HAMBURG, Germany — Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) took bronze today at the fifth individual stop of the ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS) in Hamburg, Germany, retaining her No. 1 spot in the season-long WTS rankings. The bronze marks Zaferes’ fourth consecutive WTS podium.
The sprint-distance course featured a 750-meter swim, 21-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. Great Britain’s Jess Learmonth was first out of the water for the elite women in 9 minutes, 25 seconds, with Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) just a second behind her. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) also swam well, exiting the water fourth in 9:31.
Cook and Spivey joined a strong seven-woman lead pack on the bike that included Learmonth, two-time ITU world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown, Brazil’s Vittoria Lopes and France’s Cassandre Beaugrand. Meanwhile, Zaferes, Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) and Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) rode with the chase group.
Cook fell off the pace of the leaders about halfway through the bike, joining the hard-charging chase pack. On the last of six laps, the chasers finally caught the leading six — making for a busy transition and leaving the medals to be decided on the run.
Beaugrand had the run of the day, leading from the first lap en route to a 15:48 5k split. She crossed the line with a total time of 58:06, earning her first career WTS victory. Zaferes and Germany’s Laura Lindemann were neck-in-neck in the final kilometer, with Lindemann edging Zaferes at the line to take the silver in 58:36. Zaferes grabbed bronze in 58:37, returning to the podium in Hamburg after winning here in 2016 and taking fourth last year.
“I’m so excited to come away with a podium in that race. When I came out of the water I was a bit further behind than I wanted to be, so to end up on the podium again is a relief, kind of,” Zaferes said. “(The world title) is in my mind, and I hope that my third-place finish might be my lowest finish. I hope to go up from here for the next few races.”
Kasper and Spivey also ran their way to top-10 finishes. Kasper took fifth, just eight seconds off the podium in 58:44, and Spivey was ninth in 59:05. Knibb ended the day in 19th, coming in just under the hour mark with a time of 59:59.
In the men’s race, Spain’s Mario Mola came away with his third straight Hamburg victory. The Spaniard led out of the water with an 8:54 swim split, as nine other athletes finished under the nine-minute mark. Mola joined a large leading peloton on the bike — but after the first lap, it was Great Britain’s Jonny Brownlee, France’s Vincent Luis and Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt who took off on their own.
The three-man breakaway held onto the lead for the rest of the bike, but Mola and South Africa’s Richard Murray were hot on their heels at the second transition. Mola, Luis, Murray and Brownlee were shoulder-to-shoulder for most of the run, but Mola used his finishing speed to break the tape with a total time of 53:24. In a sprint finish, Luis grabbed the silver medal in 53:29, and Murray claimed bronze in 53:32.
Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was the top U.S. finisher, crossing the line in 11th for a career-best WTS finish. His run split of 14:31 was the 10th-fastest in the field. Also competing for the U.S. were Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.), who took 23rd in 54:20, and Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), who was 46th in 57:43.
The action in Hamburg continues Sunday with the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships, as the U.S. looks to improve upon its 2017 silver-medal performance and earn back its 2016 world title. The race is set for 8:30 a.m. ET (2:30 p.m. local time), and will be broadcast live online at triathlonlive.tv. Four-person teams from 21 countries are set to compete. Full team rosters will be announced this afternoon.
2018 ITU World Triathlon Hamburg
750m swim, 21k bike, 5k run
Elite Women – Complete Results
1. Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA), 58:06
2. Laura Lindemann (GER), 58:36
3. Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 58:37
3. Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 58:37
5. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 58:44
9. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 59:05
19. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), 59:59
Elite Men – Complete Results
1. Mario Mola (ESP), 53:24
2. Vincent Luis (FRA), 53:29
3. Richard Murray (RSA), 53:32
11. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 53:58
23. Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.), 54:20
46. Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 57:43
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).