Zaferes tops Taylor-Brown by 11 seconds at WTS Montreal

Katie Zaferes of the U.S. increased her stranglehold on the 2019 World Triathlon Series points chase with her 4th win of the season on a hot day at WTS Montreal. Zaferes unleashed a race-best run split to pull away from Georgia Taylor-Brown of Great Britain, avenging her loss to Taylor-Brown earlier this month at Leeds.

Zaferes posted a race-best 16:58 5k run – 9 seconds better than Taylor-Brown – which brought her to the line of the sprint distance event in 58:15 with an 11 seconds margin of victory over Taylor-Brown and 34 seconds over 3rd place finisher Jessica Learmonth of Great Britain.

Alice Betto of Italy, who rode with the lead pack of seven women throughout the bike leg, finished 4th, 8 seconds behind Learmonth and 28 seconds ahead of 5th-place Taylor Knibb of the U.S.

After five of eight WTS events, Zaferes leads the WTS women’s standings with 4925 points, 755 ahead of Learmonth and 1000 points ahead of third-place Taylor-Brown. Taylor Spivey of the U.S., who did not race today, stands 4th in WTS women’s points, 496 behind Taylor-Brown.

Race recap

Vittoria Lopes of Brazil led a swim breakaway of four women with a 9:15 split, followed closely by Maya Kingma of Netherlands, Jessica Learmonth of Great Britain and Katie Zaferes of the U.S.

Early on the curvy, technical five lap, 20-kilometer bike leg through Montreal streets, Lopes, Learmonth, Kingma and Zaferes opened a 120 meter lead on Alice Betto of Italy, Tamara Gorman of the U.S and Georgia Taylor-Brown and Taylor Knibb of the U.S. Within two laps, Gorman faded off the back while Taylor Knibb of the U.S. made a charge that put her at the front of the chase pack. Halfway through the ride, the chasers caught the front four, making a lead pack of seven and soon took several turns at the front.

Near the end of the bike leg, Lopes fell off the back while Kingma, Knibb, Zaferes, Learmonth, Taylor-Brown and Betto hit T2 in close formation.

After the first 2.5k run lap, Zaferes and Taylor-Brown surged ahead and ran together about 30 meters in front of Betto and Learmonth while Knibb fell a minute back. At 4 kilometers, Bettod opened a 20 meter lead on Learmonth, but Learmonth regrouped and retook 3rd place with 900 meters to go.

On that last lap, the duel between Taylor-Brown and Zaferes heated up. Beyond the win, at stake was the psychological dominance that Zaferes had earned early in the season. Could Zaferes regain the momentum or had Taylor-Brown wrested the confidence from the American?

With 1.87 kilometers to go, Taylor-Brown edged up to run side by side with Zaferes. At 1.7km to go, Taylor Brown gained a 1 meter lead on Zaferes. At 1.5km to go, Zaferes pushed back and ran side by side with Taylor Brown again. At 1.27km to go, Zaferes led at the last U-turn. With 790 meters to go, Taylor-Brown pushed back and ran side by side with Zaferes once more. With 570 meters to go, Zaferes exerted her will and took a 6 meters lead. With 400 meters left, Taylor-Brown gave her last measure of resistance and closed on Zaferes’ shoulder.

Then Zaferes broke the string that held the two rivals together. At 300 meters Zaferes led by 3 meters. At 240 meters to go, Zaferes led by 12 meters. With 100 meters remaining, Zaferes led by 20 meters. At the line, Zaferes won by 30 meters, taking a nigh insurmountable lead for the WTS World Championship title that eluded her by a few seconds and a few points last year.

WTS Montreal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
June 29, 2019
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k


Elite Women

1. Katie Zaferes (USA) 58:15 S 9:20 T1 1:18 B 30:10 T2 00:32 R 16:58
2. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) 58:26 S 9:28 T1 1:19 B 30:00 T2 00:33 R 17:07
3. Jessica Learmonth (GBR) 58:49 S 9:17 T1 1:20 B 30:10 T2 00:35 R 17:29
4. Alice Betto (ITA) 58:57 S 9:25 T1 1:20 B 30:03 T2 00:33 R 17:38
5. Taylor Knibb (USA) 59:25 S 9:26 T1 1:27 B 29:24 T2 00:40 R 18:00
6. Claire Michel (BEL) 59:35 S 9:43 T1 1:22 B 30:48 T2 00:33 R 17:10
7. Emma Jackson (AUS) 59:38 S 9:32 T1 1:27 B 30:55 T2 00:37 R 17:09
8. Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) 59:42 S 9:50 T1 1:19 B 30:42 T2 00:31 R 17:21
9. Jaz Hedgeland (AUS) 59:45 S 9:38 T1 1:25 B 30:48 T2 00:30 R 17:26
10. Rachel Klamer (NED) 59:51 S 9:33 T1 1:30 B 30:48 T2 00:30 R 17:33

WTS Women’s 2019 Season Points Standings

1. Katie Zaferes (USA) 4925
2. Jessica Learmonth (GBR) 4170
3. Georgia Taylor Brown (GBR) 3925
4. Taylor Spivey (USA) 3429
5. Non Stanford (GBR) 2435
6. Joanna Brown (CAN) 1927
7. Rachel Klamer (NED) 1806
8. Lotte Miller (NOR) 1715
9. Vicky Holland (GBR) 1541
10. Taylor Knibb (USA) 1523