India Lee and Magnus Ditlev beat Miami heat to win the first T100

by Olalla Cernuda on 10 Mar, 2024 10:45 • Español
India Lee and Magnus Ditlev beat Miami heat to win the first T100

Denmark’s Magnus Ditlev won the first-ever T100 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and live up to his billing as the race’s top-ranked athlete by starting the new T100 Triathlon World Tour in commanding fashion and securing the maximum 35 points on offer. On the women’s race, Great Britain’s India Lee won the Miami T100 at Clash Endurance Miami to give her victory in the first ever women’s T100 and the maximum 35 points.

Men’s race
In the warm water of the Homestead-Miami Speedway, it was a swift 2km swim with current 70.3 world champ and T100 Hotshot Rico Bogen leading out the water, while Ironman world champ Sam Laidlow and double-Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee were close behind.

Once on the bike, it was all about the charge of France’s Mathis Margirier who quickly made up eight places to take the lead. Brownlee was the only athlete to go with him and the pair flew around the Homestead-Miami Speedway, distancing the rest of the field. As the 22-laps and 80km wore on, only the pure bike power of Magnus Ditlev and Sam Laidlow were eventually able to bridge the gap. That quartet came into T2 with over two minutes in hand to the rest of the field.

From there, Brownlee took pole position at the start of the 18km run. The Brit went out of transition at an awesome pace, echoing both the dominating performances of years past and the story from Ibiza in 2023 where his lead evaporated.

Behind, the fastest mover was Magnus Ditlev, the tall Dane seemingly impervious to the heat as he hunted the lead. As the run progressed, it was a sad sight for triathlon nostalgists as double Olympic champion Brownlee slowed under the punishing conditions.

The inexorable advance of Ditlev saw him catch and soon shake Brownlee to lead into the closing phase of the race. Meanwhile American favourite Sam Long, eighth off the bike, was also storming through the field, showing no sign of fatigue under the sun. Long found his way into the podium placings and then overtook Margirier to take second.

No one could stop Ditlev, however, the Dane’s class and 100km specific training paying off as he wrote his way into the history books as the first-ever T100 winner, taking a full 35 points. Long claimed second and 28 points and Margirier third and 25. Youri Keulen finished fourth for 22 points and Brownlee managed his efforts to complete the top five and scoring 20 points.

“It feels amazing,” said Ditlev. “It’s a great start to the season. I’m super stoked to take my first T100 win and the first win of the season as well.”

Asked to explain how he’d coped with the extreme heat to reel in a slowing Alistair Brownlee from Great Britain and France’s Mathis Margirier, he said: “When I arrived here in Miami I felt really bad throughout the week training here. So we made a super conservative plan for heat and cooling and so on.” Talking about how he coped with the heat during the race, he said: “I was right below the limit. Towards the end of the run I was able to reel in Alistair [Brownlee] and push a bit more. I was super controlled and just below the limit, to deal with the heat.”

Women’s race

The Homestead-Miami Speedway provided a stunning venue for the first-ever T100 event and there was no surprise when it came to the leader of the 2km swim with ‘The Mermaid’ Lucy Charles-Barclay immediately taking to the front. On her feet was fellow Lucy and fellow Brit, Lucy Buckingham, who’d been struck down by illness in the days before the event and initially looked unlikely to start when race day dawned.

Once out of the water, Lucy and Lucy continued to press their advantage in an attempt to stay away from the rest of the women. Their 52-second lead was slowly eroded to 30 seconds by halfway through the 80km course, Britain showing strength in depth with India Lee the main aggressor in the hunt. Holly Lawrence initially held onto Lee before being distanced.

As Lee closed the gap to Buckingham, Charles-Barclay pushed on at the front to go solo. Despite her valiant attempt, Buckingham’s illness caught up with her as energy ran out and she was forced to retire – per the whiteboard message ‘Pull out Luce’ held by her husband, Mark.

Lee, now in second place, continued to close on her countrywoman and make time on Lawrence, who was eventually absorbed into the chasing group of Kat Matthews, Paula Findlay and Lucy Byram.

By T2, Charles-Barclay and Lee had almost 2:40 on the rest with Charles-Barclay first to eke out a small lead over Lee. Once the chase group hit the run, drama ensued as Kat Matthews was hit with massive cramps and reduced to a walk along with a protracted back-and-forth with her husband on the sidelines.

That put Lawrence in third place, with Findlay and Byram next and 10-time world champ Daniela Ryf in sixth.

With 11.5km to go, Lee bridged back to Charles-Barclay and took the lead, steadily pulling ahead while Lawrence was solidifying her podium position – and a British clean sweep – with a lead of more than a minute on Findlay.

That was the story as the race reached its climax – Lee, a dark horse with the pundits – put together a truly complete performance to become the first ever T100 winner and take the maximum 35 points, a key victory on the way to the inaugural T100 Triathlon World Championship title hunt.

Charles-Barclay came second to score 28 points with Lawrence rounding out that all-Brit podium and earn 25 points. Ever consistent, Findlay took fourth and 22 points while Daniela Ryf proved she’s still a force to be reckoned with, coming fifth and putting 20 points on the board.

“I’m speechless,” said the 35-year old after what is her biggest win in the sport by some distance, beating fellow Brits Lucy Charles-Barclay and Holly Lawrence into second and third places respectively. “It feels like I’m watching myself in a different entity. It’s mad.”

“To be honest I was just looking at my watch and I had my coach’s voice in the back of my head saying ‘don’t go out too hard, it’s better to be steady and consistent than try and just go for it’. So I was going to target, and going to catch Lucy and then I was thinking ‘don’t over think it’.  I went past her and I just thought ‘if you go past her you can’t settle down again’. Just do a hundred steps with a bit more force. So I did that and then settled down again.”

On her storming run, she explained: “Throughout my triathlon career I’ve been frustrated how my run has turned out because it’s been a bit average to be honest. But I know I had it in me to be able to run well. On one-off runs I can run well. So, in my head it was just a matter of time to put it together. Today was the first time that I’ve had a run that I’m actually proud of.”

Related Event: 2024 T100 Triathlon World Tour at CLASH Endurance Miami
09 Mar, 2024 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Magnus Elbæk Ditlev DEN 03:09:08
2. Sam Long USA 03:09:43
3. Mathis Margirier FRA 03:10:08
4. Youri Keulen NED 03:10:47
5. Alistair Brownlee GBR 03:11:43
Results: Elite Women
1. India Lee GBR 03:27:12
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay GBR 03:27:42
3. Holly Lawrence GBR 03:30:36
4. Paula Findlay CAN 03:31:39
5. Daniela Ryf SUI 03:32:29
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