These American triathletes confirmed their role as leaders and elite and won their respective categories at the Karlovy Vary Triathlon World Cup on Sunday, September 10. Gwen Jorgensen, 2016 Rio Olympic champion, was the best female triathlete, while Morgan Pearson, silver medalist of the World Championship final, won the men’s race. The best Czechs were Petra Kuříková ranked 14th and Jan Volár ranked 28th, who were powered and cheered to the finish line by fantastic fans.
Tens of thousands of spectators were watching the drama until the last metres of the women´s race at the Olympic Triathlon World Cup, which was hosted by the UNESCO spa town of Karlovy Vary for the seventh time in a row this year. In a roaring atmosphere, the triathlon battle between Rio Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen and the Dutch triathlete Rachel Klamer was decided only a couple of meters before the finish line. In the end, the American, who returned to triathlon this year after a maternity break, was faster. “People were everywhere, they created a fantastic atmosphere along the whole course, so I enjoyed today’s race immensely,” smiled Jorgensen, whose collection also includes two world champion titles.
Two Czech triathletes also stood on the start line in Karlovy Vary. Petra Kuříková, however, was very unlucky during the 1500m swim. „Immediately after the start, she got smacked and my googles were broken. Without them, I was fumbling around in the water and bumping into other competitors, for which I got a 15-second penalty,” described Kuříková, who came out of the water in 27th place, which then put her in the third group on the bike.
Kuříková moved quickly forward in the 10km run. From 24th place she got to the edge of the top ten, where she was then pushed back by a 15-second penalty. Because of that, she finished 14th. “I am very disappointed. I should have swum in the first group and then it would have been a completely different race,” she said.
Zimovjanova’s run was affected by a recent leg injury that caused her to fall through the results list. She finished 24th on the blue carpet in front of a packed grandstand at Theatre Square in Karlovy Vary. “It’s my best finish of the season, so I can’t be unhappy about the result,” said Zimovjanova, who has been plagued by health problems all year.
Six Czech triathletes
In the men’s race, after the swimming section, a group of seven men formed the lead, from which Morgan Pearson managed to build his lead to the final run. “I have already secured my place at the Paris Olympics so I wanted to try a different race tactic. The cycling part here with the tough hills is really tough, but I felt great so I attacked and succeeded. I started the run very fast which allowed me to really enjoy the last kilometre,” said Pearson.
Six Czech athletes entered the race. After the swim, David Martin was the best of the bunch, riding in the second cycling group in 8th to 15th place. Tomáš Zikmund was in the third group, Jan Volár in the fourth. Filip Michálek and Tomáš Kříž were at the end of the field. Filip Václavík gave up after the swim due to cramps.
The cycling track, one of the hardest in the world, then shuffled the field. A group of eleven triathletes formed in the lead. The top three Czechs then arrived at the second transition area in a second pack of 27 triathletes. Volár was the best of the bunch, finishing in 28th position. “Today was a terrible ordeal. The water was warm, so I boiled in my wetsuit right at the start and then I knew it was going to be bad. On the bike it was still okay, but on the run I was happy to finish. I felt terrible,” said Volar, who said before the race that if he doesn’t win he will move on to the long triathlon. “That’s where my training will be directed now,” he confirmed at the finish.
Tomáš Zikmund finished 30th, David Martin was 35th, Filip Michálek 38th and Tomáš Kříž 39th. Due to the combination of hot weather and the difficult course, a number of triathletes withdrew from the race.
The World Cup race concluded the busy programme of the CITY TRIATHLON Karlovy Vary, which started on Friday with the Czech Junior Cup. On Saturday morning the Geis Baby Duathlon for the youngest children took place. In the afternoon, there was the Age Groups race for the public, which was also the last part of this year’s Czech Cup.
Karlovy Vary Triathlon World Cup, 10th September 2023
Women: 1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) 2:03:51, 2. Rachel Klamer (NED) 2:03:55, 3. Marlene Gomez-Göggel (GER.) 2:04:12 … 14. Petra Kuříková 2:07:26, 24. Tereza Zimovjanová 2:09:24
Men: 1. Morgan Pearson (USA) 1:51:56, 2. Márk Dévay (HUN) 1:53:08, 3. Jonas Schomburg (GER) 1:53:11 … 28. Jan Volár 1:58:34, 30. Tomáš Zikmund 1:59:01, 35. David Martin 2:01:59, 38. Filip Michálek 2:04:43, 39. Tomáš Kříž 2:08:19, Filip Václavík DNF
Complete results can be found here.