Sweetland Wins Triathlon WC

And they're off! The start of the 2007 Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup, South Africa. Photo: triathlon.org
 
Current Junior world champion Kirsten Sweetland of Canada won the 2007 Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup in South Africa on Sunday.

The 18-year old Canadian’s time of 2 hours 3 minutes and 32 seconds was 15 seconds better then her closest rival, 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, Magali Di marco Messmer of Switzerland.
 
And they're off! The start of the 2007 Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup, South Africa. Photo: triathlon.orgKate Roberts was the first South African woman home, placing 9th overall, crossing the finish line a slim three minutes after Sweetland broke the ribbon.
 
Di marco Messmer was able to hold off a charging Pilz of Germany at the line for the silver medal, with Christiane Pilz rounded out the podium in third, with another strong run, only two seconds down.
 
Calm, clear conditions welcomed 51 women to the starting pontoon as the athletes hit the water for the fourth round of the 2007 BG Triathlon World Cup series.
 
Immediately in the first 300 metres two distinct packs would form and stay together over the opening two-lap 1,500 metre swim.  
 
The lead group of Sweetland, Di marco Messmer, Pilz, Joelle Franzmann of Germany, Elizabeth May of Luxembourg, Kate Roberts of South Africa and Nicola Spirig of Switzerland would be joined  by another 11 athletes within the first 5km of the bike course to form one large group off the front.
 
The chase group, with top contenders including Andrea Whitcombe of Great Britain and Nadia Cortassa of Italy, were unable to organize themselves, and continued to lose time to the lead group.
 
Over the 40 kilometre bike course, little would change as the lead group continued to put time into their chasers, and would eventually enter the second transition almost two minutes up.
 
Sweetland would immediately move to the lead of the runners and never look back, running 36:12 to stamp her arrival on the world cup scene.
 
With the win, Sweetland is the youngest Canadian woman to win a world cup race and moves up to third in the BG Triathlon World Cup rankings.
 
Di marco Messmer crossed in second position after out-sprinting Pilz at the line, joyous of her first world cup podium in seven years.
2007 Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup – Elite Women Results:
1. Kirsten SWEETLAND (CAN) 2:03:32
2. Magali DI MARCO MESSMER (SUI) 2:03:47
3. Christiane PILZ (GER) 2:03:49
4. Elizabeth MAY (LUX) 2:04:02
5. Nicola SPIRIG (SUI) 2:04:25
6. Hongni WANG (CHN) 2:04:36
7. Juri IDE (JPN) 2:05:12
8. Joelle FRANZMANN (GER) 2:05:31
9. Kate ROBERTS (RSA) 2:05:43
10. Joanna ZEIGER (USA) 2:06:06 
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