5 things we took away from the World Triathlon Cup Lievin

by Ben Eastman on 03 Apr, 2024 07:25 • Español
5 things we took away from the World Triathlon Cup Lievin

The first ever indoor World Cup delivered a groundbreaking spectacle in Lievin and gave fans of triathlon plenty to discuss. Over the shortest format contested yet at the World Cup level, with races lasting barely 10 minutes, speed was the order of the day. Quick wits proved as important as being physically fast as the threat of elimination was never far away. Here are five things we took away from the action at the weekend, and you can watch it all back on demand over on TriathlonLive.tv.

1. Home team impresses

A regular on the Para Cup circuit, it had been a long time since France had hosted a World Cup event – the last one was in Lorient in 2008 – and the home team more than made up for lost time as they put two athletes into the women’s final and four into the men’s. Of the finalists, a few names caught the eye.

Vincent Luis (FRA) was a constant threat throughout each round of racing. He qualified safely in 4th place in the sixth qualifier before claiming 3rd place in the third semi-final. The former world champion then rounded things off with 2nd place in the final. In doing so he claimed his first World Cup medal in several years and offered a clear sign that his return from injury is gathering momentum.

On the other end of the experience spectrum, Leo Fernandez (FRA) dazzled on his way to the final in the men’s event. In his World Cup debut, the 2022 European Junior Champion even took the lead early on during the run. While he would eventually slip back to 6th place, Fernandez certainly brought the home crowd to their feet.

Also taking a star turn was Leonie Periault (FRA). The WTCS medallist stepped up in the women’s final to take 4th place and was seconds away from claiming a medal.

2. A tale of two medallists

Laura Lindemann (GER) looked in fantastic form as she charged to the gold medal in the women’s event. The German star has already qualified for the Olympics and is coming off a big 2023 season in which she won multiple WTCS medals for the first time and anchored the German Mixed Team Relay to golds in Hamburg and Paris. The short format in Lievin proved perfect for her and offered further evidence that she might just be the preeminent woman over the relay distances and below.

Right behind Lindemann in Lievin was Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR). Whereas Lindemann arrived after a glittering 2023, Taylor-Brown had a trickier season ended prematurely by injury. Notwithstanding the fact that Taylor-Brown won WTCS Cagliari, she entered 2024 with plenty of uncertainty around her injury comeback and with a potential Olympic slot still up in the air.

In a sign that her form is coming right back, though, Taylor-Brown claimed the silver medal in Lievin. That came after she finished 3rd at the European Cup in Quarteira a week prior, and both performances were highly encouraging.

Thus, while Lindemann and Taylor-Brown arrived in Lievin in different places, both will no doubt be satisfied with how they are building into their season.

3. Stornes’ storming comeback

In the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics, Casper Stornes (NOR) was a rising force in triathlon. An upset win at WTCS Bermuda in 2018 preceded a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Test Event in 2019. However, after the early rise came the setback. Injury struck at the Arzachena World Cup in 2022, forcing him to rebuild.

After working his way back to full strength once more, Stornes made a significant step forwards in Lievin. Indeed, he made a double comeback of sorts.

On the one hand, he claimed his first World Cup medal. In doing so, he reasserted himself at the world level and served a reminder of his class. On the other hand, his bronze medal itself was the product of an electric comeback on the bike and then on the run. For much of the final, Stornes had seemed out of contention only for him to barrel down the finishing straight into the medals.

Whether in terms of returning from injury or in races, Stornes’ comeback antics will be something to watch across the season.

4. The near misses

After striking down Vincent Luis with his win at the Quarteira European Cup, Hugo Milner’s name was on the lips of many in Lievin. However, it was not to be his weekend as he narrowly missed out on making the semi-finals in both his qualifier and then the repechage. In both instances, he missed out by 2 seconds and one finishing position.

Meanwhile, the final highlighted the fine margins of the indoor format. Tim Hellwig (GER) expertly navigated the early rounds and found himself in the perfect position as he came off the bike in the final. However, a wobble on the dismount line left him fearing a potential penalty. With his mind elsewhere, he slipped from 1st place in the closing stages of the run to miss the podium in a photo finish.

