How Jorgensen won the triathlon

Breaking down Gwen Jorgensen’s race to Olympic gold

The swim: Jorgensen exited the water in 23rd place after a swim that was average by her standards. Her husband, Patrick Lemieux, said her competitors would try to capitalize on that momentary opening. It was critical for Jorgensen to get out to a fast start on the bike to maintain the upper hand.

Time for the 1,500-meter swim: 19 minutes, 12 seconds. Transition time from swim to bike: 56 seconds.

The bike: A steep hill on the eight-lap course could be a breaking point in the race, Jorgensen said. To prepare for Rio, coach Jamie Turner put her through hard training on hills to build her leg strength — training that Lemieux said exceeded the demands of the Rio course. On her first trip up the hill, she moved up as other riders dropped back. She continued to advance, leading through part of the race, and was fourth in the standings as the 18-rider lead pack hit the end of the bike leg.

Time for the 38.48-kilometer bike race: 1 hour, 1 minute, 21 seconds. Transition time from bike to run: 38 seconds.

The run: The final leg of the triathlon is Jorgensen’s best weapon, and she delivered another outstanding run to win the gold medal. She and Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig Hug distanced themselves from the pack and ran together until the last of four laps. Jorgensen turned on the jets and pulled away in the final lap, beating Spirig Hug by 40 seconds to become the first U.S. triathlete to win an Olympic gold medal.

Time for the 10K run: 34:09. Total time: 1:56:16.

RACHEL BLOUNT