supertri E World Championships: McQueen Gets Redemption, Potter Breaks Beaugrand

Chase McQueen had to wait one year but finally got redemption from his last supertri outing. At this race in 2023, McQueen fell way behind his fellow competitors and ended up doing butterfly on one of the swim legs. Today was a much different story. McQueen used a strong swim and bike combination to build a lead heading into the final stage. He would not relent from there and would go on to win his first World Title at the 2024 supertri E World Triathlon Championships. Winning this race simply meant more to McQueen, saying after the race, “I’m speechless…I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a really hard twelve months.”

The women’s race had the feeling of a heavyweight bout, with the top-2 ranked women in the world squaring off head to head. In her season opener, Beth Potter broke Cassandra Beaugrand in the final 1km run to become the first two-time winner of this series. After the race, Potter would say, “This is my season opener today. I didn’t know where my form was at… It was neck and neck. It was going to come down to who was the strongest over the final k.” Potter was not fully confident in her run form heading into the race, adding, “I’ve not done a lot of short, faster running.” It is clear that Potter had nothing to worry about and now carries momentum into her Olympic build.

Men’s Race:

Racing earlier in the day, the ten men in the finals had to first emerge from their two stage heats. The three qualifying heats each had ten athletes in them. The 1st two athletes from each heat and the next four fastest across all heats would go into the Final. This event, taking place entirely indoors, featured a 200m pool swim, a 4km bike on Zwift, and a 1km treadmill run. Many up and coming athletes broke through the qualifying round. Reigning U23 World Champion, Simon Henseleit, was the highest ranked athlete (37th in the world) that made it into the Final. Chase McQueen, who won Arena Games (now supertri E) Montreal last year, joined him. Four young Brits also made it through.

Stage 1 of the three stage Final adhered to the traditional swim, bike, and run, triathlon format. Stage 2 would put the disciplines in a different order, before moving back to the traditional order for a time pursuit final stage. Athletes were to begin the final stage based on their total time from the first two stages. The athlete with the lowest cumulative time would get to go off first. Then whatever order athletes finish the final stage in is their final placing in the overall race. Max Stapley and Chase McQueen both swam 2:04 for the 200m pool swim to begin the first stage. After a quick transition, they got onto the bike together. The bike consisted of 2 laps of the Crit City Downtown Dolphin Course on Zwift. All ten athletes got onto the bike and some began pushing power upwards of 6.0 w/kg. Samuel Dickinson moved up into the leading group of 3. McQueen would get off the bike in 1st by 3 seconds and would hold a narrow lead over Stapley and Dickinson by the end of the run.

After a 5 minute break, athletes began Stage 2 with the 1km treadmill run, before biking and swimming. Every athlete in the field ran under 3:00 for the 1km run. Hugo Milner, who only began triathlon in 2022, led out the run, followed closely by Maxime Hueber-Moosbrugger of France. McQueen would get himself up into 2nd place halfway through the bike. Hueber-Moosbrigger would get off the bike with a small lead but, after a slow transition, would enter the water behind McQueen. McQueen would go on to win Stage 2 by 7 seconds, continuing to build his lead over the field. McQueen, who was interviewed in between Stages 2 and 3, told the commentators that, “I want this more than anything.”

McQueen began the Stage 3 (swim-bike-run) time pursuit start with a 12 second gap to Stapley, with Dickinson only having to wait an additional second to follow. McQueen swam a strong 2:07.97 200m, which shows the demands of this kind of racing, being almost 4 seconds slower than his opening 200m from Stage 1. After the swim, Stapley and Dickinson were 11 and 15 seconds back, respectively. McQueen went to work on the bike and pulled further and further away. His lead grew to 18 seconds by the end of the bike. Stapley and Dickinson would get onto the treadmill together, seemingly in a battle for 2nd. McQueen did see his lead begin to diminish but the run was not quite long enough for anybody to catch him. He would take the win by 9 seconds over Stapley. Hueber-Moosbrigger overtook Dickinson halfway through the run to round out the podium. On his 2nd place finish, Stapley said, “I can’t complain with second at a World Championship... I couldn’t match his [McQueen’s] power [on the bike].” McQueen was impressive, particularly on the swim and bike, through each stage of today’s race. He can now put his 2023 London result firmly in the rearview. He is your new World Champion for this format.

