Cape Town - Under foggy skies and a slight chill in the air, Great
Britain’s Vicky Holland announced her return from injury in style with her
first ever World Triathlon Series win.
A late surge on the run gave the Brit
just what she needed to hold off the USA’s Katie Zaferes and Switzerland’s
Nicola Spirig. With silver, Zaferes moved into the top spot on the Columbia
Zaferes got her day started with a bang as she zoomed to the
top of the swim pack and led the 48-deep field around the one-lap 750m swim,
which was shortened due to water temperatures.
Brazil’s Pamela Oliveira joined
the American as one of the first athletes to emerge, with Great Britain’s Helen
Jenkins also seemingly un-phased by the chilly temps with a strong position out
of the Atlantic.
Together with Flora Duffy (BER), the foursome powered away
on the first of eight bike laps in an attempt to create distance between
themselves and the powerful Spirig and Sarah True (USA).
But with the reigning
Olympic gold medallist back racing for the first time in two years, the gap was
short lived. At the end of the second lap, the distance was diminished and a
27-person group was created.
Despite holding down a part-time job while also training
after graduating from Oxford University, South Africa’s Mari Rabie showed her
tenacity as she dominated the front of the bike pack lap after lap alongside
Duffy and Spirig.
Meanwhile True, Zaferes, Erin Densham (AUS), Anne Haug (GER)
and Junior World Champ Laura Lindemann (GER) stayed tucked safely into the
middle of the pack.
Spirig came roaring into transition and hammered out in
front with Vendula Frintova (CZE) and Haug in the first half kilometer of the
10km run. Holland picked up the pace and reeled in the ladies, which drug the
rest of the chase up making them a half-dozen deep pack on the first of four
Young German Sophia Saller took her spot at the front of the
run pack and held onto it for half of the four-lap run, alongside Holland. The
group remained together until the fourth lap with Holland gunned ahead in a
The final kick was just enough to keep Zaferes and Spirig
away, giving her her first WTS gold.