Cassandre Beaugrand claimed a brilliant victory at WTCS Leeds on Saturday as she got the better of British stars Georgia Taylor-Brown and Sophie Coldwell.
The French star was the class swimmer and runner of the field and won even despite a bike mount line mistake which saw her forced to serve a 10-second time penalty.
Beaugrand took the penalty just metres before the finish carpet, admitting that she was crossing her fingers and just hoping that the gap was enough. It was and she won by 10 seconds over Taylor-Brown, who later described her own race as ‘awful’.
In reality Georgia was far from awful and should take credit for encouraging Coldwell during the run, helping her to secure a repeat of her bronze medal performance from Leeds a year ago.
Swim – Beaugrand glides into lead
A huge field of 57 women dived into Waterloo Lake in Roundhay Park and Beaugrand immediately set the pace along with Olympic Champion Flora Duffy. Cassandre avoided all the tussles around the turn buoys, swimming with beautiful long strokes to maintain a graceful lead throughout the 750m swim.
She exited the water first – followed closely by Duffy, Taylor Spivey, Vittoria Lopes and Coldwell. In other good news for the British athletes, Sian Rainsley was 7th, Taylor-Brown was 11th and Beth Potter 15th.
Beaugrand was also first out of T1, but inadvertently overstepped the mount line in the rush to get up the hill and away from the chasers and incurred a 10-second penalty as a result. She would need to serve that later in the race.
Bike – Coldwell and Spivey dominate
Duffy powered up the hill, forcing herself into the lead with Beaugrand and Coldwell grabbing the opportunity to follow her. Spivey managed to join them by not doing up her shiny blue shoes until she had secured her place in the front group.
The power group of four seemed to have a fantastic opportunity to work together and forge a lead but Beaugrand fell away and then, surprisingly, Duffy dropped back too as Spivey and Coldwell rode away. The two highly accomplished cyclists stretched their lead to 39 seconds by the end of lap three and maintained that gap all the way to T2. Coldwell later admitted to being a ‘big fan’ of the tough course.
Run – Beaugrand strides away
Coldwell and Spivey left T2 together and the British athlete immediately burst into the lead. Maya Kingma was at the head of the chasing pack, 36 seconds down on the leaders and two seconds ahead of Taylor-Brown.
Coldwell held the lead through the first 2.5km before Beaugrand passed her, running beautifully uphill at the start of the second lap. Taylor-Brown was next to catch team-mate Coldwell, with Spivey hanging on and Potter motoring behind her.
Beaugrand had enough time in hand to take her stop/go penalty just metres before the finish and sprint across the line to victory. Taylor-Brown was second while Coldwell was rewarded for her hard work on the bike with a brilliant bronze.
WTCS Leeds 2022 Results
Saturday June 11 2022 – ELITE WOMEN
750m / 20k / 5k
- 1. Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) – 59:03
- 2. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) – 59:12
- 3. Sophie Coldwell (GBR) – 59:15
- 4. Taylor Spivey (USA) – 59:22
- 5. Beth Potter (GBR) – 59:22
- 6. Laura Lindemann (GER) – 59:39
- 7. Flora Duffy (BER) – 59:44
- 8. Anabel Knoll (GER) – 59:48
- 9. Julie Derron (SUI) – 59:59
- 10. Miriam Casillas García (ESP) – 59:59