LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) finished on the ITU Triathlon World Cup podium for the first time this season and second time in her career on Saturday in Lausanne, Switzerland, taking silver in the Olympic capital city. On the men’s side, Jason West (Boulder, Colo.) led the U.S. effort with a career-best sixth-place finish.
The 10th stop of the ITU World Cup circuit featured an Olympic-distance course, as athletes covered a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run.
Knibb started off the women’s race behind the lead pack, coming out of Lake Geneva more than a minute behind the pace being set by Lucy Hall of Great Britain and Maya Kingma of the Netherlands. Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.), the 2017 ITU U-23 world champion, was the top U.S. woman out of the water in third position, just two seconds behind Hall and Kingma.
Twenty-year-old Knibb then caught up with the pace-setters in her strongest discipline, bridging up to six-time European champion Nicola Spirig of Switzerland and Verena Steinhauser of Italy by the third of seven laps on the bike. The trio took a solid lead over the chase group on a very hilly course — and by the second transition, they looked all but certain to be the podium finishers.
Knibb’s time of 1 hour, 7 minutes, 34 seconds on the bike was the fastest of any woman on the course. She went on to maintain her podium position during the 10k run through the city center streets to finish in a final time of 2:06:02, which was 51 seconds of off Spirig’s winning time on her home soil. Steinhauser was third, finishing 23 seconds behind Knibb.
Saturday’s podium marked Knibb’s first in ITU competition this season. She had a breakout year in 2017, taking silver behind Bermuda’s Flora Duffy at the ITU World Triathlon Series stop in Edmonton and winning her second consecutive ITU Junior World Championship title. She has one other medal to date on the ITU World Cup circuit, a bronze in Montreal in 2016.
Also competing for the U.S. women in Lausanne were Jessica Broderick (Middlebury, Conn.), who finished 28th in a time of 2:14:08; Nicole Welling (Phoenix Ariz), who was 37th in 2:22:48; and Gorman, who did not finish the race after bowing out prior to the 10k run.
In the men’s race, Norway’s teenage phenom Gustav Iden earned his second career ITU World Cup victory, while Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee took silver exactly two years to the day after winning silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt claimed bronze.
Hungary’s Mark Devay led the race by a second after the swim, but by the the end of the second transition, it was a four-man race between Iden, who clocked a leading 59:51on the bike, and Brownlee, Blummenfelt and Hungary’s Bence Bicsák.
West recorded an impressive time of 59:52 on the bike to remain within chasing distance of the lead pack heading into the run, but he wasn’t able to make up the time. He went on to finish in sixth place, 54 seconds off the podium in 1:51:18. It was West’s best career finish at an ITU World Cup.
Also competing for the U.S. were Kevin Bishop (Stanford, Calif.), who was disqualified after missing one lap in the run segment, and Thomas Roos (Culver City, Calif.), who was lapped.
The ITU World Cup circuit continues with a stop in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic from September 1-2. The final regular-season stop of the ITU World Triathlon Series is set for next weekend, with the elite women racing on Saturday, August 25, and the elite men on Sunday, August 26.
2018 Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup
1,500m, swim, 40k bike, 10k run
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Nicola Spirig (SUI), 2:05:11
2. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), 2:06:02
3. Verena Steinhauser (ITA), 2:06:25
2. Taylor Knibb (Washington D.C.), 2:06:02
28. Jessica Broderick (Middlebury, Conn.), 2:14:08
37. Nicole Welling (Phoenix, Ariz.), 2:22:48
DNF Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.)
Elite Men — Complete Results
1. Gustav Iden (NOR), 1:49:48
2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), 1:50:19
3. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) 1:50:24
6. Jason West (Boulder, Colo.), 1:51:18
DSQ Kevin Bishop (Stanford, Calif.)
LAP Thomas Roos (Culver City, Calif.)
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).