ANTWERP, Belgium — Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) earned her sixth career ITU Triathlon World Cup victory in Antwerp, Belgium, on Sunday, reaching the podium in ITU competition for the first time this season. On the men’s side, Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) led the U.S. contingent with a sixth-place finish.
Antwerp was a first-time ITU World Cup host, serving up a sprint-distance course that featured a 750-meter swim, 22.6-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.
Cook started off strong in the women’s race, coming out of the water in second place just two seconds behind Lucy Hall of Great Britain. Not far behind were Valerie Barthelemy of Belgium, Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) and Natalie Van Coevorden of Australia, and those five got out onto an early lead on the bike.
The cobblestone streets proved challenging, though, and after the first lap the leaders were caught by the seven-woman chase pack. By the time they hit the second transition, the 12 leading women had 27 seconds on the rest of the field. The podiums would come down to the run, and Cook, Gorman and Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.) were all still in the mix for the U.S.
Cook pulled away almost immediately in the first kilometer of the run, recording a 16-minute, 48-second 5k to take the win in 1:02:52. Great Britain’s Beth Potter ran a race-leading 16:37 5k split, chasing down several competitors to claim silver in 1:03:11. Verena Steinhauser of Italy held on for the bronze in 1:03:13.
The win gives Cook her sixth career victory and 10th medal overall on the ITU World Cup circuit.
Gorman ended the day in ninth with a time of 1:03:39. Also competing for the U.S. were Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), who took 19th in 1:04:27; Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.), 20th in 1:04:31; Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 34th in 1:06:12; and Jessica Broderick (Middlebury, Conn.), 39th in 1:06:23.
In the men’s race, Belgium’s Jelle Geens earned his first ITU World Cup victory in front of a home crowd, while New Zealand’s Tayler Reid and Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk took silver and bronze respectively.
Hometown favorite Martin Van Riel of Belgium was first out of the water, with Germany’s Jonas Schomburg and Mislawchuk right on his heels. The leading three tried to form a breakaway on the bike, but they were quickly caught by the rest of the field on the technical course. Several riders tried to pull away from the pack individually, but no one could gain an advantage as a large group headed into the second transition together.
On the run, Rider kept himself in the mix early on with a lead group of 10 men. The pack thinned out by the final lap though, as Geens, Reid, Mislawchuk and Van Riel fought for the three medal spots. A sprint down the finish chute gave Geens the win in 58:15. Reid took silver with the same finish time, and Mislawchuk rounded out the podium in 58:17.
Rider was just nine seconds off the podium, finishing sixth in 58:26 for a career-best ITU World Cup finish.
Also competing for the U.S. were Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.), who was 11th in 58:43; Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.), 13th in 58:49; Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 18th in 59:30; and Kevin Bishop (Stanford, Calif.), 53rd in 1:04:00.
The ITU World Cup circuit stops next in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, from July 7-8.
2018 Antwerp ITU Triathlon World Cup
750m swim, 22.6k bike, 5k run
Elite Women – Complete Results
1. Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.), 1:02:52
2. Beth Potter (GBR), 1:03:11
3. Verena Steinhauser (ITA), 1:03:13
1. Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.), 1:02:52
9. Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.), 1:03:39
19. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), 1:04:27
20. Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.), 1:04:31
34. Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 1:06:12
39. Jessica Broderick (Middlebury, Conn.), 1:06:23
Elite Men – Complete Results
1. Jelle Geens (BEL), 58:15
2. Tayler Reid (NZL), 58:15
3. Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN), 58:17
6. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 58:26
11. Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.), 58:43
13. Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.), 58:49
18. Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 59:30
53. Kevin Bishop (Stanford, Calif.), 1:04:00
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).