Bahrain Victorious 13 racing is picking up steam on the World Triathlon Championship Series circuit, with Georgia Taylor-Brown defending her title and Hayden Wilde bringing in the silver over the weekend in Cagliari.

 

The third race of the WTCS series saw athletes race over the Olympic distance with an eye toward rising up the series rankings as well as building sharpness for the Paris test event in August.

 

Taylor-Brown positioned well against the chop and swells to come out with the lead pack of six on the 1.5-kilometre swim, then drove this group on the 40-kilometre bike to gap the chasers by nearly a minute and a half at the bike-to-run transition. She kept the pace high at the start of the run with only Emma Lombardi able to keep up with her until the final 300 metres where Taylor-Brown dropped the hammer to make it two wins out of two starts here, score her first podium of the season, and rise to world #3.

 

“Since Abu Dhabi, where I had a terrible swim, I have been focusing on my swim,” said Taylor-Brown. “In Yokohama I gave everything that I had but I still didn’t make the front pack, so this time I was extra focused and extra determined to be up there on the first lap… And then the run with Emma was just great. She is a fantastic athlete; we were in a similar position last year and she is so nice and we kept pushing each other, so it was great.”

 

Cassandre Beaugrand narrowly missed the first swim pack and was bogged down inside the large chase group on the bike, but made up time on the run to score the day’s fastest split at 32:25 and grab the chocolate medal in fourth place – her best ever result over the Olympic distance. She has also now secured entry to the Paris test event, meeting the French Federation selection criteria.

 

The men’s race was a duel between Wilde and rival Alex Yee for the top spot. Both athletes came out of the swim a little over 14 seconds behind the leaders and stayed within the large front pack on the bike before charging out onto the run to leave the rest of the field to fight for the bronze. Not wanting it to come down to a sprint finish, they both put in surges over the closing stages, but it was Yee getting the better of Wilde to win by just 5 seconds.

 

Wilde says, “I spent the winter in New Zealand so I didn’t know how I would perform in the heat but it is lovely to be out here, to recover well after Yokohama. But this is just the type of races that I love and I just love to be on the front pack on the swim. It’s two times in a row now, so I can tick that box. And then this run… I just loved it. There were a couple of times in which he tried to attack and I managed to stay with him, but next time I’ll try to win that battle for sure.”

 

Henri Schoeman was in the mix on the swim and bike alongside Wilde. After his focus on short-course racing at the Super League Triathlon Arena Games, the longer distance took its toll on the run where he finished 30th.

 

Bahrain Victorious 13’s long-course stars take centre stage this coming weekend as Jan Frodeno and Alistair Brownlee take on the Ironman European Championship in Hamburg, the first time the city is hosting the championship. While Frodeno is a three-time Ironman European Champion, these wins were scored at the previous venue in Frankfurt. Will Hamburg be the blank slate where Brownlee can stamp his ownership, or will Frodeno reclaim his crown? These two Olympic champions will certainly heat up the competition in a very deep field.

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