Nicola Spirig dominates Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup

Chief Correspondent

European Champion wins on home soil in Switzerland

Was any other result ever going to be possible at today’s Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup? From the perspective of this Editor and pretty much everyone else in the industry, no.

Fresh from a stunningly impressive sixth European Triathlon Championship victory in Glasgow last week, another tough, Olympic Distance course – combined with live TV coverage – meant that Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig was the overwhelming favourite for victory today. She was not in any mood to have the script spoiled for her adoring home nation.

With a course on the banks of Lake Geneva, home to the Triathlon World Championships in 2006, the Grand Final will be returning to the stunning venue next year, providing a dress rehearsal for September 2019.

As expected, Great Britain’s Lucy Hall pushed the pace at the front of the non-wetsuit swim, in the close company of Maya Kingma (NED), Tamara Gorman (USA), Anna Godoy Contreras (ESP) and Olivia Mathias (GBR). Just nine seconds separated them at T1, but five quickly became three early in the bike, as Godoy Contreras and Mathias were unable to get onto the wheels of the leading trio out of T1.

Nicola Spirig was around 50 seconds back through the water – and India Lee was right with her – but that was never going to be enough to hold off the London 2012 Olympic Champion, especially on a course this tough.

It may have taken her well into the second half of the race last week to catch Learmonth and Beaugrand in Glasgow, but it took her little more than 20 minutes this week. She brought Taylor Knibb (USA), Mathilde Gautier (FRA)  and Verena Steinhauser (ITA) with her – the only two that could stay on the ‘Spirig Train’ – while Maya Kingma and Tamara Gorman soon went the other way, leaving a leading group of five together midway through the 40km bike leg.

In typical style, Spirig kept the relentless pressure on up the challenging climbs and it was Great Britain’s Lucy Hall next to be dropped, to now see five turn to four – the leading group now made up entirely of Spirig and her chasers.

There was no chance for any of the large chase back to bridge back to the front of the race, leaving Spirig and friends to build a comfortable lead at T2 – at which point, predictably, Nicola said farewell and disappeared up the road on her own. Game over, an 10km to cover and prepare the post-race interview quotes.

Overall then, a predictable result, but one that just shows the class of an athlete. It’s all well and good knowing what an athlete is going to do – but when you simply cannot do anything about it, well, that just shows that Nicola Spirig was simply on another level today. Watch out Tokyp 2020 – Spirig wants a fifth Olympic Games appearance… and expects to be racing for Gold too.

Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup – Saturday 18th August 2018
1.5km / 40km / 10km

1st – Nicola Spirig (SUI) – 2:05:11
2nd – Taylor Knibb (USA) – 2:06:02
3rd – Verena Steinhauser (ITA) – 2:06:25
4th – Barbara Riveros (CHI) – 2:07:16
5th – Julia Hauser (AUT) – 2:07:29
6th – Jeanne Lehair (FRA) – 2:07:45
7th – Lisa Perterer (AUT) – 2:07:52
8th – Kaidi Kivioja (EST) – 2:07:55
9th – Deborah Lynch (NZL) – 2:08:00
10th – Zsofia Kovacs (HUN) – 2:08:09

19th – Lucy Hall (GBR) – 2:10:36
26th – Olivia Mathias (GBR) – 2:13:52
DNF – India Lee (GBR)

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
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