Hellwig Wins Photo Finish at Hamburg

With six men hitting the blue carpet together, Tim Hellwig emerged inches ahead of Paul Georgenthum and atop four others in a frantic photo finish battle at the Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon Series sprint Saturday.

When the shouting was over, Hellwig took the gold in 53:08 while Georgenthum earned the silver in his World Triathlon Series debut, one second ahead of fellow Frenchman Leo Bergere.

Race recap

Jonas Schomburg of Germany led the 51-man field out of the water with a, 8:29 split that put him ahead of a pack of six including Takumi Hojo of Japan, Mark Devay of Hungary, Hellwig, Chase McQueen of the U.S., and Dylan McCullough of New Zealand 10 seconds
ahead of the chase pack.

Pre-race favorites Leo Bergere of France, Antonio Serrat Seoane
of Spain and Casper Stornes of Norway were another 15-20 seconds arrears.

Two laps into the bike leg, Bergere caught the leaders and advanced to lead the group with Serrat Seoane next in a pack of 25 at T2.

In a tangle of men in T2, Bergere left in the lead followed by Emil Holm of Denmark, Georgenthum and Tom Richard of France. Of the pack OF 25, Lasse Nygaard-Priester of Germany, Charles Paquet of Canada, and Serrat-Seoane held on together. When they hit the blue carpet, they all went into a furious sprint.

At the finish, Hellwig crossed the line first - a career best.

“There’s no better place in the world to win your first WTCS race than here at home - it’s a special feeling,” Hellwig told World Triathlon media. “I raced here last year on a different course. This one you have so much spectator support, cheering you on, we were just flying.” Hellwig said he watched the replay from 2019 and saw the sprint finish between Jake Birtwhistle and Vincent Luis. “I thought, don’t go too early, and I think I timed it perfect.”

Georgenthum was cheerful to claim the silver on his debut on the Series. “I am really happy,” he told World Triathlon media. “It was my first WTCS race and before the race, I couldn’t imagine this result. I am very happy.”

Bergere was a bit disappointed. “I will take that but to be completely honest, I am quite disappointed. Three bronze medals in a row [at Montreal and Edmonton] is quite good but at the same time, I really want more. I am disappointed that the breakaway didn’t pay off today so next time I will have the same motivation to attack. The younger guys had something more in the tank, for the sprint finish. I can say that I am so happy for my teammate and training mate Paul (Georgenthum), for his first-ever WTCS race and second today."

Fellow German Lasse Nygaard-Priester, rounded out his victory last week at the Karlovy Vary World Cup, posting the fastest running split in Hamburg [14:33] , which took him to fourth place, while Antonio Serrat-Seoane rounded out the top 5.

Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon Championship
Hamburg, Germany
September 18, 2021
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k


1. Tim Hellwig (GER) S 8:29 T1 00:39 B 29:04 T2 00:24 R 14:34 TOT 53:08
2. Paul Georgenthum (FRA) S 9:00 T1 00:36 B 28:35 T2 00:24 R 14:34 TOT 53:08
3. Leo Bergere (FRA) S 8:42 T1 00:36 B 28:52 T2 00:22 R 14:38 TOT 53:09
4. Lasse Nygaard-Priester (GER) S 8:53 T1 00:37 B 28:44 T2 00:24 R 14:33 TOT 53:09
5. Antonio Serrat-Seoane (ESP) S 8:46 T1 00:39 B 28:52 T2 00:21 R 14:35 TOT 53:12
6. Tom Richard (FRA) S 8:45 T1 00:42 B 28:49 T2 00:24 R 14:37 TOT 53:14
7. Charles Paquet (CAN) S 8:57 T1 00:41 B 28:35 T2 00:24 R 14:42 TOT 53:167
8. Vetle Bergsvik Thorn (NOR) S 8:54 T1 00:42 B 28:37 T2 00:24 R 14:47 TOT 53:22
9. Erwin Vanderplancke (BEL) S 8:58 T1 00:41 B 28:39 T2 00:23 R 14:45 TOT 53:24
10. Emil Holm (DEN) S 8:57 T1 00:39 B 28:35 T2 00:21 R 14:54 TOT 53:25
25. Jonas Schomburg (GER) S 8:29 T1 00:39 B 29:07 T2 00:24 R 15:28 TOT 54:06
28. Casper Stornes (NOR) S 8:59 T1 00:44 B 29:13 T2 00:29 R 14:51 TOT 54:14
29. Chase McQueen (USA) S 8:31 T1 00:38 B 29:04 T2 00:23 R 15:41 TOT 54:16
42. Darr Smith (USA) S 8:54 T1 00:39 B 29:24 T2 00:29 R 16:25 TOT 55:46