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Matt McElroy and Summer Rappaport Earn Podium Finishes in World Cup Karlovy Vary

By USA Triathlon | Sept. 11, 2022, 11:43 a.m. (ET)

Summer Rappaport and Matt McElroy running to the podium at the Karlovy Vary World Cup

KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic – Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) raced to the podium in their respective men’s and women’s races at the 2022 World Triathlon Cup Karlovy Vary on Sunday.  

Following his bronze-medal finish in Spain at the World Triathlon Cup Valencia last weekend, McElroy upgraded his hardware to silver with a second-place finish on the Olympic-distance course (1500-meter swim, 40.8-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run) in a time of 1 hour, 51 minutes and 20 seconds.

Rappaport, meanwhile, earned her first World Cup podium of the year, finishing third with a time of 2:06:29. 

The women opened up the racing action at Karlovy Vary, the sixth World Triathlon Cup of the season and second Olympic-distance race, which features a course known for its grueling hills and descents. 

Rappaport had a strong push at the start, exiting the water second and making it into a leading bike pack of only five riders. Once onto the run, the three leaders were revealed early as Rappaport moved into the third position and was uncontested throughout the four-lap run.  

She crossed the line behind France’s Leonie Periault who took the women’s victory with a time of 2:05:04, followed by Bianca Seregni of Italy in second (2:05:46). The bronze medal for Rappaport tallied the first women’s World Cup medal of the year for the U.S.  

“I had some problems at the start of the season, but I still didn’t think I was going to race as early as I did. It’s been a battle back, so I am just hoping to take this momentum and carry it to my last races of the season. I am really happy to be back on the podium,” Rappaport said. “It’s definitely encouraging and it makes me feel like my fitness is really rounding back into shape and I am excited for my last World Triathlon races of the year.” 

In the men’s race, McElroy also had a swift swim, which landed him a spot in the leading group of 21 men on the bike, alongside fellow U.S. compatriot Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.). 

On the run, McElroy took an early lead holding off Hungary’s Csongor Lehmann and Germany’s Lasse Luhrs. However, in the final two kilometers, Lehmann put on the gas to take the lead and the win, finishing in 1:51:10. McElroy followed just 11 seconds behind, followed by Luhrs in third (1:51:42). 

“I was listening to everyone’s breathing, it sounded fine, but I knew our legs were shot. It was only a matter of time who was going to make the move on the last lap. My cycling is really good right now and I attest that to my coach Ian O’Brien and just the work we have been doing the last couple years, especially this year focusing more on the bike, which paid off today. We were organized. Some of the guys were really consistent and we kept the gap about a minute, I think they closed it down to just 40 seconds at the end. I am pretty happy with the result, I can’t complain,” McElroy said of his consistency in the race.  

The remaining U.S. finishers went to Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.), finishing 18th with a time of 2:08:51 and Annie Kelly (Atlanta, Ga.) in 39th with a time of 2:18:13 in the women’s race and Rider clocking 1:53:01 to finish 15th in the men’s race. 
 
The next World Triathlon Cup will be held in Tongyeong, South Korea on Oct. 15.

2022 World Triathlon Cup Karlovy Vary 
1500m swim, 40.8km bike, 10km run 

Elite Women’s Podium – Complete Results 
1. Leonie Periault (FRA), 2:05:04 
2. Bianca Seregni (ITA), 2:05:46 
3. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.), 2:06:29 

U.S. Women Finishers 
3. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.), 2:06:29 
18. Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.), 2:08:51 
39. Annie Kelly (Atlanta, Ga.), 2:18:13 

Elite Men’s Podium – Complete Results
1. Csongor Lehmann (HUN), 1:51:10
2. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 1:51:20
3. Lasse Luhrs (GER), 1:51:42

U.S. Men’s Finishers
2. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 1:51:20
15. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 1:53:01