Summer Cook of the U.S. dominated the women’s field while Jelle Geens of Belgium nipped Tayler Reid of New Zealand by one meter to win the sprint distance inaugural Antwerp World Cup.
Cook took control with a surge out of the bike to run transition, and hit the finish in 1:02:52 with a 19 seconds margin of victory over Beth Potter of Great Britain and 21 seconds over 3rd place finisher Verena Steinhauser of Italy.
Potter, who ran the 10,000 meters for Great Britain at the Rio Olympics, was the surprise of the day as she earned her first podium in just seventh ITU triathlon and 3rd crack at a World Cup. . While Cook capped off her sixth World Cup victory with a women’s third-best 16:48 closing 5k, Potter passed several women and made up much of a 30 seconds deficit after the bike with a race-best 16:37 run.
Geens made up for a 30 seconds deficit after the swim with a race-best bike split and a tied-for 2nd-best 15:02 run to hit the tape in 58:15 with a one meter margin of vlctory over Reid, who recorded an equal time split.
Lucy Hall of Great Britain and Tamara Gorman of the U.S. broke into a lead at the start of the swim, only to be passed by home country favorite Valerie Barthelemy and Summer Cook, who led the quartet out of the water in 8:40.
Natalie Van Coevorden of Australia joined the swim leaders put of transition and the quintet attempted to break away on the first kilometer of the bike course. However, the sharp corners and cobblestones hampered the surge and seven more women including Amelie Kretz of Canada, Valerie Steinhauser of Italy and Kyleigh Spearing of the U.S. joined the front pack. The dozen made the best of the tight corners and cobblestones to arrive at T2 with a 27 seconds lead on their chasers – who included Potter.
Cook quickly separated herself from the breakaway bike pack and cruised to the win with a 19 seconds cushion of Potter, who sliced through the remainder of the lead bike pack bike leaders with ease. Steinhauser fought hard to claim the first World Cup podium of her career, sprinting away from Sandra Dodet of France – who won the first World Cup of her career three weeks prior at Astana - by 3 seconds to take 3rd place.
Martin Van Riel of Belgium, who took 5th place at WTS Leeds last weekend, led the men out of the water with a 9:01 split followed closely by Jonas Schomburg of Germany and Tyler Mislawchuk of Canada. The trio tried to make a break at the beginning of the bike leg, but they were soon reeled in by a massive horde.
Bravely but with futile result, Mislawchuk, Norwegian newcomer Casper Stornes (who won WTS Bermuda last month), Matthew Sharpe of Canada, Reid and Uxio Abuin Ares of Spain all tried and failed solo breaks.
After the herd arrived at T2, Geens led a group of 10 men on a surge. On the final lap, Jeens and four men started an early sprint. At the finish line, Geens capped off a tied-for race-best 15:02 5k with a one meter margin of victory over Reid and a 2 seconds advantage over Mislawchuk, who earned his first World Cup podium with a 3rd place finish.
Van Riel took 4th and Matthew Sharpe of Canada took 5th. Alex Yee of Great Britain, who fell far behind after the swim and bike legs, sped to the finish with a race-best 14:50 run to finish 49th of 58 finishers.
Antwerp World Cup
June 17, 2018
S 750m / B 22.6k / R 5k
1. Jelle Geens (BEL) 58:15
2. Tayler Reid (NZL) 58:15
3. Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) 58:17
4. Marten Van Riel (BEL) 58:24
5. Matthew Sharpe (CAN) 58:24
6. Seth Rider (USA) 58:26
7. Kyle Smith (NZL) 58:26
8. Constantine Doherty (IRL) 58:26
9. Casper Stornes (NOR) 58:31
10. Marc Austin (GBR) 58:39
11. Tony Smoragiewicz (USA) 58:43
13. Kevin McDowell (USA) 58:49
18. Morgan Pearson (USA) 59:30
1. Summer Cook (USA) 1:02:52
2. Beth Potter (GBR) 1:03:11
3. Verena Steinhauser (ITA) 1:03:13
4. Sandra Dodet (FRA) 1:03:16
5. Natalie Van Coevorden (AUS) 1:03:21
6. Ilaria Zane (ITA) 1:03:34
7. Claire Michel (BEL) 1:03:37
8. Nicole Van Der Kaay (NZL) 1:03:38
9. Tamara Gorman (USA) 1:03:39
10. Jeanne Lehair (FRA) 1:03:46
19. Taylor Knibb (USA) 1:04:27
20. Kyleigh Spearing (USA) 1:04:31
34. Renee Tomlin (USA) 1:06:12
39. Jessica Broderick (USA) 1:06:23