Bahrain Victorious 13 had a remarkable weekend in Italy, clinching gold and silver at the World Triathlon Championship Series race in Cagliari. Cassandre Beaugrand emerged victorious in a thrilling sprint finish, while Hayden Wilde secured the silver medal in his own sprint to the line.

The event was the final race before the Olympic qualification period ends, marking the last opportunity for athletes to strengthen their bids for selection to the Paris Olympics.

Cassandre Beaugrand showcased her prowess from the beginning, emerging from the challenging 1.5-kilometre swim in the front group. She settled into the 25-strong lead group on the bike, which saw numerous attacks over the 10 laps of the 40-kilometre ride. Despite the attempts to break the group, they stayed together, albeit with some athletes feeling the strain once they hit the run course.

On the bell lap the group of six that had run together became four with each one surging to try their luck but it was  Beaugrand who stormed home in a thrilling sprint finish to win the race, marking her first victory over the Standard Distance in the Series. This win provides her with a significant confidence boost heading into her home Olympic Games in Paris and is a wonderful way to celebrate her birthday this week.

“I kept telling myself, ‘You cannot lose this race, you have to keep fighting,’ and I did. I haven’t been able to run much in the last two weeks, but I decided to go for it today. I didn’t want to wait until the end, so I just pushed, and it worked. I didn’t want to lose a sprint again, so I am very happy today,” explained Beaugrand.

Georgia Taylor Brown made her first appearance in the series this year, delivering a brilliant performance. Exiting the swim in the first pack, she was active in the front group on the bike, pushing the pace and contributing to the break effort. She quickly established herself in the lead group of the run but eventually finished in 6th place as the second British woman home, boosting her Olympic selection chances.

Kate Waugh had another solid race, positioning herself in the lead group throughout the day and eventually finishing in the top ten.

The men’s race, delayed due to bad weather, saw a challenging ocean swim. Wilde, Vincent Luis, Max Stapley, and Henri Schoeman all made the front group out of the swim and onto the bike. Stapley’s race ended early with a mechanical issue, and Schoeman fell back to the chase group due to the intense pace. Wilde made several unsuccessful attacks but stayed in the leading pack entering the final transition. It came down to a showdown between Wilde and Alex Yee, with Yee ultimately winning in a sprint finish.

“It’s a great time racing like this. It’s not all about how you finished; I’m really pleased with my swim today, coming out of the water in the front pack. I’m getting closer and closer. I know what I need to work on. This is a great tune-up before Paris. I tried to break away on the bike, but some guys were not helping much. I am pleased with how I raced today and happy to be back in the circuit,” explained Wilde.

Vincent Luis, continues to build ‘match fitness’ after a year on the sidelines in 2023, finished 9th, while Henri Schoeman did not finish the race.