A thrilling Mixed Relay event on day two of the World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg saw the young British team of Barclay Izzard, Sian Rainsley, Sam Dickinson and Kate Waugh produce an error-free performance to top the podium in Germany.
Leg One – All to play for
Just 12 seconds separated the entire 18 team field at the end of the 300m swim, headed out of the water by Team Canada, who had Brock Hoel leading them on leg one.
Team New Zealand had gone with individual winner Hayden Wilde to start their day, and he was soon to the front and pushing the pace hard on the bike. His power was seriously putting pressure on the field, quickly reducing that leading pack down to 12. Surprisingly perhaps, Jelle Geens of Belgium was one of those dropped, and he had Manoel Messias (Brazil) for company.
Mexico and USA were even further back, as France (Valentin Morlec) led the leading 12 into T2. Sweden’s Andreas Carlsson took a heavy fall to the blue carpet in the process, reducing the front group to 11.
Max Studer (SUI) and Wilde (NZL) soon pulled clear on the rapid 1.7km run, with Luke Willian keeping Australia in contention in third, the top 11 teams separated by 13 seconds with one short run lap remaining.
While Studer was showing his pain face, Wilde upped the pace in cool as a cucumber mode, to hand over to Nicole Van Der Kaay with a narrow lead over the Swiss, represented by European U23 champion, Cathia Schär.
At the back of the field, Team USA were having a shocker, with Chase McQueen handing over to Taylor Spivey almost 90 seconds in arrears.
Leg Two – Rainsley rules
Great Britain’s Sian Rainsley (eighth yesterday), turned a 12 second deficit to a five second advantage in the water, to be joined at the front early in the bike by Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand and Hungary.
Mathilde Gautier (winner last week in Holten) was riding strong, trying to prevent the chasing trio (Denmark, Japan, Switzerland) from bridging back to the front of the race. Starting the final bike lap however, both groups merged, leaving nine teams together at the front of the race.
Out onto the run and Rainsley continued her fine day, leading in Lisa Tertsch (Germany) and Albjerte Kjaer Pedersen (Denmark) at the handover to athlete three, that trio practically together, with Hungary, Switzerland and Australia still very much in contention.
Two legs down, still no closer to knowing who would come out on top in Hamburg – especially as Tertsch had been given a penalty for an incident in the swim. More on that later…
Leg Three – Another penalty for Germany
A great swim from Dylan McCullough brought New Zealand right back into contention, and the Kiwis would replace Denmark, to leave six teams still locked together at the front of the race. Surprisingly perhaps, France were seemingly out of a podium shout, around 30 seconds back. They had Paul Georgenthum and Emma Lombardi to come.
Those leading six comprised Lasse Nygaard Priester (GER), Sam Dickinson (GBR), Matthew Hauser (AUS), Simon Westermann (SUI), Mark Devay (HUN) and McCullough.
The German made an absolute shambles of his dismount at T2, while Matt Hauser – second yesterday – was quickly alone at the front on the run. With the Germans also having incurred a yet to be served 10 second penalty from leg two, a repeat of their Leeds win but on home soil, looked highly unlikely.
Hauser impressed on the run, handing over to Natalie Van Coervorden with a 12 second advantage over Great Britain, as Dickinson tagged in Kate Waugh on the final leg. Switzerland started the final leg in third with Julie Derron 20 second down on the pace-setting Aussies.
Leg Four – Waugh wins it for Team GB
Natalie Van Coervorden still held the lead for Australia after the 300 m swim, but Kate Waugh and Laura Lindemann were now just 10 seconds behind. Alas, Laura would have another penalty to serve, presumably courtesy of the mess that Nygaard Priester made of his bike dismount on leg three.
Having suffered a mechanical and subsequent DNF in the individual race, could the relay provide a positive return for Van Coervorden in Hamburg?
Working together, Waugh and Lindemann closed their deficit to the Australian, and so late in the final leg on the bike, we had three teams locked together. With a total of 20 seconds to spend in the penalty box on the run however, Lindemann’s biggest concern could well be Team Switzerland chasing just over 20 seconds back.
All three came off the bike together with less than 2km left to run. A fantastic finish was in store.
Australia’s chances of topping the podium seemed to vanish quickly, as Waugh and Lindemann quickly distanced themselves on the run. Lindemann of course had to go all-in with those penalties to serve, but Waugh was going with her. Could the young British team come out on top, without any of their superstar names?
Locked together with less than a kilometre to go, Team Great Britain were in prime position as Waugh, 12th on Saturday, was not giving up any time to the multiple Junior and U23 World Champion.
As the line approached, and Lindemann had to pull into the penalty box – Waugh still stride-for-stride with her – the young British squad had this in the bag. It also allowed Van Coevorden to take silver for Australia.
An exciting race, and a fine team effort from the young British squad who kept themselves in contention all day.
Sunday July 10 2022 – MIXED RELAY (Male-Female-Male-Female)
4* 300m / 7k / 1.7k
- 1. Team Great Britain – 1:20:50
- 2. Team Australia – 1:21:03
- 3. Team Germany – 1:21:10
- 4. Team Switzerland – 1:21:26
- 5. Team New Zealand – 1:22:12
- 6. Team Hungary – 1:22:30
- 7. Team France – 1:22:53
- 8. Team Japan – 1:23:26
- 9. Team Denmark – 1:23:32
- 10. Team Czech Republic – 1:24:11