The 2022 World Triathlon Series Championship Women’s division got off to a rollicking start with a five-women battle on the final run. The leading players were the reigning Olympic gold and silver medalists (Flora Duffy and Georgia Taylor-Brown), two French up and comers (Leonie Periault and Emma Lombardi) and last year’s Dutch surprise (Maya Kingma). And following in 6th place was U.S. 23-year-old sensation Taylor Knibb.
The star of the rainy, charcoal grey skies day was Georgia Taylor-Brown, who opened with a 7th-best 18:55 swim split that left her six seconds arrears. After a sixth-best 58:39 bike split that left her six seconds back at T2, Taylor-Brown mixed it up as a part of a tightly packed quintet - including Flora Duffy, Leonie Periault, Emma Lombardi and Maya Kingma– until the final meters. With just 200 meters to go, the Olympic silver medalist unleashed her final sprint to conclude with a race-best 32:45 10km and cross the line in 1:51:44 with a 6-seconds margin over Leonie Periault and 11 seconds over Duffy.
Cassandre Beaugrand of France led the swim with an 18:49 split that gave her a 2 seconds lead on Maya Kingma of Netherlands, 4 seconds over Flora Duffy of Bermuda, Emma Lombardi of France and Natalie Van Coevorden of Australia, 5 seconds over Taylor Knibb of the U.S. and six seconds over Georgia Taylor-Brown, Anabel Knoll and Laura Lindemann of Germany.
Just 3 laps into the 9-lap, 40¬-kilometer bike leg over the rain slick streets of Yokohama, Laura Lindemann and Cassandre Beaugrand of France took nasty falls that scraped off large swaths of skin and knocked both of them out of the lead pack and the race.
The original lead pack of 14 was soon reduced to 9, 7 within one second including Knibb, Kirsten Kasper, Kingma, Taylor Spivey, Duffy, Anabel Knoll, and Georgia Taylor-Brown. French competitors Emma Lombardi and Leonie Periault followed, 2 seconds further arrears. When the pack hit T2, the order shuffled into Knoll, Kingma, Taylor-Brown one second back, Kasper and Spivey 4 seconds back, Lombardi and Periault trailing by 5 seconds, Duffy 6 seconds behind and Knibb following by 12 seconds.
Starting the run, Taylor-Brown broke away to a 40-meter lead with Duffy, Lombardi, Periault, and Kingma in a pack 8 seconds back. Halfway through the run, the front pack of five settled in together comprised of Taylor-Brown, Periault, Lombardi, Duffy and Kingma. Spread out from 6th through 9th places were Knibb (+19 seconds, +Knoll (+32 seconds) Spivey (+1:1-) and Kasper (+1:09). At the 3 lap mark, Duffy took a brief, short lead, but at the start of the 4th and final lap, Taylor-Brown surge into another breakaway – 35 meters over Periault, and Lombardi and Duffy dropped Kingma. At the line, Taylor Brown finished in 1:51:4 with a 6 seconds lead on Periault, 11 seconds on third place Duffy, 19 seconds on Lombardi, 28 seconds on Kingma, 1:16 on Knibb 1:54 on Knoll and 2:52 on Spivey.
World Triathlon Championship Series – Yokohama
May 14, 2022
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) S 18:55 T1 1:05 B 58:39 T2 00:22 R 32:45 TOT 1:51:44
2. Leonie Periault (FRA) S 19:01 T1 1:05 B 58:36 R2 00:24 R 32:47 TOT 1:51:50
3. Flora Duffy (BER) S 18:53 T1 1:02 B 58:43 T2 00:29 R 32:50 TOT 1:51:55
4. Emma Lombardi (FRA) S 18:53 T1 1:02 b 58:47 t2 00:24 R 32:59 TOT 1:52:03
5. Maya Kingma (NED) S 18:51 T1 `1:03 B 58:43 T2 00:24 R 33:13 TOT 1:52:12
6. Taylor Knibb (USA) 18:54 T1 1:12 B 58:36 T2 00:30 R 33:50 TOT 1:53:00
7. Anabel Knoll (GER) S 18:55 T1 1:07 B 58:36 T2 00:23 R 34:39 TOT 1:53:38
8. Taylor Spivey (USA) S 18:56 T1 1:05 B 58:38 T2 00:25 R 35:34 TOT 1:54:36
9. Kirsten Kasper (USA) S 18:56 T1 1:08 B 58:33 T2 00:28 R 36:15 TORT 1:55:18
10. Miriam Casillas Garcia (ESP) S 19:07 T1 1:12 B 1:01:05 T2 00:23 R 33:54 TOT 1:55:38
11. Beth Potter (GBR) S 18:56 R1 1:06 B 1:01:20 T2 00:26 R 34:09 TOT 1:55:55
15 Ericka Ackerlund (USA) S 19:08 T1 1:05 B 1:01:09 T2 00:26 R 34:35 TOT 1:56:21