The US triathlon juggernaut led by defending world champion Gwen Jorgensen showed the world’s best triathletes that the road to Rio is very much up the road as the Olympic selection countdown starts to hot up.
The seemingly unbeatable Jorgensen even survived her first ever 15 second penalty to run away with today’s World Triathlon Series race on the Gold Coast to record an amazing eighth successive WTS win in what was an impressive USA trifecta.
Golden Gwen raced away from fellow countrywomen Sarah True to win by a comfortable 1 minute 18 seconds ahead of third US girl Katie Zaferes, 1:36 behind, to complete only the second ever podium clean sweep in ITU history.
Triathlon Australia’s famous Emma-athon – when Moffatt, Jackson and Snowsill created history in 2011 with the first ever podium sweep in a WTS race in Hamburg.
Moffatt was the only surviving Emma of four years ago who hung tough in today’s race to take 12th place – the best of the Australians - with Emma Jackson waiting in the wings as she recovers from injury while retired Olympic gold medallist Emma Snowsill actually provided expert television commentary on the race for the ITU.
Behind Moffatt came Gold Coaster Ashleigh Gentle who finished 15th, returning London Olympic bronze medallist Erin Densham (18th) with Charlotte McShane (31st).
All girls have their sights firmly set on the Rio Test event in August and automatic Olympic qualification if they can podium in that race.
They all know that it’s going to be a tough road, keeping the big picture very much in mind as the American girls build up an impressive resume.
When asked about her eight straight wins Jorgensen was quick to play it down saying she struggles to come to terms with it when someone mentions it and she tries not to think about it.
“I honestly try and put it out of my mind and just concentrate on putting together the best race I possibly can,” said Jorgensen.
“I come into every race and I know every race is going to be hard. I really respect the course and competition coming in, I try and do my best and execute the swim, bike and run and that’s all I can ask of myself.
“To come across the finish line 1,2 and 3 for Team USA, I just don’t think it gets any better than that.”
Moffatt, who came back strong in Auckland to record a top ten finish admitted the race today was a tough day in the office.
“That was really hard and I came out here today to see where I was at,” said Moffatt.
“I didn’t have the greatest swim but this is where I am at. I’ve got a lot of work to do but I’ve got the time to do it so it was good to find that out here.”
Moffatt admitted the US domination has been coming.
“Good on them - it’s good to see. They’re setting the benchmark so we’ve all got to rise to that,” said Moffatt.
For fellow Olympic bronze medallist Densham, it was an even tougher day in the office, completing her first Olympic Distance race since her Olympic podium in 2012, admitting she’s had to go back to the drawing board on all accounts.
“It’s the lead in, it’s the race, it’s the nerves – I need to get used to all that again and knowing that all that is normal,” said Densham.
“The swim was brutal and you’ve just got to get used to all that. It was a great course because it was technical but some of the girls need to work on their skills because there was so much room for improvement.
“I just don’t have the strength to go alone (at the moment) I’ve got so much work to do.”
Jorgensen was amongst the leaders out of the water, after two 750m laps and formed a group of eight riders who dominated the 40km bike course, arriving into T2 with a minute lead on a chase pack that included Moffatt, Densham and Gentle.
The Wollongong-based Jorgensen, who trains under Jamie Turner, took up to open up a minute’s lead before stopping to serve her 15 seconds penalty – for incorrectly racking her bike.
It gave her a breather before she took off up the road as the rest of the field tried desperately to improve their placings.
Jorgensen’s dominance is becoming Snowsill like – and in 2008 that dominance led her to Olympic gold.