ANTWERP, Belgium — Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) led the U.S. contingent Sunday with a sixth-place finish at the Antwerp ITU Triathlon World Cup in Belgium, marking his fourth top-10 ITU World Cup finish this season.
This is the second time the ITU World Cup circuit has come to Antwerp, which features a sprint-distance course with a 750-meter swim, 22-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.
New Zealand’s Tayler Reid took the win in the men’s race, improving upon his second-place finish in Antwerp a year ago. Sweden’s Gabriel Sandör earned his first ITU World Cup podium with silver, and Diego Moya of Chile rounded out the podium with bronze.
Slovakia’s Richard Varga led the way out of the swim in 9 minutes, 5 seconds, with Australia’s Matthew Roberts, Spain’s Alberto Gonzalez Garcia and Moya right on his heels. McDowell exited the water in 9:41, settling into the chase pack behind a five-man lead group.
An early crash shook up the standings at the top of the leaderboard, taking Varga out of contention completely and ending the race for several other athletes. It was Norway’s Endre Espedal who held a seven-second lead out of the final transition — but McDowell and Luxembourg’s Stefan Zachäus ran him down in the first kilometer.
Halfway through the run, Espedal had fallen off in lieu of a lead group of seven, including McDowell, Zachäus, Moya, Reid, Gonzalez Garcia, Sandör and Switzerland’s Florin Salvisberg. McDowell held the lead briefly, but Sandör stretched the group with a burst of speed toward the end of the race. The Swede’s final kick wasn’t enough though, and Reid overtook him down the home stretch to break the tape in 59:23. Sandör came in at 59:25, and Moya at 59:30.
McDowell was just nine seconds off the podium, finishing sixth in a time of 59:39. The performance is the continuation of a strong season for McDowell, as he has placed outside of the top-10 just once in five 2019 ITU World Cup starts.
Also competing for the U.S. men were Jason West (Boulder, Colo.), who took 34th in 1:02:08; Kevin Bishop (Los Altos, Calif.), 39th in 1:04:10; Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), 43rd in 1:04:34; and Thomas Roos (Culver City, Calif.), 44th in 1:04:44.
In the women’s race, Germany’s Lisa Tertsch won her first ITU World Cup medal in golden fashion, coming in at 1:05:26. Countrywoman and pre-race favorite Laura Lindemann came in second at 1:05:44, while New Zealand’s Ainsley Thorpe took bronze in 1:06:08.
The ITU World Cup next stops in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, on July 13-14.
Antwerp ITU Triathlon World Cup
750m swim, 22k bike, 5k run
Elite Men — Complete Results
1. Tayler Reid (NZL), 59:23
2. Gabriel Sandör (SWE), 59:25
3. Diego Moya (CHI), 59:30
6. Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.), 59:39
34. Jason West (Boulder, Colo.), 1:02:08
39. Kevin Bishop (Los Altos, Calif.), 1:04:10
43. Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), 1:04:34
44. Thomas Roos (Culver City, Calif.), 1:04:44
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Lisa Tertsch (GER), 1:05:26
2. Laura Lindemann (GER), 1:05:44
3. Ainsley Thorpe (NZL), 1:06:08
Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), DNF
Avery Evenson (Brighton, Mich.), DNS
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).