2 Oct 2022
5 min read
Announcements ○ Championship ○ Latest News ○ Races ○ Toulouse
British triathlon star Georgia Taylor-Brown has today dominated the Super League Triathlon Championship debut in France, taking the stage win and joining America’s Taylor Spivey at the top of overall leaderboard ahead of the Series finale in Neom on 29 October.
The 28-year-old Taylor-Brown would prove victorious on both Stage 1 and 3 of the unique Triple Mix race to take the overall win ahead of Spivey and her fellow Brit Sophie Coldwell.
It hurt a lot today and I really wasn’t sure what my body would do today. I’m so happy with this performance. This is one of the toughest courses of the series, but it was super fun and is already Toulouse is one of my favourite Super League Triathlon courses.Georgia Taylor – Brown
It hurt a lot today and I really wasn’t sure what my body would do today. I’m so happy with this performance. This is one of the toughest courses of the series, but it was super fun and is already Toulouse is one of my favourite Super League Triathlon courses.
The stunning city centre of Toulouse would be the host of SLT’s first French connection. And with it came the inaugural river swim in Super League Triathlon Championship history, and a tight and twisting metropolitan course that looked set to disrupt the race favourites.
These pre-event picks included Olympic Games silver medallist Taylor-Brown, Series leader Spivey and the returning French star Cassandre Beaugrand on home soil, with Coldwell and rising Super League forces Jeanne Lehair (Luxembourg) and Verena Steinhauser (Italy).
Taylor-Brown had plenty of work to do after a bike crash put paid to her chances at the last Championship Series race in Malibu, California, in September, with Spivey the winning recipient of Taylor-Brown’s asphalt encounter. Just a point seperated the pair going into Toulouse, the key narrative of the race being the battle of Taylor vs Taylor, but Taylor-Brown showed few nerves from the get-go.
Today’s format saw the Triple Mix in play, as well as Super League Triathlon’s eliminator format that sees athletes pulled from the race if they drop 90secs behind the leader at the end of a lap
Stage One: Swim: 300m/Bike: 4km/Run: 1kmStage Two: Run: 1km/Bike 4km/Swim: 300mStage Three: Bike: 4km/Swim: 300m/Run: 2km
Also in the frenetic tactical mix were the Short Chute awards and the team format, with Sharks in pole position at the race’s start ahead of the Cheetahs and Scorpions.
The Championship’s first-ever river swim saw athletes leap into the Garonne, with the Scorpions of Beaugrand, Taylor-Brown and Aussie Emma Jeffcoat surrounding the Eagles’ Rainsley (GB), the intensity stringing the field out within just 200m of racing. Beaugrand was first to exit after 3:35mins, with Rainsley, Jeffcoat and Taylor-Brown in her slipstream. Series leader Spivey was already 9secs behind, with Potter and the Netherland’s Rachel Klamer 13secs back. But first to exit T1 would be Rainsley, scooping the Short Chute for the Eagles.
Rainsley may have entered the 4km bike course first, but Taylor-Brown swiftly established a lead by the end of lap one of four. Would her Malibu crash see her relent from pushing an intense pace? It would seem not, as the Brit took the winding French streets and hills at full-throttle pace. Super League veteran Klamer was an early casualty of the speed, crashing out and with her wrist clearly in pain. Taylor-Brown and Jeanne Lehair had established a 2sec lead by the end of lap 3, but Lehair would sneak into T2first to earn a Short Chute for the Rhinos.
Lehair may have gained the edge by a hair’s breath out of T2 but the run powerhouse that is Taylor-Brown was soon into the lead and in her element. The hilly, snaking course was no match for the Brit (who had actually been suffering with illness all week) and she’d soon be putting down a marker to win Stage 1 by a considerable 10sec margin over Lehair, with Coldwell 15secs back. Pre-race Series leader Spivey was 21secs in arrears.
Potter and Beaugrand straight to the fore on Stage 2’s 1km run, but Taylor-Brown wasin their shadows until the long, looping gait of Beaugrand created a 10m lead at thefront.
Beaugrand’s run split gains were swiftly demolished by failing to get her feet into her shoes after T2, with Rainsley, Lehair and Taylor-Brown all taking advantage. A 10-rider breakaway led by the Cheetahs of Steinhauser and Coldwell saw a 10sec advantage ahead of the chasing pack. The speed saw that pack reduced to eight by T2, with Spivey’s lightning-quick transition seeing her enter the Garonne first.
Spivey took control of Stage 2’s 300m swim to produce a dominant win after 14:28mins of racing. Coldwell came second 4.5secs back, with Taylor-Brown 6secs in arrears. The battle for Toulouse glory was on.
The Pursuit stage saw Taylor-Brown boast a 13sec advantage, soon disappearing into the distance as her rivals were forced to queue on the banks of the Garonne. The advantage of leading the group also meant a clear route ahead of Taylor-Brown, as Spivey again experienced bike-mounting problems to lose more valuable seconds. Taylor-Brown was 15secs ahead of Coldwell by the bike’s halfway stage, 20secs ahead of Series rival Spivey and that advantage would remain onto the swim.
Onto the waters of the Garonne for the final 300m swim, and Taylor-Brown was alone in front, again looking effortless ahead of the final run leg and exiting the water with a 20sec advantage over the chasers.
With Taylor-Brown having a clear margin ahead of the chasers, what was going on behind her was where the drama was happening. Coldwell had surged ahead of Spivey to score vital points, with Spivey forgetting to take the Short Chute a seeming error that could’ve had a major impact on the destination of Championship title in Neom.
Beaugrand was also trying to run her way back into podium contention, but Spivey eventually utilised the Short Chute to see her secure silver, with Coldwell in third and Beaugrand settling for fourth overall and Potter in fifth.
The result would see Taylor-Brown and Spivey tie the Championship series on 56 points apiece ahead of Neom, in Saudi Arabia, for a duel in the desert on 29 October.
Announcements Business Latest News
Announcements Athletes CEO's Column Columns Latest News
Athletes Championship Latest News
Athletes Championship Latest News NEOM
Announcements Championship Latest News NEOM Races Teams
Super League Triathlon © 2022