4 Mar 2017

Hewitt wins in Abu Dhabi

6:22 pm on 4 March 2017

New Zealand's Andrea Hewitt has won gold in the first race of the 2017 World Triathlon Series in Abu Dhabi.

Andrea Hewitt crosses the line first in Abu Dhabi.

Andrea Hewitt crosses the line first in Abu Dhabi. Photo: ITU

Hewitt's dedicated her win to her former fiancé, the late Laurent Vidal, who was honoured after his passing with the number one position in the same venue just one year ago.

"Laurent always told me that I had everything, I had the dedication, I had the integrity, I had talent and he told me the one thing I was missing was emotion and I didn't show it a lot of the time," Hewitt said through tears.

Earning the silver medal was Great Britain's Jodie Stimpson, who was edged out by Hewitt by just an inch in an epic sprint battle that came down to the wire.

Third place went to Austria's Sara Vilic.

"Coming on that straight, Andrea was the stronger one, I was stronger on the hills. To be honest, I'm just ecstatic me and Andrea got on the podium. The amount of work we did all day, if I was going to lose to a sprint finish, I'm glad it was Andrea today," said Stimpson.

As the leaders entered the second transition on the cycle leg, it became clear who wanted a medal as Stimpson, Hewitt and Vilic dropped the remaining women from the break away.

On the final lap of the run with the blue carpet in sight, Stimpson made a push to break from her competitors.

It looked like victory would be hers in Abu Dhabi for the second year in a row, but in the final seconds, Hewitt came blowing by to take her first World Triathlon Series win since 2011.