Great Britain’s Kate Waugh was in a league of her own at the second round of the Super League Triathlon Championship Series in Toulouse this weekend, as the World Triathlon U23 Champion took her first SLT victory.
Having finished in fifth last week in London, Waugh now moves to the top of the overall standings with two races left in the series and looks like a force to be reckoned with after dominating across swim, bike and run in the South of France.
In second and third, French athletes Leonie Periault and Emma Lombardi gave the home crowd something to cheer about, but were no match for Waugh as the Brit won by a big margin after expertly navigating her way through the stages of the brutal Triple Mix format.
“I’m absolutely over the moon”
Despite having a fantastic season on the WTCS circuit so far this year, Waugh was yet to take the tape in a race until this weekend and was rightly overjoyed to get a maiden victory against some world class competitors in Toulouse.
“Honestly, I’m absolutely over the moon, that was absolutely mad and it was so much fun. I’ve got some crazy adrenaline right now. I knew I had a good chance of getting on the podium today, so I just tried to take each stage as it went and go full gas from the gun, which paid off today.”
Acknowledging the challenging nature of the course, with the technical aspect of the bike course in particular really pushing the athletes to their limits, the Brit shared that she had to remind herself to keep a cool head on the latter stages of the ride.
“I felt like I was absolutely railing it around the corners to the point where I was losing my back wheel a couple of times and on the last couple of laps, I knew I had a gap and I was just like okay calm down now and keep your head.
“I just went absolutely full gas and my legs were gone, at one point I heard someone shout that I had 50m on the person behind me, so I was looking around frantically thinking there was someone I couldn’t see, but in the end I made it!”
Podium made better by home crowd support for Lombardi and Periault
Whilst they couldn’t keep with Waugh on the day, both Periault and Lombardi were happy with their performances to get on the podium, as Periault shared that the atmosphere was amazing out on the race course.
“I’m very happy with my performance, the first one was very hard for me, but I was fighting for my team and for me and the atmosphere here in Toulouse was amazing and I’m so happy.
“It was very special to race here, especially for me as a French athlete with the crowd and I am very happy with my race and very happy with second place.”
Reiterating her countrywoman’s point, Lombardi added that despite it being full gas throughout the stages, she still found the time to enjoy the race and the support from the home fans.
“It was hard, it was really hard, over such a short format you are always at full gas and I just did my best with what I had today. It was a really interesting race being here in Toulouse and the crowd was great.”