France win Mixed Relay Triathlon World Championships

Chief Correspondent

Team France proved to be a different class today in the ITU Mixed Relay Triathlon World Championships, but Silver and Bronze were not decided until the blue carpet…

Laura Lindemann (GER) and Leonie Periault (FRA) held a very narrow lead after leg one, with Great Britain’s Vicky Holland just seconds behind after handing over to Jonathan Brownlee for leg two.

2016 World Champions, USA, represented by Ben Kanute were able to bridge up to Germany, France and Great Britain during the swim/bike of leg two, before a swift transition saw Dorian Coninx (FRA) surprisingly able to hand over to yesterday’s individual champion, Cassandra Beaugrand, with a few seconds lead over the Olympic Silver and Bronze medal winner.

Jodie Stimpson headed on to to leg three for the British team. Having suffered during the run, Team USA had the speedy Katie Zaferes on leg three. She would need to produce another stunning performance – just as she did in Nottingham – to get her team back into Gold medal contention.

Beaugrand had a clear lead after the swim, but had a very focussed Jodie Stimpson looking to chase her down. Behind, USA and Germany had been joined by Japan in a group chasing in positions 3/4/5 – and Zaferes (USA) and Takahasi (JPN) soon bridged up to the Brit. After one lap, that trio were just 13 seconds behind Beaugrand. Before the second lap had finished, all four were together. Zaferes WAS having a great leg! Would Beaugrand produce the stunning running performance she managed on Saturday?

Beaugrand handed over to Vincent Luis, just two seconds ahead of Zaferes to Kevin McDowell (USA), with Tom Bishop 11 seconds back in third place for Great Britain. Which way would the medals go? Behind, Ashleigh Gentle has pulled Australia, perhaps, back into contention…

Luis and McDowell completed the swim together, the gap to Great Britain now up to 26 seconds. Second in the individual race yesterday – and a winner in Hamburg in both individual and relay format in 2015, Vincent Luis attacked early and pulled away from McDowell on the bike, building a 10 second lead after lap one. Bishop was now 47 seconds down, but Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) was now only four seconds behind and looking certain to catch the Brit before the run.

Luis was clear in front, McDowell 29 seconds later and Bishop / Birtwhistle one minute down starting the final run, which looked like it would be a lap of honour for Vincent Luis.

The final run was indeed easy work for Vincent Luis who lead the impressive French team to a comfortable victory, but in the finish straight behind, Jacob Birtwhistle sprinted past the McDowell in sight of the line to earn the silver ahead of Team USA.

ITU Mixed Relay Triathlon World Championships, Hamburg – Sunday 15th July 2018
4x 300m / 7km / 1.7km

1st – France – 1:20:06
2nd – Australia – 1:20:49
3rd – USA – 1:20:51
4th – Great Britain – 1:21:09
5th – Netherlands – 1:21:24

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
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