RACE DAY ONE: CASSANDRE BEAUGRAND TAKES THE TRIPLE MIX WIN AT RBC SUPER LEAGUE JERSEY
The French athlete held off Katie Zaferes for top points on day one
Cassandre Beaugrand held her nerve to claim the victory in the Women’s Triple Mix on the first day of an action-packed RBC Super League Jersey. The 21-year-old French athlete was on top form throughout the three-staged disruptive and technical format, taking the lead at the end of every stage.
This first stage saw the athletes race in their familiar swim-bike-run format, diving off from the stunning pontoon in the Elizabeth Marina. Young Sophie Coldwell (GBR) was first out the water after an incredible swim, which saw her take advantage of the new “short chute” reward: a shortcut onto the course from the transition area awarded to the first athlete to reach the dismount line.
Jodie Stimpson (GBR), Rachel Klamer (NED ) and Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) put in fast bike performances, but it was Beaugrand and Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) who put in the fastest runs. Beaugrand crossed the line first to trigger the 10-minute break across the field and Gentle finished just one second behind the French leader, with Kirsten Kasper (USA) in third at the end of this epic round.
In Triple Mix, anyone who falls 90-seconds behind the race leader at each transition is cut from competition. Falling victim to this brutal rule at this stage were Vanesa De La Torre (MEX), Erin Storie (USA) Danielle de Francesca (AUS) and Klaudia Sebok (HUN).
After the 10-minute break, the athletes were back in competition; now in a mixed-up format of run-bike-swim. Gentle was first out the transition area and onto the bike, but USA’s Katie Zaferes put up a fight on her bike, delivering the round’s quickest time in the saddle. Beaugrand, Taylor-Brown and Kasper put in sensational running performances, which saw them finish this second round, in this sequence, to trigger the final 10-minute break.
Sarah Alexander (USA), Elena Danilova (RUS) and Megan Foley (USA) all finished their disciplines in this stage outside of the time rule and therefore were unable to move into Stage 3.
Going into the third and final round and mixing it up once more to a bike-swim-run format, the athletes were given a staggered start depending on their finishing position in the previous round. Beaugrand looked comfortable throughout this final Triple Mix stage, being awarded the “short chute” going into the swim, saving her valuable time. Zaferes’ strong bike performance saw her move up positions to challenge Beaugrand going into the swim, but Beaugrand didn’t let her form drop as she transitioned from the water into the last run. She ran to her SLT victory eleven seconds ahead of course-rival Zaferes, who ran through the pain to claim second place.
Gentle battled Kasper to claim the final spot on the podium and the 27-year-old American had to make do with fourth place. Stimpson kept on the heels of Taylor-Brown throughout this final leg, and it would be the West Midlander to finish one place ahead of Taylor-Brown for fifth place.
Female Triple Top Three Final Results
Recovering from her Triple Mix win, Cassandre Beaugrand said: “It’s such a big event and I really didn’t expect to win. I knew Katie Zaferes would be very strong. It was hard but I feel really good.”
Women’s Triple Mix runner-up Katie Zaferes said: “Triple Mix takes a lot of mental and physical concentration – you have to be fully engaged. Today I made a lot of mistakes but it’s so much more than your typical swim-bike-run.”
Still feeling the burn, Ashleigh Gentle said: “Today was indescribable. It was very painful but still enjoyable. This format is so unpredictable; you have to go as hard as you can and just hope that you are stronger than your competitors.”
Racing in her second SLT season, Jodie Stimpson said: “The Triple Mix was fast from the get-go. The pain just got worse but I enjoyed every minute of it!”
Chris “Macca” McCormack, two-time Ironman World Champion and SLT co-founder said: “It was a truly magnificent race! Sophie Coldwell took great advantage of the format in the early stages but Cassandre Beaugrand was the next level – for this style of racing she’s better than anyone in the world.”
Text and images: SHIFT Active Media | Anna Davies