One athlete to escape a mishap of his own was Vetle Bergsvik Thorn (NOR). The Norwegian athlete revealed after his qualifier that he had completed a lap too many on the bike. He was nonetheless able to recover to take 4th place and claim the last semi-final slot from his heat, with a roaring 2:42 1km run split sparing his blushes followed by the overall gold to fire his own Paris 2024 mission.

5. Lightning splits

When it came to rapid splits, there were almost too many to count in Lievin. Zuzana Michalickova (SVK) and Mitch Kolkman (NED) were among the stars of the show in the water, with both leading out the swims in their respective finals. The Hungarian youngster Zalán Hóbor was another to catch the eye with his swimming speed in the qualifiers.

When it came to the bike, no one would match Hellwig’s 4:22 split from the first qualifier.

It was on the run that some of the greatest fireworks were produced. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) blasted a 3:01 1km in the women’s final to catapult herself to bronze. Her time would stand as the quickest by any woman on the door. Lindemann and Taylor-Brown managed splits of 3:04 and 3:02, respectively, in the final.

Another eye-catching run split came from Tereza Zimovjanova (CZE), clocking 3:05 to win the B Final.

On the men’s side, Stornes earned the fastest run of the day with his 2:39 in the men’s final. Thorn, Luis and Csongor Lehmann were all close behind with Final run splits of 2:41.

After all the excitement of Lievin, stay up to date with the action to come across the season on TriathlonLive and across World Triathlon social channels.

Related Event: 2024 World Triathlon Indoor Cup Lievin
30 Mar, 2024 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Vetle Bergsvik Thorn NOR 00:09:24
2. Vincent Luis FRA 00:09:25
3. Casper Stornes NOR 00:09:26
4. Csongor Lehmann HUN 00:09:26
5. Tim Hellwig GER 00:09:26
Results: Elite Women
1. Laura Lindemann GER 00:10:19
2. Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR 00:10:19
3. Gwen Jorgensen USA 00:10:19
4. Leonie Periault FRA 00:10:20
5. Lena Meißner GER 00:10:25
Results: Final Men
1. Vetle Bergsvik Thorn NOR 00:09:24
2. Vincent Luis FRA 00:09:25
3. Casper Stornes NOR 00:09:26
4. Csongor Lehmann HUN 00:09:26
5. Tim Hellwig GER 00:09:26
Results: Final B Elite Men
1. Nathan Grayel FRA 00:09:34
2. Harry Leleu GBR 00:09:34
3. Yanis Seguin FRA 00:09:35
4. Christopher Perham GBR 00:09:37
5. Gjalt Panjer NED 00:09:39
Results: Final Women
1. Laura Lindemann GER 00:10:19
2. Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR 00:10:19
3. Gwen Jorgensen USA 00:10:19
4. Leonie Periault FRA 00:10:20
5. Lena Meißner GER 00:10:25
Results: Final B Elite Women
1. Tereza Zimovjanova CZE 00:10:45
2. Sandra Dodet FRA 00:10:46
3. Sara Guerrero Manso ESP 00:10:46
4. Tanja Neubert GER 00:10:50
5. Paula Del Pozo Borrachero ESP 00:10:50
Results: Semifinal 1 Elite Men
1. Tim Hellwig GER 00:09:33
2. Samuel Dickinson GBR 00:09:33
3. Gregor Payet LUX 00:09:34
4. Genis Grau ESP 00:09:34
5. Hugo Winock FRA 00:09:35
Results: Semifinal 2 Elite Men
1. Aurelien Jem FRA 00:09:40
2. Casper Stornes NOR 00:09:41
3. Antoine Duval FRA 00:09:43
4. Mitch Kolkman NED 00:09:43
5. Yanis Seguin FRA 00:09:43
Results: Semifinal 3 Elite Men
1. Vetle Bergsvik Thorn NOR 00:09:33
2. Léo Fernandez FRA 00:09:33
3. Vincent Luis FRA 00:09:34
4. Csongor Lehmann HUN 00:09:34
5. James Edgar IRL 00:09:34
Results: Semifinal 1 Elite Women
1. Leonie Periault FRA 00:10:23
2. Laura Lindemann GER 00:10:25
3. Jessica Fullagar GBR 00:10:29
4. Audrey Merle FRA 00:10:31
5. Tanja Neubert GER 00:10:36
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