LEEDS, England — Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) finished fourth on Saturday to pace the U.S. elite triathletes at the AJ Bell World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds, the first World Triathlon Championship Series race of the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification window.
Leeds has always been a successful stop on the World Triathlon Series for Spivey, who in 2017 earned her first World Triathlon Series podium, with a silver. In now five appearances at Leeds, Spivey has never finished lower than seventh place, and on Saturday she nearly earned her second podium appearance.
Spivey completed the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5k run course through Roundhay Park in a time of 59 minutes, 22 seconds — 7 seconds off the podium.
After her usual strong swim, the U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team Member made her move on the bike, pushing hard up the hills of the challenging Leeds course. Riding with Great Britain’s Sophie Coldwell and Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, Spivey showed impressive bike skills on the technical, downhill portions of the course as the trio pushed the pace to lead the breakaway.
Spivey and Coldwell dropped Duffy and built a 40-second lead on the field heading out of the second transition and onto the run. Coldwell pushed the pace on the run, quickly dropping Spivey, who was also eventually caught by Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown and Frenchwoman Cassandre Beaugrand.
That trio made up the podium as Beaugrand took the win with a time of 59:03, followed by Taylor-Brown (59:12) and Coldwell (Great Britain), 59:15.
With a furious sprint finish, Spivey held off Great Britain’s Beth Potter to finish fourth, her best finish at Leeds since also placing fourth in 2019.
With the performance, Spivey vaults up to fourth in the Maurice Lacroix World Triathlon Championship Rankings, best among the U.S. women.
On Saturday in Leeds, fellow U.S. women Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) and Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.) rode in the chase group and finished 12th and 26th, respectively. Tokyo 2020 Olympian Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) made her 2022 WTCS debut, placing 46th.
In the men’s race, Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the U.S. elite triathlete men, placing 16th with a time of 54:18. He was particularly strong on the run, ripping off a 14:37 5k, good for the fifth-fastest run split of the day.
Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) placed 42nd.
Up Next: World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds Mixed Relay
Four U.S. elite triathletes will race for Team USA on Sunday as Mixed Relay racing will make its 2022 debut on Sunday with the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds Mixed Relay, which will also award Olympic rankings points.
The Mixed Relay will start at 8 a.m. ET (1 p.m. local time) and can be streamed live on TriathlonLIVE.tv. Teams will not be announced until race morning.
The Mixed Relay is a fast, tactical and spectator-friendly race that showcases thrilling draft-legal racing that often comes down to a final sprint to the finish line. In the Mixed Relay, each country’s team is made up of two women and two men, and each team member competes a super-sprint swim, bike, run triathlon before tagging their teammate. Until at least 2024, the order of the Mixed Relay will now follow the new order of man-woman-man-woman.
The Mixed Relay made its Olympic debut last summer at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the U.S. team won the silver medal, continuing a trend of strong international success in the event. The U.S. won silver at the 2020 Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, world bronze in 2019 and 2018, world silver in 2017 and the world title in 2016.
This season’s Mixed Relay world champions will be crowned later this month, June 24-26 at the 2022 World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships Montreal.
2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Cassandre Beaugrand (France), 59:03
2. Georgia Taylor-Brown (Great Britain), 59:12
3. Sophie Coldwell (Great Britain), 59:15
4. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 59:22
12. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 1:00:03
26. Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.), 1:01:15
46. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.), 1:03:37
Elite Men — Complete Results
1. Hayden Wilde (New Zealand), 53:18
2. Leo Bergre (France), 53:28
3. Lasse Luhrs (Germany), 53:38
16. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 54:18
42. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 56:10
Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.), DNF
Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.), DNF
Marc Dubrick (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), DNF