It was game face on for Emma Jackson as she moved to the pointy end of the field early in the day and eventually flew to victory at this year’s Mooloolaba World Cup, bringing the title back to an Australia after it had been overseas since Erin Densham’s win in 2012.

Text and images by Witsup


Emma Jackson was all smiles pre-race, but after itching to start this morning, she was all game face and headed to front pack early. The critical moment throughout the race for Jackson was her position out of the swim that set her up for a great day ahead.

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“Coming out in the front group in the swim was a big aim for the day. I had no idea how the bike would play out, but fortunately I had a good group of girls with me and we worked together hard over the 40kms.

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“We came into transition with a 50-60second gap, but I was running scared though!” Jackson said.

Three distinct packs formed on the bike, but it was only going to be the lead and the chase pack that would be a shot for the podium. While there was significant chatter and changing of positions in the lead pack which included the likes of Jackson, Emma Jeffcoat, Nicole Van Der Kaay, Claudia Rivas, Carolina Routier and Natalie Van Coevorden, the chase pack was driven mostly by the Ashleigh Gentle train.

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“On the first lap on the bike I could see the girls ahead,” Gentle said. “I made one attack on the bike and tried to get it going, so I guess it was a little frustrating, but in a field where numbers are diluted it makes it hard,’ Gentle said.

Jackson held onto a nice position in the lead pack on the bike.

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“I have so much to improve on across the swim, bike and run,” she explained. “And really on the bike – trying to sit in the pack and not be scared and sit at the back. I really need to mentally improve on the bike and not waste so much energy so that I can get off and have a good run!”

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On the first lap it was Jeffcoat who took the lead, but as she started to fade, Jackson came bounding past to take the front position with two laps to go.

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Further back, Gentle was making moves through the field despite not feeling great.

“I didn’t feel amazing, especially those first two laps,” Gentle explained. “I think mentally and physically I got better as the run went on, and was happy to pass some of those girls and was surprised how close I got in the end.”

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Jackson was strong out in front and while Gentle was moving through the field and closing the gap, she couldn’t quite run down Jackson’s lead.

Jackson crossed the line with a second win to her belt for the year which sets her up for a good 2017.

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“I can’t complain with the start of my year with a win here and also at the Oceania Champs last month, so I am very happy with my form at the moment!” Jackson exclaimed.

Gentle followed her across the line, singing Jackson’s praises.

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“It was really nice to see Jacko back and racing well! Most of us will be at the Gold Coast in four weeks. Jacko and I will be back and I’m sure it will be another hotly contested battle.” Gentle said.

Gentle has recently changed coaches as is working with Jamie Turner as of March officially. “As the year progresses there will be a few different things that we will work on across all three disciplines and mentally as well – I’m really looking to change myself and the way that I approach races throughout the year.”

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Rivas who was in the mix all day managed to run down Jeffcoat, spoiling an all Australian podium, and claiming third.

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2017 Mooloolaba World Cup Results – Click for detailed results2017 Mooloolaba Cup Results

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