BEAUGRAND VICTORIOUS IN LONDON OPENER

Djw 1919

French tri star Cassandre Beaugrand powered her way to victory at the debut 2022 Super League Triathlon Championship Series in London. The 25-year-old made the decisive move with 200m of the final run leg to go, edging America’s Taylor Spivey and a trio of British stars to the Canary Wharf crown in front of thousands of spectators.

“Racing here in London was amazing and it was like the crowd was on fire,” said Beaugrand at the finish. “I gave it everything I could and I was able to run my best today.”

The event saw Super League Triathlon return to London after it hosted an Arena Games leg in April 2022. West India Quay was the location this time for the frenetic Triple Mix format, with the tight and technical course with cobblestones on the bike and run legs proving a tough opener for the athletes.

STAGE 1

Cassandre Beaugrand led the way and controlled the tempo on the first swim of the day, leading out the 300m dock swim in 3:08mins and crossing the mountline with her Bahrain Victorious Scorpions teammates Emma Jeffcoat of Australia and the UK’s Georgia Taylor-Brown.

The course’s cobblestones added to the racing demands as Sophie Coldwell entered the mix to disrupt the Scorpions’ stranglehold on the race. A lead pack and a chase group some 10secs back formed on the 4km bike, with young Scottish athlete Sophia Green, 22, taking the lead at the front. A group of 10 entered T2 together but it was Taylor-Brown who crossed the exit line out of T2 first to secure those Short Chute points and enter the run leg in pole position.

The effortless run stride of the 28-year-old emerged with a 5sec lead by the bell for the final lap. That lead would largely stay intact with the Mancunian winning the first stage ahead of Spivey and Beaugrand, with Beth Potter running her way into the mix to finish 14secs behind Taylor-Brown.

STAGE 2

With just a two-minute break between disciplines, Stage 2’s run leg arrived swiftly – a little too swiftly for some, with a few athletes at the wrong end of the startline – and began with the familiar sight of Potter, 30, and the 25-year-old Beaugrand controlling the tempo on the 1.6km run. By the bell, a 3sec gap had been created and that was maintained until the end of the run, with Beaugrand the first to enter the 4km bike ahead of Potter and the chasing field.

The four-lap bike leg saw a pack of Cheetahs led by bike powerhouse Sophie Coldwell utilising her stubby tri-bars, with athletes falling foul of the 90sec deficit rule and being eliminated at the rear of the field due to the relentless pace. Non Stanford would also be forced out due to a broken buckle on her helmet. A pack of 10 would enter T2 together, with America’s Taylor Spivey, 31, the first triathlete to hit the waters of West India Quay.

Spivey and Beaugrand would dominate the swim to exit the water first, with Spivey earning the right to begin Stage 3 in pole position ahead of Beaugrand and Taylor-Brown.


STAGE 3

Spivey pushed the pace at the front of the 4km bike, with Beaugrand leading the chasers and Taylor-Brown riding in the slipstream of Coldwell. Yet Spivey’s lead was extinguished by the penultimate lap, with the gang of four heading to T2 together for the swim.

Onto that 300m swim and Spivey would control the tempo, exiting the water with clear daylight between her and the chasers, her lead extended with a fearsome transition performance.

The run would soon become a duel between Spivey and Beaugrand, America versus France, Rhino versus Scorpion, with Beaugrand making the decisive move with 200m to go, breaking Spivey’s resolve to cross the line with a 2sec advantage over the American and scoop the $20,000 winning prize money. Some 18secs back was Taylor-Brown, with Coldwell finishing fourth and Potter fifth some 70secs in arrears.

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