Tri talent on show in Mooloolaba17 March 2014
TRIATHLON: There was plenty of fierce racing across the weekend, with Australia well represented in the top 10 of the men's and women's events at the Mooloolaba Triathlon.
Wollongong-based American Gwen Jorgensen produced a surging finish in the run leg to take out the Mooloolaba Triathlon on Saturday.
In a fast and furious race in hot, breezy conditions, world No.4 Jorgensen powered home in the 5km run in the World Cup sprint format to beat compatriot Katie Hursey and Japan's Ai Ueda.
Jorgensen crossed the line in 59 minutes 55 seconds - 15 seconds clear of Hursey.
Australia's main hope, Emma Moffatt, had led a big pack at the end of the 20km cycle leg but faded over the closing stages to finish sixth in 1hr 00.43 while fellow Gold Coaster Ashleigh Gentle was the second Aussie over the line in 10th.
Moffatt, Gentle and Kiwi Andrea Hewitt, who finished fifth, had done most of the hard work on the bike as a big pack of 20 jostled their way around the four laps on the esplanade.
The trio were among four top-10 ranked starters in the field but have their sights set on the opening world championship race in Auckland on April 6 over the longer Olympic distance.
Jorgensen, who trains under Jamie Turner at the Wollongong Wizards, started as unofficial favourite once German world No.3 Anne Haug withdrew from the opening World Cup race due to illness.
Spanish favourite Mario Mola has shown his class to claim the opening ITU World Cup triathlon sprint race in Mooloolaba.
World No.3 Mola produced a blistering 5km run leg to beat home South African Richard Murray in a time of 54 minutes and 18 seconds in hot and breezy conditions.
Australians Ryan Fisher and Brendan Sexton emerged with a handy break on the rest of the large lead pack from the cycle leg but Mola and Murray, ranked fourth in the world, surged past on the first lap of the run.
The Spaniard, who finished behind compatriot Javier Gomez and Brit Jonathan Brownlee in last year's world series, then blitzed Murray over the last 2km to win by 18 seconds.
Fisher (55:26) was the first Australian home in eighth, while Sexton (55:29) was ninth and Ryan Bailie 13th.
Former world under-23 champion Aaron Royle, pre-selected in Australia's team for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, was near the leaders throughout the swim and bike but didn't have the speed in the run to finish 25th.
Wollongong-based trio Sexton, Bailie and Royle have all focussed their preparations on the opening world series race, over the standard Olympic distance, in Auckland on April 6.
Australia's final two men's spots for Glasgow will be selected after the Auckland race but Fisher, who was second to Royle in last month's Devonport Triathlon, has put down a strong marker.