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WHAT A DAY! Loved racing with this absolutely incredible team, the support was insane on the course and to get GB on the top step of the podium was the icing on the cake! 📷 - @tzaferes
A youthful British quartet dominated the World Triathlon Series mixed relay in Nottingham to take a commanding victory on the banks of the River Trent.
Last weekend’s Leeds WTS winner Georgia Taylor-Brown, 25, was the most senior of the GB team that also contained Ben Dijkstra, 20, Sophie Coldwell, 24, and Alex Yee, 21, and they led almost from start to finish.
It was Yee who took the tape on the anchor leg, well clear of Switzerland and France, with the slick roads following a downpour looking the only factor capable of thwarting an emphatic victory in front of the vocal home support.
“I was put in such an amazing position by fantastic team-mates that I just had to hold on,” Yee said. “I just wanted to stay safe on the bike. In triathlon things can go wrong so quickly - and I didn’t want that to happen.”
The second mixed relay of the 2019 WTS had reverted from a triathlon to a duathlon because heavy rainfall in the week had led to the River Trent being deemed unsafe to swim in.
It meant the traditional opening leg was replaced by a 1.5km run for the 14 competing nations, before a two-lap 7km bike leg was followed by another 1.5km run.
Britain were not the only country to opt for youth, with just a handful of the star performers from the WTS on show and the top three in both the men’s and women’s standings all absent.
In fact, the highest ranked athlete in attendance was Taylor-Brown, currently fourth overall, and she started first for the British quartet, leading on the run before forging ahead on the bike - showing her superior technical ability - to lead by 24sec over a pack of seven heading into T2.
That gap was extended by another 2sec as she handed over to Dijkstra, with USA the most notable casualties as a clearly injured and anguished Renee Tomlin limped through the final 1.5km leaving her nation out of contention.
Dijkstra, who along with Yee and Coldwell, is a former junior world duathlon champion, set off ahead of Bermuda WTS winner Dorian Coninx of France, who headed a six-nation chase pack also including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
As the reigning world and European champions, France looked the most likely challengers, but there were few signs of a comeback as Dijkstra seized his moment to shine and pushed the gap out still further to 35sec by the time he handed over to Coldwell.
Coldwell, who finished ninth in the Leeds WTS, also looked assured as she retained the advantage before tagging Yee for the anchor leg and the reigning British 10km champion, who clocked 27:51 last summer in north London, predictably went even further clear to make the final run lap little more than a coronation.
Yee eventually took the tape in 1:23:14, 42sec clear of Switzerland’s Adrien Brifford, who outkicked France’s 2018 European champion Pierre Le Corre.
Canada’s Alexis Lepage held off Germany’s Jonas Schomburg for fourth, with Italy in sixth, New Zealand placed seventh and Australia, the reigning Commonwealth champions, who had won the previous two WTS mixed relays in Abu Dhabi in April and Edmonton last year, a disappointing eighth. Click here for full results.
The next mixed relay on the WTS is the world championship in Hamburg on July 7 - a title Britain has not won since 2012. That will be followed by Edmonton a fortnight later, and complemented by the Tokyo test event - that is not part of the WTS - in August.