Knibb takes Junior Women Worlds; Montoya wins Under 23 Men

Taylor Knibb repeats

Taylor Knibb of the U.S. repeated her 2016 Junior Women’s world title at the sprint distance with a powerful exhibition on the bike at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam Friday.

Knibb, coming off a breakthrough 2nd place finish behind Flora Duffy at the senior elite WTS round in Edmonton last month, was stuck mid pack on the swim but quickly broke away with top swimmer Fuka Sega of Japan to ride in the lead on the first lap. On the second lap, Knibb rode away from Sega and rode solo for the entire 20 kilometer bike leg to carve out a 30 seconds lead at T2. Knibb’s 31:11 bike split was 20 seconds better than the next best effort by Lena Meissner of Germany, who was 40 seconds back after the swim, and 43 seconds better than Knibb’s strongest overall challengers.

Knibb, knowing that she was pursued by strong runners, ran scared and posted a 2nd-best 17:39 5-kilometer run to finish in 1:01:22 with a 16 seconds margin of victory over Kate Waugh of Great Britain and 43 seconds over 3rd place finisher Fuka Sega of Japan.

Waugh charged hard but her race-best 17:19 run could only earn silver.

“I saw that Kate (Waugh) was closing the gap on me so I freaked out and ran hard, so it really made me earn it,” Knibb told ITU media. “It was a great race and she (Waugh) had an amazing race.”

ITU World Championship Junior Women
Rotterdam, Netherlands
September 15, 2017
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k


1. Taylor Knibb (USA) 1:01:22 S 10:16 T1 1:51 B 31:11 T2 00:27 R 17:39
2. Kate Waugh (GBR) 1:01:38 S 10:17 T1 1:46 B 31:54 T2 00:24 R 17:19
3. Fuka Sega (JPN) 1:02:05 S 10:04 T1 1:49 B 32:04 T2 00:25 R 17:45
4. Therese Feuersinger (AUT) 1:02:24 S 10:15 T1 1:50 B 31:52 T2 00:23 R 18:07
5. Hannah Knighton (NZL) 1:02:24 S 10:16 T1 1:48 B 31:54 T2 00:22 R 18:06
6. Olivia Mathias (GBR) 1:02:42 S 1:02:42 S 10:15 T1 1:45 B 31:57 T2 00:25 R 18:21
7. Lena Meissner (GER) 1:02:55 S 10:55 T1 1:48 B 31:31 T2 00:25 R 18:18
8. Desirae Ridenour (CAN) 1:03:02 S 10:46 T1 1:41 B 31:52 T2 00:23 R 18:22
9. Hye Rim Jeong (KOR) 1:03:05 S 10:33 T1 1:48 B 31:58 T2 00:22 R 18:26
10. Kira Hedgeland (AUS) 1:03:15 S 10:35 T1 1:45 B 31:58 T2 00:28 R 18:31

Raphael Montoya outsprints French countryman Dorian Coninx for Men’s Under 23 title

Raphael Montoya of France overcame a 42 seconds deficit after the swim and 20 seconds gap after the bike leg with a race-best 31:07 run to outsprint countryman Dorian Coninx at the line for the Under 23 gold.

After wet weather conditions left all races delayed by one hour, the men’s U23 race had an evening start, which meant the sunset would meet the finish line.

Montoya combined a 20th-best 19:09 swim, a 4th-fastest 59:13 bike split over Rotterdam’s narrow, twisty, turny streets and a superior 31:07 run split to finish in 1:51:28 with a 4 seconds margin of victory over Dorian Coninx and 20 seconds ahead of 3rd place finisher Luke Willian of Australia. Willian might have made the finish sprint a 3-man affair had he not served a 15 seconds penalty for misplacing his swim cap outside his equipment box in T1.

Sachar Sagiv of Israel had a career breakthrough 4th place finish, 11 seconds back of Willian.

Montoya’s Under 23 World Championship gold was his second World crown as he previously won the Junior World title in 2014.

“This is a good race for me,” Montoya told ITU media. “I am very happy with my swim and on the bike I just tried to save some energy for the run. I needed it for the battle against Dorian (Coninx). Three years ago I won the Junior World title and now the U23 World title, I just hope that one day I win the Grand Final. When I saw Luke [Willian] get his penalty, Dorian and I looked at each other and then I tried to attack. I wasn’t very confident, as my legs were aching, but I managed to do it.”

Coninx, who won the ITU World Championship Junior title in 2013, enjoyed the battle despite coming out second best. “It was very hard, but it’s the kind the race I like a lot,” he told ITU media. “After the swim I felt really bad, but I thought that I had to give it a try and see how I was feeling. I worked a lot on the bike with my training partner, Léo Bergere, and I kept feeling better and better. At the beginning of the run, I had cramps, but it got better after 2 kilometers, and then I started to think it was gonna be OK. I just missed a bit more of energy at the end. We knew from almost the beginning that Luke (Willian) had to serve a penalty, [and] I kept that in mind for all the running. I tried to sprint Raphael at the end, before the corner, but he was stronger than me.”

“When I left the penalty box I just tried to close the gap as much as I could but I just couldn’t get there,” said Willian. “When Dorian and Bergere broke away we worked very hard trying to close that gap down. On the run, I tried to work hard and catch the guys. I knew that I had to serve a penalty since the first time I went through T2, but it’s part of the racing. The last two laps I was just pushing really hard, and then when I stopped, I was just standing there watching them get away.”

ITU World Championship Under 23 Men
Rotterdam, Netherlands
September 15, 2017
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k


1. Raphael Montoya (FRA) 1:51:28 S 19:09 T1 1:37 B 59:13 T2 00:23 R 31:07
2. Dorian Coninx (FRA) 1:51:32 S 18:51 T1 1:39 B 59:12 T2 00:22 R 31:31
3. Luke Willian (AUS) 1:51:48 S 19:01 T1 1:31 B 59:26 T2 00:13 R 31:40
4. Shachar Sagiv (ISR) 1:51:59 S 19:06 T1 1:34 B 59:16 T2 00:22 R 31:44
5. Antonio Serrat Seoane (ESP) 1:52:22 S 19:13 T1 1:43 B 59:04 T2 00:24 R 32:01
6. Léo Bergere (FRA) 1:52:48 S 19:10 T1 1:35 B 58:56 T2 00:21 R 32:48
7. Gordon Benson (GBR) 1:53:08 S 18:57 T1 1:41 B 59:21 T2 00:24 R 32:48
8. Jonas Schomburg (ITU) 1:53:15 S 18:33 T1 1:39 B 59:45 T2 00:20 R 32:59
9. Sylvain Fridelance (SUI) 1:53:32 S 19:11 T1 00:25 B 59:09 T2 00:25 R 33:11
10. Delian Stateff (ITA) 1:53:34 S 18:36 T1 1:40 B 1:01:32 T2 00:23 R 31:25
13. Tony Smoragiewicz (USA) 1:53:44 S 19:47 T1 1:39 B 1:00:19 T2 00:23 R 31:38