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WTCS Cagliari: Start lists unveiled by World Triathlon ahead of key Paris Olympics qualifier

Hayden Wilde (NZL) and Alex Yee (GBR) will go head-to-head once again at WTCS Cagliari, which plays a key role in Olympic Games selection for a number of nations.

Staff Reporter
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The start lists for the final Olympic distance WTCS event before the Paris Olympic Games have been announced, with the biggest contenders for Olympic gold slated to start in Sardinia.

WTCS Cagliari, which has produced some of the best battles the sport has seen in recent seasons, will take place two weeks after WTCS Yokohama on Saturday May 25.

With defending Olympic Champion Kristian Blummenfelt and reigning World Champion Beth Potter leading the start list, both races look set to produce fireworks.

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Can GTB three-peat in Italy?

Whilst Potter will be the leading British star on the start list, her compatriot Georgia Taylor-Brown is the woman to beat on this course, having won the last two editions in 2022 and 2023.

Georgia Taylor-Brown, Cassandre Beaugrand, Beth Potter / WTCS Montreal 2022
[Photo Credit – World Triathlon]

Chasing Olympic selection and up against rivals Kate Waugh and Sophie Coldwell, as well as Potter, GTB will know that a third win in Cagliari would likely be enough to secure a spot on the plane to Paris.

However, she will also know that making the podium will be no easy feat, given the calibre of the other athletes on the start list, such as French threats Cassandre Beaugrand, Emma Lombardi and Leonie Periault.

Other big names include the American contingent, led by two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Taylor Knibb and Olympic medalist Katie Zaferes, plus Taylor Spivey, Summer Rappaport and Kirsten Kasper.

The women's podium at the 2024 Wollongong World Triathlon Cup.
[Photo Credit: Con Chronis / Aus Triathlon]

Finally, Paris medal hopefuls such as Laura Lindemann and Lisa Tertsch of Germany will be ones to watch out for, with recent World Triathlon Cup Wollongong winner Tilda Mansson another who cannot be overlooked.

Yee v Wilde II

Last year in Cagliari, two of the sports brightest flames, Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde, wowed triathlon fans with a battle for the ages, which was eventually won by Yee after a hard fought battle over 10km on the run.

Hayden Wilde / Alex Yee WTCS Cagliari 2023 run
[Photo Credit – World Triathlon]

This year, the pair will again be the favourites to battle it out for the top step of the podium, but as always, will be carefully watching several other rivals who will be hoping to make their mark.

The French squad in Cagliari, which feature four of the last five World Champions in Vincent Luis, Leo Bergere and Dorian Coninx, will be hoping to lay down a marker ahead of the home Olympic in Paris this summer.

Similarly, Olympic champion Blummenfelt will be aiming to underline his Paris credentials, as he attempts to regain competitiveness over the Olympic distance after moving up in distance between Tokyo and Paris.

Australian Matt Hauser, Portuguese Vasco Vilaca and Belgian duo Jelle Geens and Marten Van Riel are all podium contenders on their day, and their quality will simply add to the strength in depth this race has to offer.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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