France claim first ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Title
France were crowned ITU Mixed Relay World Champions after winning the seventh edition in Hamburg yesterday (19 July).
On a cloudy, cold day the French team of Jeanne Lehair, Dorian Coninx, Audrey Merle and Vincent Luis edged out a tight race, finishing just nine seconds ahead of Team Australia.
The Great British team, who beat the French team to the World Title last year, took the bronze medal following a 10-second penalty for the German team.
Racing in teams of four, competitors each raced one lap through the city of 300m swim, 6.6km bike and 1,600m run:
GB’s Vicky Holland in action
Vicky Holland of Great Britain started the strongest, recording a 20:38mins split on the first leg, despite falling after dismounting from her bike.
Gordon Benson, European Games Champion, had the lead going into the second leg but the lead was a narrow one and eventually Australia and Germany caught up.
France’s Dorian Coninx clawed back a 17-second deficit from the first leg to put France back amongst the top three and back into contention.
From there on it was a heated race with all four nations jostling for position. GB’s Non Stanford put in a stellar performance and was quickest on the third lap, giving Mark Buckingham a small advantage going into the final lap.
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Love @worldtriathlon mixed relay! Super fast racing and triathlon at its best and most exciting… @iamspecialized https://t.co/u15zb1qoDR
— Non Stanford (@NonStanford) July 19, 2015
Buckingham held the lead in the water but lost the advantage at the first transition as the teams from Germany, Australia and France joined him. All four teams set off at roughly the same time.
Luis and Bailie sprinted out of the second transition leaving Buckingham and Germany’s Gregor Buchholz to battle for third.
Luis, who won the World Triathlon Hamburg Men’s individual race on Saturday, was able to find another gear and fend off any challenge by Bailie, who had to settle for second.
Buchholz sprinted ahead of Buckingham in the battle for third, however due to a 10-second penalty, which was picked up after a mistake by Germany’s Rebecca Robisch in a transition, Great Britain finished third and took the bronze medal.
Knowing the Germans had to serve a penalty, Buckingham said after the race: “I made sure I kept him in sight. I struggled so much on the run. We’ve just come down from altitude, the four of us, Gordon and myself especially are struggling with the running at the moment. It was a really hard race.”