Madrid, Spain (May 26, 2012) - Switzerland's Nicola Spirig (SUI) powered away to her second ITU World Triathlon Madrid title after showing incredible strength in the final metres of the run. Spirig pulled away to a sprint finish for gold ahead of Aileen Morrison (IRL) and Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI) who took silver and bronze respectively. The day also saw Olympic dreams realised and shattered as final London 2012 spots were decided in this, the final race in Olympic qualification.
The race began under milder temperatures of a late start for a non-wetsuit swim in Casa de Campo lake. Carolina Routier (ESP) and Abbie Thorrington (GBR) led a large field of over 20 out of the 1.5km swim and into T1. Nicky Samuels (NZL) put in a great second lap on the swim edging her way into the leading group with thoughts of Olympic qualification no doubt at the forefront of her mind.
Gaining the advantage out of T2 was Spirig, Murua, Haug, Klamer, Kathrin Muller (GER), Holland and Tomoko Sakimoto (JPN) who quickly put a little fresh air between themselves and a similar sized group a few seconds behind.
By lap two of the four-lap run, the gruelling bike leg was beginning to take its toll on some of the women as Murua and Holland began to drop off the pace. However, on the contrary Morrison dug deep to join the leaders now made up of Spirig, Haug and Riveros Diaz. It was not until the final 400 metres that Spirig began to push. Morrison and Riveros Diaz followed suit, but the sprint to the line was won by Spirig who claims her second WTS title in Madrid and continues her high class form in 2012.
"It was an amazing race for me. I had lots of support from the Spanish people and I felt good on the run and it was an amazing race," said Spirig. "It's all going really well, my training's been going really well too so I'm very happy at the moment."
"When I got there I thought well why not push this on, but in the last 800 metres I thought I was coming in fourth as my legs were like jelly and I knew Barbara had the strength. I can't believe I managed to hold on for second I'm really delighted with that," said Morrison.
ITU World Triathlon Madrid - 26 May 2012
Final Results - Elite Women - 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
1. Nicola Spirig SUI 02:06:35
2. Aileen Morrison IRL 02:06:38
3. Barbara Riveros Diaz CHI 02:06:40
4. Anne Haug GER 02:06:43
5. Rachel Klamer NED 02:07:05
6. Ainhoa Murua ESP 02:07:18
7. Vicky Holland GBR 02:07:20
8. Alexandra Razarenova RUS 02:07:32
9. Andrea Hewitt NZL 02:07:38
10. Liz Blatchford GBR 02:07:43
Photo Credit: ITU