Women’s Race

The women’s Final featured 7 women ranked inside of the top-66, headlined by Cassandra Beaugrand (World #1) and Beth Potter (World #2). Potter beat Beaugrand by 6 seconds at the Paris Test event on August 17th, where they went 1-2. They met again for the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Finals in Pontevedra, Spain, on September 24th. Potter was, again, victorious. Beaugrand finished 31 seconds back in 3rd place. Beaugrand opened her season on March 23rd at the 2024 Europe Triathlon Cup Quarteira. She came 2nd to Lisa Tertsch (World #6) by 5 seconds. This would be Potter’s season opener.

Beaugrand led out the Stage 1 200m swim in about 2:12. Potter followed closely in 2nd, with American Katie Zaferas, right behind them. Living up to the pre-race hype, Beaugrand and Potter biked within a couple of seconds of one another. Potter hit the lead for the first time 300m into the 1km run. She built a small cushion from there and would take Stage 1 by 5 seconds. Zaferas took a clear third and the trio positioned themselves well ahead of the rest of the field. Stage 2 began with the run leg. Potter and Beaugrand ran step for step, with Zaferas 3 seconds in arrears. The bike was no different. Neither Potter or Beaugrand could find any separation, before making their way to the swim. Potter had a faster transition and that proved to be the difference in Stage 2. Beaugrand, known as a stronger swimmer, pulled even with Potter, but only as they touched the wall at the same time to finish the swim.

Potter earned a 5 second head start over Beaugrand to begin Stage 3. Zaferas started 30 seconds back. The race for the win was still up in the air and was determined to come down to the run. After 100m of the swim, Beaugrand closed her deficit to one length behind Potter. The effort used to close down that gap, however, seemed to be a big one, as she could not go past Potter. The leading duo would head out of the water and onto the bike together. Beaugrand and Potter were inseparable on the bike. Beaugrand was fastest off of the bike but Potter would still get onto the treadmill first. In this format, every second in transition proved to be crucial. After trading blows throughout the evening, these two women had 1km in front of them to decide who would win the World Title. At the 300m mark, Potter opened up a small lead. Beaugrand was visibly hurting and Potter’s lead quickly grew to 5 seconds. Her lead would balloon to 27 seconds by the finish. She had finally broken Beaugrand, after a little over 30 minutes of racing. Potter took her 2nd World Title in less than 6 months. Zaferas finished in 3rd. On the difficulty of racing indoors, Zaferas said that, “It might be my last time.” Beaugrand collapsed after the final run, and was seen holding her left calf. It looked like a cramp and shows how intense this kind of racing can be. Potter made it look easier than the rest on the final run and can now call herself World Champion.

Additional Notes

1) Lionel Sanders’ bike Course Record (5:05) remains safe. During Stage 3 of the men’s race, one of the commentators read a text from Talbot Cox that said that Lionel is watching the race and will be back on a future supertri start line. That is something that a lot of people will be eager to see.

2) This race awarded 500 World Triathlon points to the winner, equivalent to a World Cup win. Scoring from today’s race can help athletes secure race starts later in the season.

3) This is the 3rd year of the indoor version of the supertri World Championships. Beth Potter and Alex Yee were the first winners in Singapore in 2022. Sophie Linn and Henri Schoeman were the winners of a 3 event series last year. Beth Potter is now the first two-time winner.

4) Cassandra Beaugrand and Beth Potter actually have the same 3000m track personal bests (9:02). Most people know that Beth Potter was a professional runner, before turning to triathlon. It is impressive how far her swim and bike skills have grown over the last several years. After winning the Paris Test Event and beating Beaugrand convincingly tonight, the Brit has to be thinking about gold in Paris.

Photos Courtesy of supertri