUR), Solveig Lovseth (NOR) leading a fourth group, but the Swiss duo took 20 seconds off the lead on lap one with Derron rarely off the front.
Jorgensen was delighted to see the packs come together after two laps, but then it was Weber again driving the pace up the hills, hoping to take Jorgensen’s run potential out of the picture on lap 4.
The 12-deep group stayed together, though, and as the likes of Lotte Miller and Hanne De Vet were forced out through mechanicals, the pack carved out a huge 90-second margin over the next group.
Out onto the run, Derron led the charge early with Jorgensen camped on her shoulder. Klamer, Gomez-Goggel and Klamt were tucked in too as Seregni’s challenge faded.
On lap two, Jorgensen hit the detonator and only Klamer was able to stick with the pace. Shoulder-to-shoulder for two laps, both sharing the front spot, it looked like Klamer had the edge on the final turn only for Jorgensen to pull in front, soaring to the tape at full tilt.
Goggel took the bronze. Derron fell ill but still crossed in fourth ahead of Klamt and Seregni, Marta Pintanel Raymundo (ESP) and Cecilia Santamaria Surroca (ESP), Sophie Alden and Julia Hauser (AUT).
Morgan Pearson made it a double win for team USA with his victory in the men’s race, followed by Márk Dévay and Jonas Schomburg.