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Rising British tri star Kate Waugh blew away her rivals in Toulouse during the second stage of the 2023 Super League Triathlon Championship Series.

The 24-year-old dominated from the first of the three stages, before crossing the line 46-seconds ahead of home favourites Leonie Periault and Emma Lombardi.

Following plenty of success at last week’s series debut in London, Waugh’s win saw Michelle Dillon’s RTP Sharks secure further points in the team rankings.

But if the sizeable margin of victory suggested otherwise, the race wasn’t without drama, with the London winner Jeanne Lehair, who races for Luxembourg but lives in Toulouse, disqualified for not securing her bike helmet in transition, major contender Taylor Spivey dropping out injured and Nicole van der Kaay being accidentally taken out by a collision with Scorpions teammate Alice Betto on the bike leg.

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“I’m over the moon with that. It was mad but such fun,” said Waugh at the finish. “I was racing so hard that it felt like I was losing my back wheel on the corners. My legs were gone by the last run. I knew I had a good chance of getting on the podium today, so I went full gas from the gun and it paid off.”

The Gateshead athlete has been racing triathlon since the age of eight and has already racked up European, U23 and Mixed Relay world titles in her career. Waugh finished fifth at the 2023 Championship Series debut in London and her victory here lays down a marker ahead of the next Series leg in Malibu, USA, on 30 September.


After a successful debut in 2022, Super League Triathlon returned to the pink city of Toulouse, France, for the second event of the 2023 Championship Series. With it again came a rare Super League Triathlon river swim, before tight and twisting metropolitan bike and run courses added further toil on the Super League triathletes.

London race winner Jeanne Lehair, who races for Luxembourg but lives in Toulouse, was hoping to take full advantage of hometown support, knowing that two wins from two would put her in control of the 2023 Super League Triathlon Championship Series. French stars such as SLT London 2022 winner Cassandre Beaugrand and U23 world champion Emma Lombardi were also hoping home advantage would see them top the podium.

Michelle Dillon’s all-British Sharks team were ahead after the London event, but without major players Beth Potter and Sophie Coldwell in Toulouse, the rival Scorpions, Warriors and Eagles were looking to reduce and overturn the deficit in the teams rankings.

The race saw the Triple Mix format come into play, which and shuffles the tri disciplines over 3 Stages. 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 was also in play, as were the Short Chutes.

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The race began with a mass start 300m swim into the Garonne river, with the currents an extra task for the swimmers to navigate. The Warriors and the Sharks, like in London a week before, controlled the pace, with Warriors Vittoria Lopes (Brazil) and Taylor Spivey (USA) the first out of the water ahead of Brit Olivia Mathias of the Sharks.

Lopes was first out of Transition 1 (T1) being chased on the four-lap 4km bike leg by Spivey, UK Shark Kate Waugh and series leader Jeanne Lehair. Waugh, fifth in London, would soon take control, creating an 11-second lead by the halfway stage ahead of the Eagles’ Jeanne Lehair and the lead chasers. That lead was 15secs by the end of lap four, with Waugh scooping the Sharks a Short Chute, too.

Superleague Triathlon Toulouse 2023

Onto the one-lap 1km run and the big news was the withdrawal of Spivey from the event, who’d been carrying a pre-race injury. Lehair was the first chaser onto the course, but Waugh looked strong on the twisting city centre and riverside run, winning Stage 1 by 12secs to deny any rival teams a Short Chute.


After a two-minute rest, the mass start one-lap 1km run began with the teams in formation and Lehair and Waugh instantly to the fore. Some of the athletes were choosing to run in their swim hats, showing some of the tactical decisions facing SLT athletes, but few had an answer to Lehair’s pace as she entered T1 with a 3 second lead.

Lehair’s advantage was instantly wiped out after she failed to do up the buckle on her bike helmet, with Lombardi, Waugh and the Scorpions’ French racer Leonie Periault the chief benefactors at the start of the day’s second 4km bike leg. By the halfway stage, the Sharks’ Jessica Fullagar had made it a lead pack of five.

Superleague Triathlon Toulouse 2023

Onto Stage 2’s 300m swim and a T2 mishap from Fullagar put her out of the reckoning, with Waugh leading Lehair throughout and Italy’s Verena Steinhauser of the Scorpions joining the fray. Lehair was first out of the water and across the Stage 2 finish line ahead of Waugh and Lombardi, but awaiting her was news of a disqualification for having an undone helmet after taking her bike off the rack during Stage 2’s T1. Advantage Waugh.


After a 4-minute rest, Stage 3’s Pursuit-style start saw Waugh first onto the 4km bike with a 32sec lead over Lombardi. That lead was extended due to Lombardi having issues securing her bike shoes, Waugh’s advantage being 39secs at the 3km stage of the bike over Lombardi.

Superleague Triathlon Toulouse 2023

Further drama saw New Zealand racer Nicole Van Der Kaay wiped out by her teammate Alice Betto (Italy) on the bike leg.

Waugh continued to extend her lead on the day’s final 300m swim, before soaking up the applause of the bumper local crowds on the two-lap 2km run. Leonie Periault, 21, arrived 46secs later before Lombardi finished third 57secs after Waugh. Olivia Mathias and Verena Steinhauser rounded out the top five, with the vast majority of the field eliminated by Super League’s 90-second rule.

Women’s Triple Mix Results

Slt23 Toulouse Race Results Women 1080x1350 1

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