Beth Potter Sweeps Grand Final and Series Crown

It took her until the age of 31, but Beth Potter combined her proven international run prowess with a recent, hard-won mastery of swimming and cycling to ascend to the pinnacle of triathlon’s prestigious Olympic distance. Potter already proved she belonged to vie at the top of her sport thanks to her wins in this season’s World Triathlon WTCS contests in Abu Dhabi and Montreal and the Paris Olympic Test Event. But there was one more hurdle she had to surmount – she had to beat her strongest rival Cassandre Beaugrand at the 2023 season Grand Final in Ponte Vedra Spain.

A razor slim points margin behind Beaugrand, Potter would ensure a world title if she beat French rival this Sunday afternoon. Unleashing her fearsome run with a race-best 33:26 split, Potter became the first British World Champion at this classic distance since Vicky Holland in 2018.

The hard job involved staying with the front pack in the swim with a third-best 19:58 swim split, and a tied-for 5th best 39.8-kilometer bike split that brought her to the run in 15th place. With a speedy transition, Potter carved out a lead over Beaugrand that the Frenchwoman never regained. In fact Potter teamed up with fellow Brit Kate Waugh to take the gold with a 1:53:19 time, 18 seconds ahead of Waugh and 37 seconds ahead of Beaugrand, who fought through a building hamstring pain issue to earn the bronze.

With the victory, Beth Potter won $18,000 for the Grand Final and $70,000 for winning the season-long World Triathlon Series Crown. Potter prevailed in that chase with 4,559 points to Beaugrand’s 4,410 for the runner-up slot. Emma Lombardi of France scored 3,792 points for third place. Taylor Spivey, hampered by a disappointing 16th place finish Sunday, took home 4th place in the yearlong Series.

“This has been a dream season,” Potter told World Triathlon media. “I wasn’t actually feeling too good on the swim and bike today so I had to work quite hard. I really reminded myself of all my training. I felt really good on the run. It was nice to run with my teammate (Kate Waugh) and see her get her first Series medal. I was very determined to win the World Championships. I am not surprised but it’s been tough.”

Race recap

Top two pre-race contenders Potter and Beaugrand lined up together long the swim pontoon, while Bianca Seregni of Italy and Olivia Mathias led the pack with Potter and Beaugrand sandwiched in the middle of the main pack. Maya Kingma of Netherlands, Taylor Spivey of the U.S. and Emma Lombardi of France just 10 seconds back. At T1, struggling to stay in the front six, with Sophie Coldwell, Kingma, and Mathias out together as Beaugrand and Potter in close quarters. Lindemann was first to bridge, Spivey joined and then Potter and Waugh were finally able to make it over before the end of lap one.

Joining a mid-pack group with Gwen Jorgensen and Lisa Tertsch, and Summer Rappaport suffered an injury and dropped out.

Kingma took the initiative and surged to the front, leaving a chase pack 40 seconds back despite the efforts of Julie Derron, Nina Eim and Zaferes to stick with the forward momentum. And despite her heroic efforts to make up for her 7 years away from the sport, Jorgensen started a race-long slide to the back.

Lombardi, Waugh and Potter emerged from T2 in the lead, while Beaugrand took a while to get up to speed. Whereupon Waugh and Potter and Lombardi pulled away as Beaugrand dropped back to run with Coldwell and Lehair six seconds behind the lead trio.

Waugh held close to training teammate, until Potter found an extra gear to close off a resurgent Beaugrand threat. Buoyed by her lead momentum, Potter cruised down the blue carpet with a safe gold. Waugh took silver followed by Series runner up Beaugrand in third place. Lisa Tertsch, after putting off until the last opportunity to serve a 15-second penalty, took fourth after a 33:53 run. Rachel Klamer also had an admirable 33:59 run for fifth and a guaranteed fourth Olympic start at Paris 2024. Sixth for Emma Lombardi after a sizzling 34:18 109k, earning a Series bronze, 618 points behind Beaugrand.

Race Results

1 Beth Potter GBR S 19:58 T1 1:19 B 58:13 T2 00:25 R 33:26 TOT 1:53:19 $18,000
2 Kate Waugh GBR S 19:59 T1 1:20 B 58:09 T2 00:27 R 33:44 TOT 1:53:37
3 Cassandre Beaugrand FRA S 19:49 T1 1:19 B 58:22 T2 00:28 R 33:54 TOT 1:53:50
4 Lisa Tertsch GER S 20:10 T1 1:15 B 58:16 T2 00:29 R 33:53 TOT 1:54:01
5 Rachel Klamer NED S 20:07 T1 1:23 B 58:13 T2 00:28 R 33:59 TOT 1:54:08
6 Emma Lombardi FRA S 19:53 T1 1:18 B 58:17 T2 00:25 R 34:18 TOT 1:54:09
7 Sophie Coldwell GBR S 19:43 T1 1:19 B 58:25 T2 00:27 R 34:19 TOT 1:54:12
8 Julie Derron SUI S 20:23 T1 1:20 B 57:58 T2 00:27 R 34:09 TOT 1:54:14
9 Noelia Juan ESP S 20:31 T1 1:14 B 58:00 T2 00:28 R 34:20 TOT 1:54:31
10 Alice Betto ITA S 19:51 T1 1:21 B 58:18 T2 00:31 R 34:36 TOT 1:54:35
15 Kirsten Kasper USA S 19:59 T1 1:19 B 58:10 T2 00:30 R 35:21 TOT 1:55:17
16 Taylor Spivey USA S 19:48 T1 1:22 B 58:18 T2 00:29 R 35:24 TOT 1:55:19
19 Katie Zaferes USA S 20:04 T1 1:24 B 58:13 T2 00:29 R 35:38 TOT 1:55:46
43 Gwen Jorgensen USA S 20:13 T1 1:23 B 1:01:18 T2 00:31 R 35:40 TOT 1:59:03
50 Gina Sereno USA S 20:54 T1 1:22 B 1:01:12 T2 00:31 R 37:21 TOT 2:01:19
DNF Summer Rappaport USA S 19:44 T1 1:26 B 0:00 T1 0:00 R 0:00
DNF Erika Ackerlund S 20:38 T1 1:20 B 1:00:55 T2 00:27 R 0::00

Final Series Rankings

1 Beth Potter GBR 4559.38 $70,000
2 Cassandre Beaugrand FRA 4410.98
3 Emma Lombardi FRA 3792.64
4 Taylor Spivey USA 3225.08
5 Sophie Coldwell GBR 2998.38
6 Kate Waugh GBR 2992.50
7 Lisa Tertsch GER 2909.42
8 Jeanne Lehair LUX 2762.23
9 Nina Eim GER 2671.77
10 Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal MEX 2486.02
11 Summer Rappaport USA 2357.47
12 Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR 2347.99
14 Taylor Knibb USA 2096.61
16 Kirsten Kasper USA 1939.65
17 Katie Zaferes USA 1937.18