With the reigning European Junior gold, silver and bronze medallists lining up alongside her, GB’s Sophie Coldwell always knew she was in for a tough day at the 2014 ITU World Sprint Champs.
Exiting the swim in sixth place she set about beasting the 20.4km bike leg, leading from the front for the entire four laps.
“From the races I’ve done this season I wasn’t surprised that I did most of the work,” said Coldwell at the finish line. “I knew there were a few quick runners in the pack behind so I knew it was in the group’s best interest.”
Despite doing the lion’s share of the bike work, Coldwell was able to hold on for fourth place as the reigning European Junior gold, silver and bronze medallists stormed through to transform those two-month-old accolades into world titles. Germany’s Laura Lindemman was first through to add a world championship title to her European gold in Kitzbühel and a bronze at last year’s World Junior Champs in London.
Three seconds later France’s Cassandre Beaugrand (bronze in Kitzbühel) ran through for silver, followed by her compatriot Audrey Merle (silver in Kitzbühel) a further 6secs back.
Coldwell’s result comes one year after finishing 27th in the World Juniors in London, a race where her fellow countrywoman Georgia Taylor-Brown – out this year with a stress fracture – finished second to take silver.
“I was going to be satisfied with top eight [coming into this race] and happy with top five,” added Coldwell. “Over the winter my bike has really come on. It used to be my weakest now it’s probably one of my strongest. I’m glad it’s coming together now.”
Image: Delly Carr/triathlon.org