McElroy Earns Back-to-Back Podiums with Bronze at Nur-Sultan ITU World Cup

By USA Triathlon | June 15, 2019, 3:29 p.m. (ET)

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan — A week after making history by earning an ITU World Triathlon Series silver medal in Leeds, England, Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) made it back-to-back podiums Saturday with a bronze at the Nur-Sultan ITU Triathlon World Cup.

The course in the Kazakh capital was switched from a triathlon to a duathlon (run-bike-run) on race morning after water quality conditions forced a cancellation of the swim leg. Athletes instead covered an initial run of 5 kilometers, followed by a 40.2-kilometer bike and a second run of 10 kilometers. 

It was a format well-suited for McElroy, a former NCAA Division I track and cross country runner at Northern Arizona University. McElroy is familiar with success in the duathlon format, as he won the ITU Under-23 Duathlon World Championships in 2015.

McElroy got off to a strong start in the first run, putting down a 15-minute, 29-second 5k to place himself in third heading into transition. The field had barely thinned out over the first run though, causing a lead pack of more than 30 men to form on the bike. 

Australia’s Max Neumann went for a breakaway in the second half of the bike — and while he had a gap of more than 30 seconds at one point, the large group of chasers slowly reeled him back in. By the time he left transition for the second run, his lead was only seven seconds.

The podiums would come down to the final 10k run, and McElroy’s training partner, Wian Sullwald of South Africa, was the first to make a move. Still, several athletes were right on his heels — including McElroy, Australia’s Matthew Hauser and Brandon Copeland, Austria’s Lukas Hollaus, Great Britain’s Gordon Benson, Germany’s Lasse Lührs and France’s Maxime Hueber-Moosbrugger. 

Sullwald remained slightly ahead for three out of four laps — but at the bell lap, Hauser surged to the lead. The Australian ultimately ran to the win, breaking the tape with a time of 1 hour, 43 minutes, 51 seconds. Sullwald held on for the silver medal in 1:44:05, and McElroy was just behind for the bronze in 1:44:09. 

The bronze in Nur-Sultan marks McElroy’s sixth career ITU World Cup medal. 

McElroy had a breakthrough performance last weekend in Leeds, earning the first ITU World Triathlon Series medal for a U.S. man since Jarrod Shoemaker in 2009. 

“On paper after Leeds, looking at the two back-to-back Olympic-distance races, I knew the legs were going to be really heavy today,” McElroy said. “Aerobically I felt like I was fit, but the legs weren’t there (to take the win). I have to applaud Matt Hauser and Wian, who trains with me on a daily basis, for coming in right in front of me. It was a real hard race today.”

Additional finishers for the U.S. were Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.), 24th in 1:47:14; Collin Chartier (Fairfax, Va.), 35th in 1:49:48; and Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 41st in 1:54:43.

The ITU Triathlon World Cup circuit continues next Sunday with a sprint-distance race in Antwerp, Belgium.

Nur-Sultan ITU Triathlon World Cup (course changed to duathlon)
5k run, 40.2k bike, 10k run 

Elite Men — Complete Results

1. Matthew Hauser (AUS), 1:43:51
2. Wian Sullwald (RSA), 1:44:05
3. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 1:44:09

U.S. Competitors
3. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 1:44:09
24. Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.), 1:47:14
35. Collin Chartier (Fairfax, Va.), 1:49:48
41. Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 1:54:43
Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), DNF

Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Ai Ueda (JPN), 1:56:38
2. Carolyn Hayes (IRL), 1:56:55
3. Kate Waugh (GBR), 1:57:28

U.S. Competitors
Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.), DNF

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series Nottingham
Also on Saturday, the U.S. team of Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) and Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.) competed in the second stop of the ITU World Mixed Relay Series in Nottingham, England. 

The Nottingham course was also switched to a duathlon due to water quality concerns, so each athlete completed a 1.5k run, 7k bike and another 1.5k run before passing off to the next teammate.

Tomlin was the lead-off, and after experiencing severe cramping on the bike, she gritted her way through the final 1.5k run to hand off to Huffman. While the team was out of contention for the podium, they finished in a display of sportsmanship and determination. 

The British team of Georgia Taylor-Brown, Ben Dijkstra, Sophie Coldwell and Alex Yee raced to a dominant victory on home turf in 1:23:13. Switzerland earned the silver medal in 1:23:55, and France completed the podium in 1:24:03. The U.S. ultimately finished 10th. 

The ITU World Mixed Relay Series stops next in Hamburg, Germany, for the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships on July 7.

Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series Nottingham (course changed to duathlon)
4x (1.5k run, 7k bike, 1.5k run) | Complete Results

1. Great Britain, 1:23:13
2. Switzerland, 1:23:55
3. France, 1:24:03
10. United States (Renée Tomlin, William Huffman, Tamara Gorman, Tony Smoragiewicz), 1:27:10

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 at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — 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).