They said it: Laura Lindemann's three-peat at the ITU Grand Final Cozumel

TriathlonWorld.com catches up with Germany's Laura Lindemann, who won her third consecutive ITU world championship in Cozumel, Mexico.

| September 20, 2016 | PERSONALITY

Laura Lindemann | Laura Lindemann sichert sich den U23-Weltmeistertitel.

Laura Lindemann sichert sich den U23-Weltmeistertitel.

Photo >Delly Carr / triathlon.org

Had Jonathan Brownlee chatted with Laura Lindemann after her win in Cozumel on Friday, he might have gleaned some valuable information – in winning her third straight world championship (the German came to Mexico having won the world junior title the last two years) Lindemann also managed to run her way into the hospital and, for a while, feared she wasn’t going to make it to the line for the win.

Less than a month after representing Germany at the Olympic Games in Rio, LIndemann arrived as the one of the favourites in the U23 event. After trailing out of the water, Lindemann helped drive the pace in the chase group which caught the lead group of six (that had, at one point, opened up a gap of a minute) out on the bike. Once the Lindemann group caught the breakaway there were 17 women riding together – they hit T2 with a lead of over two minutes on the rest of the field.

Through the first kilometers of the run Kaidi Kivioja (EST) and Leonie Periault (FRA) seemed to be the ones pushing the pace, with Lindemann looking remarkably comfortable alongside.

“The first three of the four loops I really controlled things,” LIndemann said after the race. “I knew that I had a strong finish, so, because of the heat, I didn’t want to break away too early.”

Just starting the second lap of the run Sandra Dodet (FRA) joined the lead group, which continued to pull away from the rest of the field. Kivioja had to serve a 10-second penalty for “failing to get all her equipment in the box in T1” which put her 15 seconds behind at the halfway point and out of the mix. Starting the third lap of the run Lindemann and Periault started a series of surges that dropped Dodet. Lindemann never seemed to be working hard, seemingly saving herself for a kick to the line late in the race – which she unleashed with 500 m to go. The only problem was that she’d misjudged the finish line.  

“I didn’t think the finish was as far as it was – I kept imagining the finish was coming, but it wasn’t getting any closer,” she said. “In the last meters I was really dead and I just wanted to get to the finish. Then I saw the dismount line and thought that was the finish line … then I realized I had to run the whole blue carpet. I kept imagining that they were coming behind me, so I was dead at the finish line.”

Lindemann managed to get the banner up above her head for a brief second, then collapsed. She was taken to hospital suffering from severe dehydration. After her amazing month of racing she’ll take a well-deserved holiday in New York before returning back home to school.

Laura Lindemann and team-mates

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon