Dodet rockets to gold in Vina del Mar as Chile closes out World Cup season
It was another weekend to remember for Sandra Dodet of France, taking the last World Triathlon Cup gold of 2022 in Viña del Mar on Sunday morning as Chile held its first ever World Cup ahead of next year’s Pan American Games.
It was another assured display at the level from the Cup specialist to take her win count to four and an eighth podium appearance. A strong swim in difficult conditions set her on the right course, and after the 20km bike had brought a large pack together, it was soon the familiar sight of Dodet setting the pace at the front of the run before holding on all the way to the line to wrap up her 2022 racing in style.
Behind her, Gina Sereno (USA) was putting in an excellent surge to work her way through the contenders and was into second by the first turn on the last lap, crossing for silver and a debut podium, Colombian Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto delivering an excellent bronze.
“Towards the end of the run I was worried that the American (Sereno) might come back to me,” admitted a smiling Dodet afterwards, “so I knew I had to keep a good pace and that was a really good way to finish my year with another podium.”
It was cold and choppy on the Pacific coast for the beach start, the top-ranked athletes all starting on the left of the line but then drifting even further that way on route to the first buoy.
Sara Vilic (AUT) was able to find the clear water ahead, Lea Coninx (FRA) right with her and race number one Emy Legault (CAN) also going well, but with sighting proving difficult, the Austrian veered off course again after the final buoy, allowing the likes of Tamara Gorman (USA) and Luisa Baptista (BRA) to make up ground.
Dodet sprinted the long transition to also get back in touch with the leaders, but it was teammate Coninx out on the bike ahead with a little daylight before Baptista and Legault caught on.
Sadly for Coninx she slid out on the first corner and hit the deck, Legault unable to swerve in time and also coming off hard. Shaken but avoiding serious injury, the pair were unable to continue and with the pace slowed, the two front groups came together.
A group of 26 now rode together, Gorman dropping off the back, Mathilde Gautier (FRA) driving the pace up ahead. After three laps, each packing a sharp climb and rapid, twisting descent, Ana Godoy Contreras (ESP) led the swarm into transition for the final time with Eva Daniels (LUX) and Hiraku Fukuoka (JPN) for company, but it was Hungary’s Marta Kropko out onto the 5km first, Belgium’s Claire Michel 8 seconds back, Baptista 12 seconds, Gorman by now over a minute off the pace.
Another former Junior World Champion, Beatrice Mallozzi (ITA), was going well alongside Audrey Merle and Godoy, but it took only a few hundred metres for Dodet to click into gear and pull alongside then clear of that trio, quickly opening a precious gap up ahead.
It was a gap that was never really to be reeled in, the leader accelerating through the turns while the chasers had to battle for the best lines, Cecilia Sayuri Ramirez Alavez (MEX) looking in good form alongside Marta Pintanel Raymundo (ESP) and Baptista, but it was the Colombian Velasquez who hung tough and patiently awaited her moment in the sun.
Sereno found herself clear in second for the majority of the second lap and Velasquez finally managed to shake off Pintanel down the last straight, Dodet having taken the final dead turn with just enough daylight to be able to soak up the victory despite Sereno’s pressure, an excellent first podium for the American and Velasquez likewise with bronze.
Pintanel crossed ahead of Michel in fifth, Tereza Zimovjanova (CZE), Elizabeth Bravo (ECU), Mallozzi, Baptista and Ramirez completing the top 10.
“It’s a huge jump for me and good progress so i’m very happy with this result,” said Gina Sereno. “I struggled a bit in transition and was getting gathered with the second group when we saw the aftermath of the crash. You had to be smart positioning yourself for the bike chill which I didn’t do that well. Then the power was very variable with trying to catch up, but it was definitely a fun course. I wish i’d been a little closer earlier on the run but Sandra is a phenomenal runner and gave me a great carrot to chase.”
“I am very happy with only my third World Cup and I want to thank my Colombian team and Olympic Committee for their support,” added Velasquez.
For the full results, click here.
Related Event: 2022 World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mar
|Results: Elite Women|
|3.||Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto||COL||00:57:22|
|4.||Marta Pintanel Raymundo||ESP||00:57:29|
Emy Legault wears the one as Vina del Mar hosts Chile’s first World Cup09:54 - 09 Nov, 2022