Birtwhistle and Taylor-Brown take first WTS titles in Leeds

It was a day of debut victories at WTS Leeds as Australia's Jacob Birtwhistle used his impressive run talents to take the win, while Great Britain's Georgia Taylor-Brown managed to halt Katie Zaferes' WTS winning streak thanks to her own strong run.

| June 9, 2019 | NEWS

Jacob Birtwhistle captured his first WTS title in Leeds. (Archive photo.)

Jacob Birtwhistle captured his first WTS title in Leeds. (Archive photo.)

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

Jessica Learmonth (GBR) led the way out of the water and was joined in T1 and onto the bike by a lead group that included Brazil's Vittoria Lopes, Learmonth's countrywomen Sophie Coldwell and Georgia Taylor-Brown, along with American's Taylor Spivey and Katie Zaferes, with France's Cassandra Beaugrand rounding out the group.

Beaugrand would get dropped by the lead six and would find herself in the chase group 1:40 back into T2.

Once out on the run Zaferes and Taylor-Brown quickly separated themselves from the rest, but it was the Brit who would run her way to the title, ending Zaferes' 2019 winning streak.

"I had a really good swim, I want to thank Taylor Spivey for that,” said a delighted Georgia Taylor-Brown after the race. “She got us in a good position around the first buoy, and then I fully committed in the swim, even though that really hurt. So much so that I was worried about how the bike would go, but then with Katie and Sophie we got things moving, and we worked really well as a group. The plan before the race was to run hard, but when we got out of transition I thought that maybe we couldn’t do it. I just tried to stay relaxed and in the last kilometre I was just enjoying myself.”

Learmonth would hang on for the final spot on the podium.

2019 ITU World Triathlon Series Leeds | Women

June 9, 2019 | Leeds, Great Britain.

Name

Country

Overall

1.5 km Swim

38.6 km Bike

10 km Run

1

Georgia Taylor-Brown

GBR

1:55:46

18:47

1:00:56

34:27

2

Katie Zaferes

USA

1:55:57

18:39

1:01:05

34:45

3

Jessica Learmonth

GBR

1:57:22

18:34

1:01:08

36:06

4

Taylor Spivey

USA

1:57:38

18:41

1:01:05

36:16

5

Non Stanford

GBR

1:57:53

18:55

1:02:34

34:41

Swipe me

Birtwhistle overcame a stacked field that included all three medalists from the 2016 Olympic Games. It was the bronze medalist from Rio, South Africa's Henri Schoeman, who led out of the water. He was joined by what seemed to be a potentially devastating lead group starting the bike - New Zealand's Tayler Reid, Germany's Jonas Schomburg, Belgium's Marten Van Riel, France's Pierre le Corre, Great Britain's Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, along with 2012 Olympic silver medalist Javier Gomez. Despite that firepower, though, that bunch was caught by 6 km into the ride and a bunch of 25 ended up hitting T2 together. Not in that group but rather a minute down were heavy-run-hitters Alex Yee (GBR), Mario Mola (ESP) and Richard Murray (RSA).

Out on the run Alistair Brownlee made an early charge alongside Ireland's Russell White, but their move was nullified by American Matt McElroy, Luis and Gomez. It was Birtwhistle, though, who had the final answer, pulling away from the pack and surging to his first WTS title. McElroy held off Gomez for the second spot on the podium.

2019 ITU World Triathlon Series Leeds | Men

June 9, 2019 | Leeds, Great Britain

Name

Country

Overall

1.5 km Swim

38.6 km Bike

10 km Run

1

Jacob Birtwhistle

AUS

1:45:12

17:43

55:39

30:21

2

Matthew McElroy

USA

1:45:19

17:43

55:43

30:26

3

Javier Gomez

ESP

1:45:21

17:36

55:51

30:28

4

Henri Schoeman

RSA

1:45:31

17:23

55:55

30:40

5

Sam Ward

NZL

1:45:42

17:45

55:37

30:55

Swipe me