Georgia Taylor-Brown of Great Britain won her first World Triathlon Series event with a race-best 34:27 10k run split that brought her to the finish in 1:55:46 with an 11 seconds margin of victory over Katie Zaferes of the U.S. Taylor-Brown’s run moved her past Zaferes 3 kilometers into the 10k final leg, and was 18 seconds faster than Zaferes’ split.
The defeat was Zaferes’ first loss of the 2019 WTS season, coming after three straight wins at Abu Dhabi, Bermuda and Yokohama. Zaferes continues to hold a big lead halfway through the season as her 3925 points gives her a 611 point lead over Jessica Learmonth of Great Britain, who finished 3rd today, 1:36 behind Taylor-Brown.
Taylor Spivey of the U.S. finished 4th, 1:36 behind the winner, and maintained her 3rd place with 3249 WTS season points.
When asked if this was the best race of her career, Taylor-Brown explained in strategic terms. “I had a really good swim,” she told ITU media regarding her 7th-best 18:47 split that left her just 13 seconds behind swim leader and fellow Brit Jessica Learmonth.
“I was in a good position with Taylor Spivey and I can thank her for the help.”
Taylor-Brown admitted her all-out effort on the swim left her wrung out. “It really hurt," said Taylor-Brown. “I was a bit worried starting to ride. It was hard the first part of the bike. But then we had a good group and worked well together.”
Taylor-Brown said that there was a key moment when she and the lead pack solidified a 1 minute lead. “The most important parts were the downhill sections because often you back off to rest,” she said. “But Jess [Learmonth] is really good at keeping us pushing on the descent.”
Taylor-Brown and Zaferes started the run together but the British rising star said her surge away from her rival at the 3 kilometer mark wasn't pre-planned. “Absolutely not,” she said. “Before the race I thought I would run hard after transition. But when I got into the race I thought ‘There is no running hard today.’ I just tried to stay relaxed and pulled away kind of easy. My strength is running uphill and I just relax on the downhills. After that, I tried to stay on that rhythm and enjoy myself."
Zaferes was not discouraged with at her first WTS loss of the season. “Not at all,” she said. “I am really happy. Last year I really struggled here on the bike section. But during the race today I was thinking: ‘Oh. This is much better than last year.’ When it came to the run, Georgia ran so strong. She got me at the perfect section and pretty much had me the rest of the way. I didn’t give up and I stayed 10 seconds back the rest of the way. But 10 seconds never seemed so far away.”
Leeds, Great Britain
June 9, 2019
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) 1:55:46 S 18:47 T1 1:08 B 1:00:56 T2 00:28 R 34:27
2. Katie Zaferes (USA) 1:55:57 S 18:39 T1 1:07 B 1:01:05 T2 00:23 R 34:45
3. Jessica Learmonth (GBR) 1:57:22 S 18:34 T1 1:10 B 1:01:08 T2 00:24 R 36:06
4. Taylor Spivey (USA) 1:57:38 S 18:41 T1 1:07 B 1:01:05 T2 00:29 R 36:16
5. Non Stanford (GBR) 1:57:53 S 18:55 T1 1:14 B 1:02:34 T2 00:30 R 34: 41
6. Leonie Periault (FRA) 1:57:55 S 19:06 T1 1:10 B 1:02:28 T2 00:25 R 34:46
7. Vicky Holland (GBR) 1:58:01 S 18:57 T1 1:12 B 1:02:33 T2 00:27 R 34:52
8. Vittoria Lopes (BRA) 1:58:19 S 18:36 T1 1:16 B 1:01:02 T2 00:36 R 36:49
9. Sophie Coldwell (GBR) 1:58:36 S 18:37 T1 1:06 B 1:01:09 T2 00:20 R 37:24
10. Tamara Gorman (USA) 1:58:40 S 19:00 T1 1:10 B 1:02:31 T2 00:29 R 35:31
21. Chelsea Burns (USA) 2:01:02 S 19:19 T1 1:13 B 1:03:07 T2 00:30 R 36:53
WTS Series Point Standings
1. Katie Zaferes (USA) 3925
2. Jessica Learmonth (GBR) 3314
3. Taylor Spivey (USA) 3249
4. Georgia Taylor Brown (GBR) 3000
5. Non Stanford (GBR) 2435
6. Lotte Miller (NOR) 1715-`
7. Vicky Holland (GBR) 1541
8. Joanna Brown (CAN) 1503
9. Summer Rappaport (USA) 1420
10. Yuko Takahashi (JPN) 1364