Georgia Taylor-Brown v Taylor Spivey: Winner Takes All In NEOM

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Super League Triathlon can be frantic to the point of confusion at times – just ask Jonny Brownlee who almost swam in his bike helmet in Toulouse!

But you don’t need to be a maths genius to work out the permutations for which of the two leading women might win the overall title as we head to NEOM for the final round of competition on October 29.

At 56 points apiece, it couldn’t be more perfectly poised between defending champion Georgia Taylor-Brown and the terrier-like Taylor Spivey, who refuses to let go of her coattails.

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Barring DNFs – and yes, this is SLT, so don’t rule anything out – it’s a two-way shootout for glory.

Third and fourth place Sophie Coldwell and Beth Potter have delivered consistent performances, but even with extra points on offer, they’re too far back to mount a realistic challenge.

Even the prize money is level to date, with both Spivey and Taylor-Brown both pocketing $60,000 for their efforts so far. A decent showing by them and their teams in NEOM will send that return well into six figures.

The last four rounds have been nip and tuck as the series lead has changed hands between the pair with some of the best racing we’ve ever seen in SLT. 

Let’s have a quick look back on how they’ve got to there they are and what it might mean for the Grand Finale…


First blood to Spivey as the US athlete ran clear to take second to GTB’s third in the Triple Mix as the series successfully kicked off in London. Taylor-Brown admitted she was a little rusty after coming down from altitude training as Spivey laid down a marker for the month ahead.

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It had been Cassandre Beaugrand’s day in London, but the French star was unsettled as the rain came down in Munich and Taylor-Brown took charge. In the non-stop Enduro format, Spivey was pipped in a sprint finish with Coldwell for second place, leaving Taylor-Brown with a point advantage heading into Malibu.

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The Eliminator isn’t the format to make mistakes. Taylor-Brown hit the deck while leading to put not only her chances in Malibu in jeopardy, but risk blowing the entire series. Yet she scrambled back into the race – in what might prove to be the 28-year-old’s most important few minutes in this year’s SLT – and then moved through in the final stage to take third. In contrast, Californian Spivey was enjoying life on home turf and took this one out with aplomb to leapfrog her rival in the standings.

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Bumper crowds and a few bumps on the course suited GTB as she again exerted her dominance to take top spot for the second time in 2022 – remarkably, despite 10 SLT podiums it was also only her second race win. Spivey had battled back after losing ground in the opening stage, and was grateful for a short chute to ease ahead of Coldwell on the extended 2km run in to take second and square up the points.

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The omens look good for Taylor-Brown to wrap up another overall title.

Despite a bout of sickness leaving her a little under the weather before Toulouse, the Brit still looked assured at the front. 

She’s also since raced – and won – on the World Triathlon Championship Series in Italy on October 8, where she produced a 10k run split (32:43) 50 seconds faster than eighth-placed Spivey.

The non-stop Enduro concept that will be used in NEOM should also play into her hands as it did in Munich, with three successive swim-bike-run mini tris meaning no resetting and allowing the stronger racers to get away at the front.

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What does Spivey have to do? As we hit the sand again in NEOM, the Rhinos’ star performer can take confidence from the sea swim and beach running of Malibu. She also comes in as second favourite and knows all the pressure is on her rival. 

Finally, it could be time for team tactics to really play a part. If the impressive Jeanne Lehair and Rhinos’ wildcard Laura Lindemann can assist Spivey by helping secure a short chute or working for her on the bike, they could help put her in position so the whole series rests on the final run.

Then the duel in the desert really will be on. Stay tuned, it should turn out to be a scorcher.

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