Erica Hawley finishes 38th in World Triathlon Cup Valencia
Erica Hawley battled her way to a 38th-place finish in the World Triathlon Cup Valencia in Spain on Saturday.
Among a strong elite women’s field over the sprint distance, the 23-year-old exited the water from the 750-metre swim in 10min 5sec, clocked 27:48 on the 19.4-kilometre bike course and completed the 5km run in 18:15 for a combined overall time of 57:21.
Germany’s Lisa Tertsch claimed the gold medal in a winning time of 55:17, pipping Anahi Alvarez Corral (55:19), of Mexico, in a sprint finish, with France’s Leonie Periault finishing third in 55:24 to complete the podium places.
The American duo of Kirsten Kasper and Summer Rappaport were predictably fast out of the water, alongside Switzerland’s Anja Weber.
Mathilde Gautier, of France, Ukraine’s Maryna Kyryk and Maria Santamaria Surroca, of Spain, were also among leaders from the water and into transition, before Rappaport, Surroca and Gautier managed to get away in the early stages of the bike.
However, the trio did not stay out alone for long, as the likes of Ainsley Thorpe, Jolien Vermeylen and Sara Vilic were soon up on them and forming a big front pack of more than 20 triathletes. Nina Eim and Kyryk also joined the lead group at the end of the first of four laps.
Lisa Perterer was trying to drive on the chasers, while Luisa Baptista struggled farther back to keep the pace, as another large group of athletes formed in the final lap.
It was Tertsch immediately on the pace and bounding out of the second transition while Kasper struggled with her shoes. Switzerland’s Nora Gmur, Charlotte McShane and Annika Koch were also in hot pursuit.
Gautier, Valerie Barthelemy and Rappaport were keeping the tempo, but up ahead Tertsch was gliding through the gears along with Periault, while Corral, Julia Hauser and Eim also joined the chase pack.
Rappaport soon passed Hauser as the Austrian then fell back, but by the time they approached the bell there was clear daylight for a front trio of Tertsch, Corral and Periault, all of whom were in total sync.
The trio just kept extending their advantage over a field that could find no reply and it became a three-way battle for the medals and a four-way go for fourth.
Tertsch’s first attack came on the stroke of 54 minutes into the race as the dead turn on to the blue carpet approached. Corral responded well, but in that last 180 metres the German’s stride lengthened to take the tape from the Mexican, with Periault in third.
Barthelemy won the chase for fourth from Gautier, ahead Rappaport, Hauser, Noelia Juan, the highest-finishing Spaniard in eighth, with Marlene Gomez Goggel and Gina Sereno rounding out the top ten.