Friday qualifiers see Taylor-Brown and Beaugrand through to Montreal finals
The good news that Saturday’s finals would be held over the planned swim-bike-run greeted the start of the WTCS Montreal action on Friday afternoon after the qualifiers had to be switched to duathlons and two qualifier super-sprint races, followed by a repechage for those outside the top tens, all in offering 30 spots on the next day’s start line.
It was the race number one Georgia Taylor Brown (GBR) and Valerie Barthelemy (BEL) who were setting the early pace in the first qualifier of the day, neither wanting to take any chances by getting snarled up in a big pack.
Cathia Schar (SUI) was also keeping the pace well in her first WTCS start and that trio was joined by Kirsten Kasper (USA) and Sophie Coldwell (GBR), the five athletes soon extending their lead over the Lotte Miller-led group further back.
They managed to maintain a lead of just over ten seconds for the duration of the three-lap bike, and out onto the run for the last time, Taylor-Brown was relentless as she coasted to the line by five seconds. Audrey Merle (FRA) and Sophie Linn (AUS) looked in control as they ensured progression to Saturday’s finals, followed by Summer Rappaport (USA).
Djenyfer Arnold (BRA) taking the precious last qualification spot finishing in tenth, the likes of Natalie Van Coevorden and Lotte Miller having to go to the repechage if the were to reach the finals on Saturday.
“This was really hard, the first run was incredibly fast, and in the second one I kept looking back because I was not so confident that I could make the cut”, said Arnold, who was extremely happy when she found out, during the interview, that the finals will be a triathlon. “This is fantastic news, this is what we train for so great to compete tomorrow over triathlon.”
Cassandre Beaugrand flew out at the start of the second qualifier, immediately putting the pressure on the rest of the field that included Beth Potter, who led the followers along with Alberte Kjaer Pedersen.
Up ahead there were 12 athletes now riding together, and as the first lap came to an end, Spivey was able to get onto the group and the pack became 19-deep.
Still recovering from injury, the American went on the attack to try and make the second run a little easier on her legs, Verena Steinhauser and Matilda Offord also at the front onto the blue carpet.
Four seconds separated the top 18 out of T2, and then it was time for Beaugrand to again move to the front, Jeanne Lehair and Potter in good rhythm, Spivey dropping back and into the repechage as Claire Michel worked her way into the top 10.
“I have not been able to do much run training lately, due to an injury, so I am surprised that I was able to make the cut,” said Claire Michel. “It was a very fast run and we had some really fast runners in our group, so I just kept pushing. I also broke my finger a few weeks ago in Arzachena so I was worried about the swim, but it will be great that tomorrow we go back to what we train for: swim, bike and run”
In the repechage, the pace was on right from the start for the final ten places, Nora Gmur (SUI), Dominika Jamnicky (CAN) and Maria Tomé (POR) out quickest. Luisa Baptista worked her way to the front, fellow Brazilian Vittoria Lopes pushing hard but clearly missing her strong swim segment.
Anahi Alvarez Corral (MEX) led onto the blue carpet and had a slick transition only to be immediately caught and 10 seconds separated the top 25 athletes on the first lap of three.
Lotte Miller started to drive things out front with Lopes, then Spivey took charge, four seconds between the top 18 and everything to be decided by the 2-lap run. Lizeth Rueda Santos took over at the front, but it wasn’t long before Jaz Hedgeland made her move and held on right to the line, safely joined in the final by the likes of Klamer, Spivey, Miller and Natalie Van Coevorden.
For the full results, click here.
Related Event: 2022 World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships Montreal
09:33 - 22 Jun, 2022