Australia’s Ellie Salthouse claimed the victory at Rev3 Knoxville Sunday morning.
The Revolution3 Triathlon series is Back in Blue and officially kicked off the 2016 season in Knoxville, TN under beautiful skies and a pleasant 72 degrees. The weather conditions were welcomed by the athletes as the forecast earlier in the week seemed to point to a cold and wet race day. The Professional field was composed of only women at this race and all vied for a $5,000 US dollar prize purse paying 4 deep. The feisty Ellie Salthouse, took control of the race at mile 3 of the bike and never looked back.
It was no surprise to see NCAA All American Swimmer Julie Stupp (USA) lead the ladies out of the water in a blazing fast time of 18:13, followed shortly after by Salthouse in 18:50. Jenny Leiser (USA) and Valerie Barthelemy (BEL) were hot on their heels coming out of the TN River side by side in a time of 19:03 and 19:04. By mile 3 of the winding bike course, Salthouse had made up the 43 second deficit and passed Stupp in convincing style.
By mile 16 of the rolling countryside bike, Salthouse had taken control of the race and increased her lead to over two minutes on the small pack that was forming behind her. The movers of the morning were Robin Pomeroy (USA) and Kristen Marchant (CAN), who posted some smoking fast bike splits and moved up to second and third place. At this point, Stupp was in fourth, followed by Leiser who was another one minute back from the group. The bike came to a close for Salthouse with a convincing lead of over two minutes.
Salthouse wasn’t going to leave anything on the course as she came storming out of T2 and onto the run. “”My strategy was to go hard from the start and see what I had in my legs after the bike. It’s been awhile since I’ve done an Olympic distance, so I was excited to see that I had it today.” Said Salthouse. Following her onto the run was Merchant and Pomeroy who left T2 together about two minutes down on the lead runner, Salthouse. Fourth place was Cleaver who was six minutes off the lead.
Salthouse held true to her plan and left the field behind her. She looked even faster as she passed the hot corner and headed back into World’s Fair Park. She finished the day in first place with a filed best run of 37:01 and had built her lead to almost six minutes ahead of Pomeroy. “I went into the run wanting the fastest split on the day, so I was keen to see that result!” Said Salthouse. Pomeroy finished the day in second place, posting a second best run split of 38:24. Energized by the fantastic weather, Marchant dug deep and held onto third place finishing less than two minutes behind Marchant. A big mover of the day was Chattanooga, TN resident Anna Cleaver who moved into the money with a fourth place finish.
Knoxville, Tenn. – May 22, 2016
0.9-mile swim, 25 mile bike, 13.1-mile run
All images ©Rev3 Triathlon.