Georgia Taylor-Brown looked imperious as she came through qualification and then three stages of the super sprint eliminator format to gain another World Triathlon Championship Series victory in Montreal.
The Olympic gold and silver medallist held off France’s Cassandre Beaugrand – who had defeated her in Leeds – as Britain’s Beth Potter grabbed a first World Series podium, and Sophie Coldwell finished seventh,
The result extends Taylor-Brown’s advantage in the WTCS standings following victory in Yokohama, and runners-up spots at both Leeds earlier in June and Abu Dhabi in November.
It puts her in prime position to regain the world title she won in a one-off race in Hamburg in 2020 during a pandemic-affected summer.
“It was really hard,” Taylor-Brown said. “But I got into it as the race went on. [On the final stage] we only had a small gap ion the bike, but I tried to motivate the girls and it worked for us today.
“The first two stages I wanted to be as easy as possible. It was about staying safe and emptying the tank on the final leg.”
The racing was over three stages, each consisting of a 300m swim, 7.2km cycle and 2km run. Triathletes were eliminated after each stage, whittling the number down to 20, and then 10. Taylor-Brown won the final stage in 24:03 with Potter 11sec back.
Potter’s result moved her up to second in the overall rankings, narrowly ahead of Beaugrand. “I feel like I’ve been knocking on the door this season so to execute today was a dream come true,” she said “The second round was the most nerve-racking, and then everything to play for in the last one. I didn’t have a target in mind, I just said told myself to go for it and see what I could do.”
The top 10 from each of two qualifying heats yesterday made it through to today’s final three-part eliminator, with the rest of the triathletes taking part in a repechage from which 10 more advanced.
Yesterday’s swim was also cancelled due to the local authorities having to open floodgates after heavy rain. It turned the action into a run-bike-run duathlon, but it made little difference to the expected results.
Taylor-Brown won heat one with Coldwell comfortably placed in fourth. Beaugrand, whose win in Leeds came four years after her first WTCS victory, looked serene in finishing alongside Potter at the front of heat two.
Coldwell led out the 300m swim in the first stage of today’s final, but there was little separation on the 7.2km bike and all 29 starters were in close contention as they hit T2 knowing that nine would be eliminated.
Taylor-Brown and Beaugrand looked easy as they crossed the line at the front of a 20-women pack, with Netherlands’ Rachel Klamer being the unlucky 21stplaced athlete and first to miss out.
USA’s Rappaport was first out of the water on the second stage as the field became more lined out, with Taylor-Brown making up much of the gap in the long run through transition.
This time it was an 11-women pack that broke clear on the bike, but Norwegian Lotte Miller’s efforts pulled the gap back to 5sec by the time they reached the run, dragging the rest into contention.
There were no shocks on the run as Taylor-Brown, Beaugrand, Potter and Rappaport all cruised through, along with Coldwell who wasn’t looking quite as comfortable. Brazilian Djenyfer Arnold grabbed the final 10th spot outsprinting Natalie van Coevorden.
In the final stage it was again Rappaport with Beaugrand at the head of the swim, but it was the French woman together with the duo of Potter and Taylor-Brown, who gained a small gap on the first lap of the bike and extended it to an uncatchable 17sec by the end of the bike leg.
From there Taylor-Brown took charge. After a slow transition, Beaugrand overtook Potter, but couldn’t make up the ground on the 2020 world champion and had to settle for second.