Hayden Wilde (NZL) and Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) marked themselves as the names to beat in London today as they took the tape in the first Super League Triathlon Championship Series race of the year.
Both events followed the Triple Mix format split over three stages. The first was a standard swim, bike run, the second stage was run, bike, swim, and the third was bike, swim run.
How the women’s race unfolded
The women took to the course first under cloudy skies, with Beaugrand leading out of the swim just ahead of Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) and Emma Jeffcoat (AUS).
The Brit then produced a strong showing to cross the line first in stage one.
Confusion at the start of stage two saw a host of athletes lining up at the wrong start line, leaving some of the leading contenders setting off toward the back of the pack.
Given the talent they possess, they were quick to work their way back up the field, however, with USA’s Taylor Spivey the woman to watch as she put in a strong showing to finish the stage in first.
Spivey started first on the bike in stage three, but was quickly joined by Beaugrand, Taylor-Brown and fellow Brit Sophie Coldwell.
A decent transition and swim saw Spivey head out on the run first, but she was gradually hunted down and overtaken by Beaugrand for the win.
The American finished just behind, with Taylor-Brown and Coldwell following some 18 seconds later in third and fourth.
Fellow Brit Beth Potter came home next to round out the top five.
How the men’s race unfolded
It was an eventful start in the men’s race as one of the Eagles athletes appeared to dive into the water early.
Australian Matt Hauser was the one who took the blame (and a subsequent penalty) but a closer look suggests Jamie Riddle (RSA) may have actually been the man responsible.
As the stage unfolded, all eyes turned to Alex Yee (GBR) and Wilde, eager to see the sprint finish that eluded us at the Commonwealth Games when the former ran out as the winner.
And it looked as though we might have been in for exactly that, as Yee, Wilde and Jonny Brownlee (GBR) crossed the line first in stage one.
Stage two looked an even affair in the early stages, with many of the athletes together in a large pack, but Yee, Wilde and Hauser started to work away from the rest in the latter part of the run and on the bike.
The Aussie then took to the water like a torpedo at the end of the stage, taking 11secs out of his rivals, meaning he’d be starting ahead of them in stage three.
Admittedly, it was always going to be a big ask to keep them both at bay in stage three, however, even with a short chute, and Wilde caught a tiring Hauser on the run for the win.
Hauser finished just a few seconds down, with Yee following in for third in what will be his only Super League appearance this autumn.
Canadian Tyler Mislawchuk crossed the line next, just holding off Brownlee in a tight finish.
Top image credit: Darren Wheeler/Super League Triathlon