Gomez-Goggel wears the one in Karlovy Vary as Jorgensen looks to back up Valencia gold
The 2023 World Cup circuit reaches the halfway mark on Sunday in the Czech hills, the seventh of this year’s fourteen races of World Triathlon’s fast and furious second tier of racing and one of the most revered – and feared – courses out there: Karlovy Vary.
Revered because it has echoes of the much loved WTCS Leeds – a 1500m lake swim and then two-part transition, first into a point-to-point bike opener followed by seven x 4.9km technical city loops, then a demanding 10km run to the tape. Feared for much the same reasons – the swim is as technical as they come, the bike packs some fierce climbs and cobbles and producing a fast 10km off the back of it is always a massive challenge.
All in all, tough and honest racing just how we like it – you can watch full coverage of the women’s race over on TriathlonLive.tv from 10am local time.
German triathlon has been on a roll in 2023. The current Mixed Relay World Champions and Paris Test Event winners have been piling up the podiums in recent months and Marlene Gomez-Goggel wears the one after two career-best fifth-place WTCS finishes in Hamburg and Sunderland and bronze most recently in Valencia.
It is a course that the 30-year-old knows well, running her way to fifth here in 2021 and twelve months ago she took 8th. On both occasions Goggel hit the bike segment some 70 seconds off the lead swimmer, and she will have a clear idea of where the gains are needed if she is to score a second gold at this level.
Dominating the swim here in recent editions has been Italy’s Bianca Seregni, and bronze and silver in the last two outings in Karlovy Vary proved that she has the staying power over bike and run. Add in a first World Cup gold in Weihai just weeks ago, and this could just be the occasion to occupy that missing podium place.
No holes in the Swiss challenge
An in-form Swiss duo will have plenty to say about that possibility, however, as both Julie Derron and Cathia Schar continue their assault on the podiums. Derron won here in 2021 with an outstanding bike-run and also has a Weihai gold to her name, her 21-year-old European Championship bronze-winning teammate has been knocking on the door of a medal at this level and scored top 10 Series finishes in Sunderland and Hamburg.
Netherlands’ Rachel Klamer needs little introduction, the Tokyo 2020 4th-place finisher has looked back close to her tenacious best in recent months and could well be in a position to score a first major World Triathlon medal since that brilliant WTCS Abu Dhabi win back in 2018.
Flying Jorgensen in form
USA’s Gwen Jorgensen will be eager to test herself once more after the former World and Olympic Champion delivered World Cup gold in Valencia less than a week ago, clocking a 10km time of 33:37, 20 seconds quicker than her nearest rival (Gomez-Goggel) and having emerged from the 1500m swim in the front pack. Karlovy Vary presents a very different challenge, it will be one that the rejuvenated Jorgensen will relish.
Solveig Lovseth and Lotte Miller are the two Norwegians likely to devour the bike course, GB’s Sophie Alden will want to hang on to her the front pack that she helped drive two years ago after a great swim alongside Seregni, and Colombia’s Maria Velasquez is a name to watch after an excellent Valencia race and bronze in Vina del Mar.
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