A killer bike leg helped Caroline Steffen to her second ITU Long Distance World Triathlon Championship, as she turned a lead at T2 into a world title winning margin ahead of Denmark's Camilla Pedersen and Great Britain's Jodie Swallow in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Steffen - who also won this title in 2010 - paid tribute to the Spanish crowd, as thousands lined the streets to cheer on the elite and age-group athletes in Spain's basque country.
"Of course I'm very happy, it's another title, my second one, I'm really glad I had a good race today," she said. "I never saw as many people on a race course before. It was unbelievable on the bike and on the run."The eventual medallists emerged right from the start in Spain, as Swallow exited the water first, with Pedersen and Steffen just a few minutes behind. While Swallow pushed the pace at the front for the first lap, Steffen took the lead at the start of the second 60km lap and didn't look back. She left T2 with a six minute lead on the field, and with the third-fastest run split of the day, it was more than enough to hold on to win. Steffen crossed the line for gold in a time of 6 hours 4 minutes and 17 seconds, a full five minutes ahead of Denmark's Pedersen who claimed her first ITU World Championship medal.
Vitoria-Gasteiz ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships - 29 July 2012
Final Results - Elite Women - 4km swim, 120km bike, 30km run
1. Caroline Steffen SUI 06:04:17
2. Camilla Pedersen DEN 06:09:23
3. Jodie Swallow GBR 06:12:48
4. Virginia Berasategi ESP 06:20:36
5. Maider Gaztañaga Dorronsoro ESP 06:23:52
6. Ewa Bugdol POL 06:24:46
7. Jeanne Collonge FRA 06:35:15
8. Olesya Prystayko UKR 06:37:23
9. Gurutze Frades Larralde ESP 06:45:38
10. Estefaia Gomez Villanueva ESP 06:47:13