The Bahrain Victorious 13 kicked off their Olympic campaign this weekend as the World Triathlon Championship Series in Abu Dhabi featured scorching racing in the desert over the sprint distance.
Vincent Luis led the men’s race throughout the 750-metre swim, with Henri Schoeman four seconds back and Hayden Wilde a further 41 seconds in arrears. Though Wilde was well-placed to start the bike on the tail end of the lead pack, a flat tire right out of T1 saw him riding solo for the rest of the 20-kilometre bike leg. Luis and Schoeman rode within the large group of 50 around the Yas Marina circuit, with the final 5-kilometre run seen to decide podium positions. In the end Luis finished just five seconds off the third step, while Schoeman and Wilde crossed the finish line in 36th and 46th respectively.
Cassandre Beaugrand recorded the fastest run split of the day in the women’s race on the way to finishing 6th. The power was up at the front of the swim with six making a breakaway; Beaugrand emerged from the water 30 seconds behind the leaders and Georgia Taylor-Brown a further six seconds back. Taylor-Brown pushed the pace in the chase pack, but the large group proved to be unwieldy and gave up even more time to the breakaway. Once on the run Beaugrand ran down the field but ran out of road, while Taylor-Brown finished 15th.
Schoeman heads to Switzerland for the second Arena Games event this coming weekend, while Luis crosses the Atlantic to join Joe Skipper on the starting line for Clash Miami.