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Surf, swell and a showcase of triathlon’s fastest racers were all on display at the Super League Triathlon Championship Series race in Malibu, California, with French racer Cassandre Beaugrand winning her 2023 Series debut in style.

The 26-year-old French racer would break the resolve of her compatriot, Emma Lombardi, on the final run leg of the day to cross the line with an 8 second cushion, with Jeanne Lehair of Luxembourg finishing third. Newly crowned WTCS World Champion Beth Potter finished fourth and the USA’s Katie Zafares rounding out the top five at her home race.

“I wasn’t expecting that at the start of the race – I’m not used to swimming in these waves and I was sick during the first choppy swim of the day,” said Beaugrand at the finish. “It was also a technical bike leg, but it was good work today and I’m happy to bring the points for the Scorpions team as we needed the points.”

Beaugrand’s win was her first of the 2023 Championship Series, but it would be the third-place finisher Lehair who’d move to the top of the rankings with the Grand Final to come in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, on 21 October.


It was the third visit to Malibu of Super League Triathlon. Last year, California’s own Taylor Spivey took the win while Alex Yee pipped Marten Van Riel in a sprint finish classic in 2021.

The unpredictable Pacific Ocean swim and waves that carry athletes onto the Zuma Beach sands have made it on of the most dramatic events on the tri calendar.

Adding to the tension was the Eliminator format being deployed, which would see the final three athletes to finish in Stage 1 and Stage 2 eliminated. Three Short Chutes were also up for grabs. Each of the three stages consisted of a 300m one-lap swim ocean swim, a 3.6km three-lap cycle bike and a 1.6km two-lap run.


The day commenced with a beach start ahead of the 300 meter one-lap ocean swim in the cold (16°C) and choppy Pacific waters. The pack would instantly split into two, with Cassandre Beaugrand leading the charge from the right-hand flank. Yet Jeanne Lehair would surge ahead by catching a wave onto the beach, a quick run into T1 securing the Luxembourg star the Short Chute for the Eagles.


Onto the 3.6km three-lap bike and Lehair would control the pace at the front in windy conditions, and she’d still be joined by French star and fellow Team Eagles racer Emma Lombardi at the front.

The all-British RTP Sharks would soon assume control, however, with Sophie Coldwell, Beth Potter and Kate Waugh surging into the top five alongside Lombardi and Lehair. Potter would be first to cross the T2 line, scooping a Short Chute for the Sharks.

The 1.6km two-lap run would be led by tri’s current leading runners, Potter and Beaugrand, with Lehair and Lombardi in close contention. It would be Beaugrand who’d take the Stage 1 title, however, scoring a Short Chute for the Bahrain Victorious Scorpions in the process. The Eliminator format would already see Iona Miller, Gina Sereno and Barbara De Koning pulled from the starting line-up for Stage 2.


After a swift four-minute break between stages, the day’s second 300 meter one-lap Pacific Ocean swim leg would begin with 17 racers entering the swell. Beaugrand would again be the first to the buoy, but Summer Rappaport (RTS Warriors) and Coldwell would be first to exit the water and hit the Zuma Beach sands in a record 3:28min Malibu swim time.

Proven biker Coldwell would slam the power down on the second 3.6km three-lap bike leg (despite vomiting at the end of Stage 1) – the Brit’s lead was 5.6secs by the end of the first lap, but Zafares would reduce it to 4 seconds by the bell, and Zafares and Lombardi would be just 2secs adrift by the end of the bike leg.

Onto the tight and twisting 1.6km run, and Lehair would re-enter the reckoning, trailing Coldwell, Zafares and Lombardi at the front, and with a 15sec cushion over the chasing pack including Potter and Beaugrand. Lombardi would edge Coldwell and Zafares to the Stage 2 win, with Lehair 3 seconds back, and Potter and Beaugrand 9 seconds in arrears. Facing the Eliminator would be Fanni Szalai, Tilly Anema and Sophie Alden.


The Pursuit-style start of Stage 3 would see Lombardi first off, 3 seconds ahead of Lehair, 6 seconds clear of Beaugrand, 7 seconds of Potter and 10 seconds in front of Coldwell. Boasting a Short Chute up their tri-suit sleeves would be Potter, Beaugrand and Lombardi.

The final 300m one-lap swim ocean of the day would be led out by Lombardi, 2.4 seconds ahead of Beaugrand, with Potter and Lehair 11 seconds back.

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The 3.6km three-lap bike would see Lombardi and Beaugrand working together, using the aerodynamic benefits of drafting to create a 12 second advantage over the chasers. Rappaport was the first casualty of the twisting bike course, hitting the ground hard to end her race.

The final 1.6km two-lap run would be a shootout between French stars Lombardi and Beaugrand, each with a Short Chute, but Beaugrand would soon display her devastating run speed to break Lombardi and take the Malibu 2023 title. The battle for the podium would be tight as well, with Lehair and Potter duking it out but Lehair held firm to secure third.

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