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World Triathlon Cup Rome 2023 results: Nina Eim delivers on race favourite status for Germany

Matching her bib number, Germany's Nina Eim led the way in the Eternal City

Chief Correspondent
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World Triathlon Cup Rome made its eagerly-awaited debut in the Eternal City on Saturday, with Germany’s Nina Eim delivering on her favourite status to claim victory in the race for Elite Women.

While the World Triathlon Championship Series is over for the 2023 season, there are still plenty of racing opportunities for athletes in the draft-legal format, and Olympic Ranking points to be collected. As a result we had plenty of top-tier athletes gathering here in a bid to boost their Paris qualification hopes.

Here’s how the racing played out at another of Europe’s iconic capital cities, as bib #1 proved to be a charm once again.

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Swim – Seregni leads the way

Few things in triathlon are as reliable as a Bianca Seregni swim. With the added incentive of racing in her home country, the Italian stretched out the field over the opening 750m (non-wetsuit) in Central Lake Park. She was first to exit the water, leading a small group of five athletes to strong lead of 20 seconds. The leader had Mathilde Gautier (FRA), Oliva Mathias (GBR), Jolien Vermeylen (BEL) and Alice Betto (ITA) for company.

Spain’s Anna Godoy Contreras (ESP) led the chasers, but the likes of race favourite Nina Eim (GER) and the returning Vicky Holland (GBR), were almost a minute back as they mounted their bikes. There would be no relaxed ride to T2 here though – with the likes of Lotte Miller (NOR), Jessica Fullagar (GBR) and Maya Kingma (NED) racing, there was plenty of bike power among the chasers to help turn the tables.

Bike – Mathias leads the breakaway

Despite having set up the race for an escape in the swim, Seregni’s prospects took a turn for the worse as soon as they started the ride. Driven by Mathias, the leading quintet soon became a trio as Seregni, along with her countrywoman Betto, couldn’t hold the wheels in front and would ultimately drop back to the chase pack. That left the Brit, along with Gautier and Vermeylen, leading the escape at the front of the race. Betto even hit the tarmac on one of the turns, but quickly bounced back.

A short 4km circuit meant a five-lap bike course for the Sprint distance race, and as they came through at the end of lap two – with Mathias encouraging Jolien and Mathilde to help share the work – their lead was 26 seconds over a chasing group of seven. They were in turn just a few seconds ahead of a bigger pack. That looked set to merge before the end of the ride. Would that help or hinder the trio of escapees?

Remaining committed to the breakaway attempt, with the sound of the bell indicating just one more bike lap remaining, Mathias led the trio through the blue carpet with an advantage of 29 seconds. The day wasn’t going quite as well as it did last week in Tangier for Holland, who was now more than a minute in arrears in the second chase group. She would ultimately finish 23rd.

Fullagar was still driving the effort for the chasers, and as the leading three dismounted their bikes at T2, their lead was down to barely 10 seconds. With just 5km of running, this was far from over.

Run – Germany at the double

Gautier was swallowed up by the chasers immediately after a seemingly tardy transition, while Vermeylen hit the front on the run and left Mathias in her wake, knowing full well the strength of the runners behind who would be chasing. The Belgian has been consistent all season, finishing fifth (Valencia) and fourth (Tangier) in her last two World Triathlon Cup races, alongside a podium earlier in the season when third in Tiszaujvaros.

As with the bike route, the run course was far more than pan flat, and as Vermeylen started the second and final circuit, she did so with Eim (GER), Cathia Schär (SUI) and Marlene Gomez-Göggel (GER) almost literally breathing down her neck. We saw the athletes wearing #1 last week top both podiums in Tangier, and having finished sixth in the Paris Test Event this year to secure Olympic qualification, Eim had that honour here, seeking to continue that trend.

Late into the lap and Vermeylen’s hopes of a podium seemed to be over as the German duo, alongside Switzerland’s Schär, pulled clear. As the pace ramped up, Cathia was the next to drop back a few metres, and as the finish came into view, Eim raised the pace and ran clear to victory, with Germany also taking the silver.

A multiple winner on the Europe Triathlon Cup circuit, that was a debut World Cup victory for the German and a great way to end her racing season.

World Triathlon Cup Rome 2023 Results

Saturday 7 October 2023, Rome, Italy – 750m / 20km / 5km

Elite Women

  • 1. Nina Eim (GER) – 0:59:29
  • 2. Marlene Gomez-Göggel (GER) – 0:59:31
  • 3. Cathia Schär (SUI) – 0:59:35
  • 4. Jolien Vermeylen (BEL) – 0:59:43
  • 5. Noelia Juan (ESP) – 59:51
  • 6. Audrey Merle (FRA) – 59:54
  • 7. Verena Steinhauser (ITA) – 59:54
  • 8. Alice Betto (ITA) – 59:59
  • 9. Rachel Klamer (NED) – 1:00:03
  • 10. Anna Godoy Contreras (ESP) – 1:00:03

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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