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Erica Hawley endures difficult World Triathlon Cup outing in Lisbon

Difficult outing: Erica Hawley failed to finish the World Triathlon Cup Lisbon in Portugal on Sunday

Erica Hawley endured a disappointing outing in her first World Triathlon Cup event of the season, failing to finish the race in Lisbon, Portugal, on Sunday.

Having gained late entry into the Elite Women’s field, the 23-year-old was hoping to enjoy better fortune than she had a week previously competing in the Europe Triathlon Cup Caorle, in Italy, where she conceded to being disappointed with a 41st-place finish.

However, it proved not to be the case, as the Bermudian triathlete did not finish the course. Having completed the 1.5-kilometre swim, exiting the water in a time of 21min 56sec and transitioned on to the bike, Hawley withdrew before completing the 40km cycle.

Reflecting on her previous two races, Hawley took to social media to concede her dissatisfaction with her performances and need for improvement.

“Disappointed and frustrated with my time here in Europe,” Hawley said in a post on Instagram. “Sometimes it just doesn’t ‘click’.

“I know I have a lot more to give and prove. Time to enjoy my last couple days in Girona [training base in Spain] and then head home to recharge and sort a few things out.”

Sixty athletes lined up for the start of the race on the beach at the Targus river, in Lisbon, for a swim that was rough and challenging in water that was only slightly above 18C.

American Summer Rappaport best navigated the choppy waters, with Ireland’s Chloe Pollard and Australian Natalie Van Coevorden right at her feet.

A group of nine athletes — including Rappapot, Pollard, Van Coevorden, Kirsten Kasper, Melanie Santos, Vicky Holland and Lea Coninx — managed to leave the first transition together, with a lead of almost 50 seconds over the chasers.

Behind them, Nicola Spirig launched her pursuit, with the likes of Alice Betto, Rachel Klamer, Julia Hauser and Amelie Kratz following close behind.

By the third of the eight laps on the technical bike circuit, the leading nine were joined by Spirig, who quickly found her way to the front. However, heading into the final 10km run, Ireland’s Carolyn Hayes opted for a solo breakaway from the beginning, leaving Spirig, Holland, Rappaport and Kasper behind.

Hayes stayed leading solo, but Spirig kept her in sight. Behind them a group of six — Kasper, Jolanda Annen, Holland, Kretz, Alberte Kjaer Pedersen and Klamer — began bunched up in a tussle for the final podium position.

With a little more than one kilometre to go, Spirig made her move, passing Hayes before going on to cross the finish line by herself in 1hr 59min 5sec and clinch the gold medal.

Hayes settled for the second World Cup podium of her career in 1:59:17, securing valuable Olympic ranking points in the process, while Kasper prevailed in the battle for the third place in 1:59:39.

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Published May 25, 2021 at 7:56 am (Updated May 25, 2021 at 7:35 am)

Erica Hawley endures difficult World Triathlon Cup outing in Lisbon

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