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Cassandre Beaugrand took the win in Saudi Arabia, but it was Great Britain’s Kate Waugh who won the 2023 Super League Triathlon Championship Series in NEOM, finishing ahead of Luxembourg’s Jeanne Lehair after a brutal battle in the hot and windy desert conditions.

The 24-year-old RTP Sharks athlete may have been the overall Series champ, but France’s Cassandre Beaugrand was the day’s superstar, crossing the line ahead of Waugh and Lehair to secure vital points for her Bahrain Victorious Scorpions team ahead of the men’s event.

The Series victory sees Waugh add the 2023 Super League Championship Series title to her U23 and Mixed Relay world titles from 2022. She finished level on points with Lehair but with the final result counting in the event of a tie took the title.

“Going into today’s last round, my legs felt so heavy coming out of the swim so I kept having to tell myself how badly I wanted to win this,” said an elated Waugh at the finish. “My form was gone in the last 400m of the final run, but I’m absolutely over the moon [with the series win].”


Today marked the 30th pro Super League event since 2017 and saw Waugh, Lehair and Lombardi all vying to secure the overall 2023 title. The format was the famous Super League three-stage Enduro, the unrivalled mix of speed and stamina last used in London in Round 1, where Lehair was the winner.

2023.10.19 Neom Super League Triathlon Photo : @by Wout
2023.10.19 Neom SUPER LEAGUE TRIATHLON Photo : @by_wout

The three back-to-back stages tasked athletes with a 300m swim in the warm, salty and buoyant Red Sea, before a single lap 4km bike leg on a mix of gravel and asphalt surfaces, before a final 1.6km run. All would take place in the 30C desert heat and windswept conditions of NEOM.

The 90-second rule was also in place where any athlete that falls 90 seconds or more off the leader’s pace at the end of any individual lap being shown the Elimination Flag and stopped from continuing the race.


French star Cassandre Beaugrand was quick to take the lead on the 300m Red Sea swim, but Brit Olivia Mathias was first to exit the water and Transition 1, picking up a Short Chute for her the RTP Sharks in the process. Her teammate Sophie Coldwell was in close contention, with the title contenders Jeanne Lehair, Emma Lombardi and Kate Waugh only a small margin behind.

Within minutes of the 4km bike leg, a group had broken free at the front, led by Mathias and Coldwell and fellow British and Sharks teammate Kate Waugh. USA’s Taylor Spivey was in front at the 3km mark as the course moved off the asphalt and onto the gravel section ahead of the bike-to-run transition. The Sharks would take another Short Chute award, this time through Waugh, denying the other teams a Short Chute to use later in the race.

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The 1.6km run saw Coldwell drop off the front pack, with title contenders Waugh, Lehair and Lombardi joined by Beaugrand at the pointy end. With the winds on course, staying in the front group would be imperative and Lehair would lay the hammer down early to put 15-metres into some of triathlon’s best runners. The break would gain her Eagles team a Short Chute and a lead of 3.4secs going into the water.


The day’s second 300m stint in the Red Sea would be led by Lehair, but Beaugrand was swift to move to the front. The French star would utilise her vast Super League experience to maintain that advantage into T1, but Lombardi would enter the bike course first.

The penultimate 4km bike again saw the gang of four clear of the chasers, with Spivey and Mathias the closest challengers around 7secs back. By the 3km turnaround point, the duo had joined the lead group and pushed straight to the front, Spivey leading the charge on the gravel section in her 17th Super League pro race.

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Just 2.8secs would separate the leading six at the start of the second 1.6km run, with Beaugrand – running in a swim hat – quick to take the lead and Spivey dropping out the back and then somehow returning to the fold ahead of the third and final swim. All would be to play for on the final disciplines of the 2023 Championship Series, but would the Short Chutes from Waugh and Lehair prove decisive?


Lombardi was first into the water for the final swim, but only a second separated the six. Little would separate them after the 300m either, with Beaugrand and Lombardi the first to exit into T1.

Lombardi would enter the 4km bike in pole position, already 5secs ahead after a slick swim- to-bike transition. Could she stay ahead on the windy course? Despite riding alone without the benefit of drafting, the gap had steadily increased to 10secs at the halfway point, a brave and bold move by the former U23 world champion in her first Super League championship series. The gap was disappear in the final 1km, however, and all six would enter T2 together.

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Waugh and Lehair would use their Short Chutes at the start of the 1.6km run, Waugh straight in the lead but Lehair’s poor transition would see her join the pack at the rear. After eight frenetic disciplines, the gaps were quick to appear on the final run leg, with Beaugrand leading Waugh and the rest of the field falling behind.

Beaugrand’s long, looping and seemingly effortless stride was too much to answer, however, taking the win for the Scorpions some 11secs ahead of Waugh. The second place would be enough for the Brit to take the 2023 title, finishing 10secs ahead of Lehair and 15 seconds in front of Lombardi. Mathias and Spivey would round out the top six.


1. Slt23 Neom Women Race Result Women 1080x1350 1
Slt23 Neom Women Leaderboard Women 1080x1350 1

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