France deliver another sizzling Mixed Relay World Championship title in Montreal
Team France once again lived up to their billing as triathlon’s Mixed Relay masters with another sizzling world title win, this time landing the prize on the streets of Montreal.
The races came at the end of an intense few days of action for many of the athletes off the back of the individual WTCS Montreal elimination, but the French team brought in fresh legs in the form of Emma Lombardi and the U23 world champion played a big role in the win, along with Pierre Le Corre and Vincent Luis setting up Cassandre Beaugrand to finally bring home the gold.
Two men and two women’s places on the Paris 2024 start were on the line as well as the world championship titles, and with France already qualified as hosts, those slots went to Great Britain after Georgia Taylor-Brown’s remarkable finish secured the silver, USA finishing with the bronze.
“I was pretty confident I would start in a good position, after the swim I had a gap and tried to keep it, and Cassandre finished the job. It proves France has a lot of resources and a new generation coming and I’m looking forward to the relay in Paris,” said Luis. “They did all the work, I just had to finish it,” added an understated Beaugrand, “But it has been a very long weekend.”
It was the blue hair of Takumi Hojo first out of the water in the opening leg for Japan, Italy’s Nicolo Strada, Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk and Netherlands’ youngster Mitch Kolkman right with him, Alex Yee 7 and Hayden Wilde already 10 seconds back with Manoel Messias.
But Wilde was lightening up and into transition, and Messias was able to bridge up on the bike, the whole field coming together right the way to T2, Kolkman and Nicolo Strada exchanging pulls taking pulls out front. Wilde put the hammer straight down and stretched out the field, Messias moving up into second until Yee found his stride and he and Wilde again were clear of the pack just like the previous day’s individual final.
The pair tagged Ainsley Thorpe and Sophie Coldwell respectively, Mislawchuk tagged Emy Legault for Canada 20 seconds back, while upfront it was Vittoria Lopes able to put Brazil into first with her trademark swim skills, Coldwell and Thorpe tucked in behind, followed closely by Lombardi and Natalie Van Coevorden for France and Australia, Taylor Spivey and the USA 25 seconds back.
Lopes led the four athletes into T1 as Van Coevorden slipped back, but a slow transition saw the Brazilian needing to work extra hard not to also lose touch.
Lotte Miller for Norway and Alberte Kjaer Pedersen for Denmark led the charge, while Coldwell drove things on up front, at the bell the gap was down to 13 seconds, and on the final lap the packs had merged.
Pedersen was quickest away on the run, opening a lead over Lombardi as those 12 quickly spread out, but the French U23 World Champion responded with a brilliant burst of her own as the two locked into battle to tag first.
It was Pedersen handing to the newcomer Oscar Gladney Rundqvist for Denmark first, but there was little doubt that Luis was going to be able to pull clear in the water and he put an incredible 20 seconds over nearest contenders New Zealand and USA. Samuel Dickinson for Great Britain missed his box with his helmet and suddenly the GB team also had a 10 second penalty to contend with.
The question was whether Luis would want to ride on his own for the duration of the bike, and he set about his task with trademark determination, 19 seconds that gap to Kevin McDowell and Tayler Reid in second and third and really pushing to keep the gap behind them. That had dropped to 8 seconds to GB, Canada, Switzerland and Denmark who had to work together if they were to make a podium possible.
McDowell had the fresh legs having not raced on Saturday and was sharing pulls with Reid, Dickinson driving the chasers but never really ate into the 30 second gap.
Heading out of transition for the two-lap run, Luis and France still had 19 seconds over Reid and McDowell despite riding solo, the chasing four of Canada, Denmark, Switzerland and Great Britain also still 35 seconds off the leader, and that was exactly how it stayed right to the final handover.
Cassandre Beaugrand took up the task of bringing it home for France, and another assured swim helped her put 26 seconds into Summer Rappaport, Nicole Van Der Kaay now 8 seconds off the American, Georgia Taylor-Brown a massive 52 seconds off the front.
Up through transition that gap had already started to shrink, and over the first bike lap, Taylor-Brown suddenly had Rappaport in her sights. Soon she had caught on to the pair in front, collectively now 26 seconds off Beaugrand, but could the previous day’s gold medallist find 10 seconds from somewhere on the run to make a podium?
Van Der Kaay wouldn’t let her go for lap one, but suddenly Taylor-Brown found another gear and at the bell had 5 seconds from the New Zealander, 11 on Rappaport. Then the New Zealander blew up and fell back, so that as Beaugrand took the tape and the embrace of her fellow Mixed Relay World Champion teammates, Taylor Brown had 11 seconds of lead but 10 seconds of penalty to serve.
As Rappaport drew closer, the Brit was finally released by the officials and flew clear, all the way to the line, to the silver medal, and to a guaranteed team for Great Britain at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Rappaport brought home the bronze ahead of New Zealand, Canada finishing with a strong fifth place.
“Thanks to my teammates, I really can’t believe I’m a world champion,” said Pierre Le Corre afterwards. “Pierre did a good job, of course Vincent and Cassandre too, I’m just really happy,” added Lombardi.
“It’s amazing, I am absolutely over the moon to share with these guys,” said Alex Yee. “To have such a good result, it’s been a long weekend honestly but what a dream way to finish it.”
“I think when it’s for your team you always find that little bit extra,” added Coldwell. “Like Alex said, it’s been a tough couple of days of racing and just really proud of everyone for rallying and getting another great performance out.”
“Obviously being on a team with these superstars it’s always hard to sly in,” said Dickinson. “I didn’t make it easy for G (Georgia Taylor-Brown), I might need to buy her a pair of sunglasses or something but I am so thankful, she’s such a superstar and managed to bring it home.”
“I really wasn’t sure, I was kind of settling for fourth place as Van Der Kaay and Summer would outrun me because I worked really hard on the swim and the bike,” said Georgia Taylor-Brown. “I was using some very strong curse words for little Samuel on that race there but I am glad we got there in the end!”
Full results can be found here.
Related Event: 2022 World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships Montreal
|Results: Elite Men|
|Results: Mixed Relay|
|1.||Team I France||FRA||01:27:14|
|2.||Team I Great Britain||GBR||01:27:37|
|3.||Team I United States||USA||01:27:44|
|4.||Team I New Zealand||NZL||01:27:53|
|5.||Team I Canada||CAN||01:29:06|
|Results: Junior Women|
|5.||Luna De Bruin||NED||00:58:17|
|Results: 16-19 Male AG Sprint|
|2.||Edgar Martinez Hidalgo||MEX||01:01:00|
|Results: 25-29 Male AG Sprint|
|2.||Miguel Angel Garcia Ramos||MEX||01:00:41|
02:38 - 26 Jun, 2022
11:10 - 25 Jun, 2022
09:00 - 25 Jun, 2022
07:26 - 24 Jun, 2022