Georgia Taylor-Brown may have been under the weather in race week, but that didn’t show on Sunday in France. Adding to her success in Munich, Taylor-Brown added the first edition of Super League Triathlon Toulouse to her C.V.
From crossing the line first during stage one of the Triple Mix, she remained in control while plenty of others around her were making mistakes.
It sets us up for a head-to-head between Taylor-Brown and Taylor Spivey in NEOM for overall honours.
Triple Mix Stage 1 – Swim, Bike, Run
The opening 300m swim in the Garonne river looked like it was a case of three Scorpions (Georgia Taylor-Brown, Cassandre Beaugrand, Emma Jeffcoat) surrounding a lone Eagle (Sian Rainsley). It was Beaugrand – just – who got to the timing mat first, but it was Rainsley who made the best of T1 to start the bike first, earing the first short chute.
Taylor-Brown and Jeanne Lehair (Rhinos) broke clear on lap two on the bike, but the news wasn’t good from Rachel Klamer (Cheetahs), who crashed out very earlier on. Fourth in Munich, fifth in Malibu, the French athlete, Lehair, was looking to impress in front of some big home crowds in Toulouse.
Lehair won the second short chute for the Rhinos as the first athlete onto the run, but it wasn’t long before Georgia Taylor-Brown glided past in Scorpions colours, for what would be a short (1km) run, to take the win on stage one.
From a series perspective, the big news was Taylor Spivey, who was a full 21 seconds back on GTB.
Short chutes then to Eagles, Rhinos and Scorpions to be allocated on the final stage.
Triple Mix Stage 2 – Run, Bike, Swim
Cassandre Beaugrand set the pace on the opening discipline, but having looked a little nervous on the technical Toulouse bike circuit, that looked as though it was going to be a move for run points (fastest lap), rather than an overall strategic move.
Onto the bike and a group of eight athletes made it to T2 together – Steinhauser, Spivey, Coldwell, GTB, Schar, Potter, Lindemann and Van Coevorden.
Taylor Spivey was quickest through the water to cross the line first, closely followed by Coldwell, Taylor-Brown, Steinhauser and Rappaport. A few seconds regained for the American, but GTB would still start stage three first and the odds-on favourite for overall victory.
Scorpions clearly had confidence in the Brit, as they had elected to allocate their short chute to Cassandre Beaugrand. Spivey, of course, would have the advantage earned earlier by Lehair. Would it be enough to get her back into a top finish?
Triple Mix Stage 3 – Bike, Swim, Run (pursuit start)
Taylor-Brown started with a 13 second advantage over Sophie Coldwell, but that stage two effort from Spivey had moved her up to third place in the pursuit start, 14 seconds back, closely followed by Verena Steinhauser and Jeanne Lehair (both +17 seconds).
All set for a repeat of Munich, Spivey made a mess of her bike mount however, which was not going to help her efforts to retain the overall series lead.
The twisty, narrow Toulouse bike course included some ascents, descents and changes of surface, but after her crash in Malibu, GTB was looking in control today. It might have been really interesting, had we had rain today…!
Spivey recovered from her T2 woes, to form a chasing trio along with Steinhauser and Coldwell. Unless something dramatic happened, Georgia had the win in the bag.
The stage three run was two laps (2km), and the double Olympic medal winning Brit went from bike to run with a 22 second advantage over the chasing trio. Spivey and Coldwell had reduced that to 13 seconds starting the final run (and had a short chute to take), but over 2km, nobody was betting against GTB.
Sophie Coldwell went out hard on the run to try and pull away from Taylor Spivey – who then failed to take that short chute advantage on lap one. The excitement and pressure of SLT racing was getting to everyone.
Spivey gave it everything on the final run in but was never going to catch GTB – but they go into the final race in NEOM, locked together on 56 Championship Series points. For Coldwell, it was a another SLT podium. You get one, then the others quickly follow.
Super League Triathlon Toulouse 2022 results
Sunday 2 October 2022 – Triple Mix – Elite Women
- 1. Georgia Taylor-Brown – 15pts
- 2. Taylor Spivey – 14pts
- 3. Sophie Coldwell – 13pts
- 4. Cassandre Beaugrand – 12pts
- 5. Beth Potter – 11pts
- 6. Jeanne Lehair – 10pts
- 7. Laura Lindemann – 9pts
- 8. Summer Rappaport – 8pts
- 9. Verena Steinhauser – 7pts
- 10. Natalie Van Coevorden – 6pts
- 11. Kate Waugh – 5pts
- 12. Miriam Cassilas Garcia – 4pts
- 13. Cathia Schar – 3pts
- 14. Nicole Van Der Kaay – 2pts
- 15. Sian Rainsley – 1pt
Overall standings after Toulouse (round four)
- 1. Georgia Taylor-Brown – 56pts
- 2. Taylor Spivey – 56pts
- 3. Sophie Coldwell – 39pts
- 4. Beth Potter – 36pts
- 5. Verena Steinhauser – 34pts
- 6. Jeanne Lehair – 33pts
- 7. Miriam Casillas Garcia – 30pts
- 8. Cassandre Beaugrand – 27pts
- 9. Kate Waugh – 23pts
- 10. Ncole Van Der Kaay – 20pts
- 11. Summer Rappaport – 20pts
- 12. Non Stanford – 18pts
- 13. Cathia Schar – 18pts
- 14. Rachel Klamer – 14pts
- 15. Natalie Van Coevorden – 12pts
- 16. Sian Rainsley – 11pts
- 17. Laura Lindemann – 11pts
- 18. Sophia Green – 8pts
- 19. Emma Jeffcoat – 2pts
Team standings after Toulouse (round four)
- 1. Sharks – 303pts
- 2. Scorpions – 285pts
- 3. Cheetahs – 264pts
- 4. Eagles – 263pts
- 5. Rhinos – 237pts