HyVee World Cup – Des Moines 2008

ITU Post Race Press Release

2008 Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup – Elite Women

After last years disappointing DNF in Des Moines, Australian Emma Snowsill roared back this season, convincingly winning todays Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup, the seventh stop of the BG Triathlon World Cup series. Snowsill not only picks up her third world cup title of the year, she also takes home $200,000 (all funds USD).
Watch exclusive race highlights now!!

I just cant believe it,” said Snowsill at the finish line. I was a bit apprehensive about this race after having to pull out last year and I wanted to make amends.

Snowsills teammate Emma Moffatt continues her excellent season with a second place finish and $40,000. Great Britains Helen Tucker finished strong for third, continuing a remarkable four weeks of racing in which she took silver in Madrid and gold at the world championships. Next for Tucker will likely be an official Olympic berth.

Due to the disastrous floods that have hit Iowa, the course had to be reconfigured and moved to West Des Moines nine days before the race. The final U.S. Olympic spot was on the line in this race and was a duel between Sarah Groff and world championship silver medalist Sarah Haskins. Groff needed to be the top American across the line otherwise the spot would go to Haskins.

With a hefty $5,000 USD bonus thanks to Speedo going to the leader after the swim, there was plenty of motivation to be first out of the water. But with swimming powerhouse Sara McLarty on the start line, it was nearly a foregone conclusion that she would be at least $5,000 richer by days end. Sure enough, the former NCAA All-American swimmer exited Blue Heron Lake first, holding a sizeable lead on the rest of the field.

McLarty cycled on her own for the first lap and a half before she was reeled in by the strong chase group that included some of the sports heavy hitters: Snowsill, Laura Bennett, Moffatt, Julie Ertel and world champion Tucker. Ten women rode in the lead pack together, adding time to its lead. In between lead and chase packs, Mary Beth Ellis made up ten seconds on the fifth lap to pull even with the leaders, making it seven American women in the 11-woman lead group.

The chase pack that included Hollie Avil, Jasmine Oeinck and Felicity Abram was down by about 90 seconds early in the bike and found themselves trailing by more than two minutes as they took the bell lap. The second chase group included Aussie Erin Densham and Canadian Lauren Groves, a pair of athletes heading to Beijing. Surprisingly, the pair was in a pack down by more than four minutes after the bike portion.

As the women headed out onto the 10-kilometer run course, Snowsill immediately surged to the front, establishing a 19-second lead. Moffatt was in second place with Bennett a further six seconds behind her. Tucker, Haskins and Liz Blatchford were not far behind as four women were battling for the final spot on the podium. But no one was going to catch Snowsill as the three-time world champion cruised to the finish line celebrating the ninth world cup title of her career.

Moffatt wasnt challenged as she easily finished second. In the third of four laps, Tucker passed Bennett and held on for the bronze. Last years winner Bennett settled for fourth while Blatchford made it two Brits in the top five. Haskins was sixth but more importantly claimed the final spot on the U.S. Olympic team, joining Ertel and Bennett.

Elite Women Official Results

  1. Gold – Emma Snowsill (AUS) 02:03:15
  2. Silver – Emma Moffatt (AUS) 02:04:35
  3. Bronze – Helen Tucker (GBR) 02:05:21
  4. 4th – Laura Bennett (USA) 02:05:30
  5. 5th – Liz Blatchford (GBR) 02:05:41
  6. 6th – Sarah Haskins (USA) 02:05:45
  7. 7th – Julie Ertel (USA) 02:07:12
  8. 8th – Becky Lavelle (USA) 02:07:44
  9. 9th – Sarah Groff (USA) 02:08:57
  10. 10th – Erin Densham (AUS) 02:08:59