VALENCIA, Spain — The shortened 2020 World Triathlon season came to a close Saturday in Valencia, Spain, as the city hosted a sprint-distance World Cup that drew some of the biggest names in elite World Triathlon racing. Five U.S. athletes competed, led by Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.) with a 12th-place finish in the men’s race.
The course featured a 750-meter swim in Valencia Marina, followed by a four-lap, 20-kilometer bike and a one-lap, 5-kilometer run around the edge of the harbor. The race went on with several COVID-19 health and safety precautions in place, including COVID-19 testing before and after international travel; daily self-screening and temperature checks before entering the race venue; face coverings at all times except when actively racing; contact reduction for athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers; and increased cleaning and disinfecting practices onsite.
France’s two-time world champion Vincent Luis captured the win in the men’s race, earning his fourth consecutive victory to remain undefeated since World Triathlon racing resumed in early September. Luis broke the tape in 50 minutes, 22 seconds, followed closely by Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee in 50:25. Taking the bronze was Belgium’s Jelle Geens in 50:33.
Smoragiewicz took 12th place, crossing the line in 51:24 — less than a minute out of podium contention. Also racing for the U.S. men were Austin Hindman (Wildwood, Mo.), who took 27th in 52:54; Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), who was 35th in 53:50; and Thomas Roos (Culver City, Calif.), 44th in 59:14.
In the women’s race, Great Britain’s Beth Potter earned her first career World Cup victory with a time of 56:35. Switzerland’s 2012 Olympic champion Nicola Spirig took silver in 56:38, edging bronze medalist Lisa Tertsch of Germany by just one second.
Gina Sereno (Madison, Wis.) was the sole U.S. woman in the race, placing 28th in her debut World Cup with a time of 1:02:59. Sereno was the overall female champion at the 2018 USA Triathlon Age Group Sprint National Championships, and she started racing as an elite in 2019.
The complete 2021 World Triathlon calendar has not yet been released, but World Triathlon announced the first events of the season: a World Triathlon Championship Series race in Chengdu, China, on May 1-2; a World Cup in Osaka, Japan, on May 8-9; and a World Triathlon Championship Series and World Paratriathlon Championship Series race in Yokohama, Japan, on May 15.
World Triathlon Cup Valencia
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Beth Potter (GBR), 56:35
2. Nicola Spirig (SUI), 56:38
3. Lisa Tertsch (GER), 56:39
28. Gina Sereno (Madison, Wis.), 1:02:59
Elite Men — Complete Results
1. Vincent Luis (FRA), 50:22
2. Alistair Brownlee (GBR), 50:25
3. Jelle Geens (BEL), 50:33
12. Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.), 51:24
27. Austin Hindman (Wildwood, Mo.), 52:54
35. Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), 53:50
44. Thomas Roos (Culver City, Calif.), 59:14
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 World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).