Living up to his pre-race ranking, Pierre Le Corre added to an already impressive 2023 season with another victory, this time at the World Triathlon Cup Tangier on Sunday.
Swim – Jamie solves the swim Riddle
As with the Elite Women’s race a couple of hours earlier, some notable ocean swells were making the opening 750m wetsuit-legal swim significantly a significantly more challenging first nine minutes than appeared to be the case in the Athlete Guide.
South Africa’s Jamie Riddle was making light work of the challenge however, exiting the water solo and a full 10 seconds clear of Angel Sanchez Carrera (ESP), Ricardo Batista (POR) and a long line of swimmers, which included the likes of Le Corre (FRA), Vetle Bergsvik Thorn (NOR), Jonas Schomburg (GER) and Paul Georgenthum (FRA).
Those much further back than they wanted at this early stage included home athlete Jawad Abdelmoula (MOR) and Richard Murray (NED). They would mount their bikes almost 50 seconds behind the lone leader.
Bike – All together now
Despite a great swim, Riddle lost his position at the front very early on lap one with a mechanical issue. Very soon, it was a breakaway duo of Sanchez Carrera and Batista, with a strong chase pack just 12 seconds behind. With the chasers seemingly working well, the writing was on the wall for the leading two, who faced an almost impossible task to remain clear at the front with so much bike strength behind.
The Elite Women’s breakaway earlier had been closed by Lotter Miller, and there was a similar theme repeated, with Thorn being the Norwegian here who was doing the lion’s share of the bike pacing to bring it all back together early on lap two.
Things were looking better for Murray and Abdelmoula however, with their chase pack within less than 20 seconds of the leaders heading out onto the third of four bike laps. With the pace at the front seemingly not slacking, could they still bridge back before T2?
At the bell there were 21 athletes in the leading group, with the similarly-sized chase pack now 27 seconds in arrears. The top-ranked athlete coming into the race was Le Corre, and having seen Lisa Tertsch carry the #1 bib to the top step of the podium earlier, he was the favourite to see that repeated as they fast approached T2 and the closing 5km, two-lap run.
Run – France tops Spain in Morocco
Jonas Schomburg – who else?! – displayed his ever reliable transition skills to be first onto the run course, but Le Corre had positioned himself well at the end of the bike leg and was just a few strides behind him in the early stages of the run.
David Cantero Del Campo (ESP), the winner recently in Valencia, was continuing to show that sort of form. As the athletes reached the bell with 2.5km remaining, the Spaniard and last week’s Championship Finals podium finisher Le Corre were locked together having built a lead of 16 seconds over the chasers, lead by Thorn. We were set for a head-to-head over the final lap.
Seemingly not wanting to leave it to yet another sprint finish, Le Corre upped the pace with just over a kilometre to go and put a few seconds into the youngster, but the Spaniard looked far from broken. Could he respond? He was certainly not throwing in the metaphorical towel just yet.
Despite his best efforts, Cantero Del Campo couldn’t close the gap, and in easily his best career season to date Corre would break the tape in style and add another victory. Cantero was clear in second, Thorn completed the podium and just behind him, a thrilled Harry Leleu (GBR) produced by far his best World Triathlon Cup race to date in fourth.
World Triathlon Cup Tangier 2023 Results
Sunday 1 October 2023, Tangier, Morocco – 750m / 20km / 5km
- 1. Pierre Le Corre (FRA) – 53:55
- 2. David Cantero Del Campo (ESP) – 54:08
- 3. Vetle Bergsvik Thorn (NOR) – 54:18
- 4. Harry Leleu (GBR) – 54:26
- 5. Louis Vitiello (FRA) – 54:28
- 6. Valentin Morlec (FRA) – 54:28
- 7. Jamie Riddle (RSA) – 54:32
- Mitch Kolkman (NED) – 54:34
- Tom Richard (FRA) – 54:38
- Richard Murray (NED) – 54:40