Daniela Ryf of Switzerland, pulled off an upset by sprinting to win the Dextro Energy Tiathlon ITU World Championship in Seoul, Korea over the world’s number one Barbara Riveros Diaz of Chile and reigning world champion Emma Moffatt of Australia. Moffatt appeared to be winning the race until the chase pack caught up with her, turning the last two kilometers final stretch into a heart pounding battle with Ryf out on the lead. The runner up, Riveros Diaz is still rank number one in the 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series.
A two lap swim in the Han River started off the race. Hayley Peirsol of USA took the early lead but could not keep a solo break away as she did in the past. Peirsol was out of the water first with Sarah Haskins (USA) and Kerry Lang a few seconds behind. Forty seconds behind was the chase pack Ryf, Riveros Diaz, Moffatt and Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand.
With their lead burning down to just 23 seconds on the bike, Haskins, Lang and Peirsol tried to keep the lead. After the eight laps on the bike, the trio was swallowed up by the chase pack turning to a 19 women lead bunch with a 45 second advantage over another pack of 12 women until it formed into almost 30 women in close tight formation the rest of the way.
Moffatt led the pace to the front at the beginning of the run immediately pulling away from the pack. She seemed to be heading for the win while being chased by Ryf, Riveros Diaz, Hewitt, Nicola Spirig (SUI), Mariko Adachi of Japan and Emma Snowsill of Australia. “I felt really good at the start of the run,” Moffatt confessed. “But I definitely started to suffer on the final lap.”
With two kilometers left, the chasers boosted up the pace heading to the final lap with Riveros Diaz and Hewitt taking the lead while the rest lagged a few meters behind. It looked like Riveros Diaz was going for a repeat of round one of the series in Sydney four weeks ago in which she won. At the final turn stretch to the finish, Ryf, with all the energy and will power she could muster pulled up to the leading three women and sprinted away uncontested.
“I was really suffering toward the end,” Ryf said. “I’m so surprised I was able to pull it out. I just tried to focus on my technique to keep it together at the end.” Ryf finished at 2:00:59 with Riveros Diaz in second and her second podium finish of the 2010 Series. Finishing third for the second time this Series was Moffatt.