The British quartet of Georgia Taylor-Brown, Barclay Izzard, Jess Learmonth and Alex Yee secured bronze at the Mixed Team Relay World Championships in Hamburg.
In the first Mixed Team Relay event of 2020, World champion Taylor-Brown led out the British team with another excellent swim to come out of the water in fifth place and settled into the lead pack in the bike leg.
The lead pack worked well together to maintain a good lead over the field and as the athletes left transition two, Taylor-Brown was in the top three.
As she ran alongside Taylor Spivey (USA) and Valerie Barthelemy (BEL), the pace increased as the American tried to make a break but with 1km left Taylor-Brown kicked out and went into the lead. She went into the handover with Izzard with a 13 second lead over the field.
Izzard, who was making his debut at this level, was caught by the pack in the swim with 300m to go. He exited the water in third place and left transition one in the lead pack on the bike leg.
The Derby-based athlete was in third place in the run and handed over to Learmonth in fifth place with a gap of 22 seconds.
Learmonth showed her strength with an excellent swim and came out of the water third and out of transition in first place. She was joined by Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) and Katie Zaferes (USA) in the lead bike pack.
Leeds’ Learmonth came out of transition two in the lead and found herself chased down by Beaugrand and Zaferes.
She handed over to Yee in third place and he put in a strong swim to maintain the position. He had a fast transition onto the bike leg but the power of Dorian Connix (FRA) saw him pull away from the Brit and Morgan Pearson (USA).
As the race entered the final run, Connix held a 30 second lead over the chasers and Yee left transition with a gap of 15 seconds to the silver medal position.
Yee crossed the finished line in third place to ensure the British team took their position on the podium on the final day of the World Championships in Germany.
“The first leg is always hard, and you don’t know what is going to happen but I think it went well today,” Taylor-Brown said. “It seemed like a usual race and we were all together. It would have been hard to break up the bike pack because of the rain on the ground but I went for it on the run again. I just tried to hold onto that pace for as long as I could to be honest.
“It has been a lot of fun competing in a team again. It was obviously a little bit different because we didn’t get to celebrate on the finish line with Alex, but it was really good to run along the course and cheer each other on. I think you just have more to give in a relay.”
British Triathlon Performance Director, Mike Cavendish, said: “We came into this competition not really knowing what to expect on the back of the strange 2020 season, but we have seen some great performances from the team.
“Georgia put in an excellent performance yesterday and Alex reiterated his potential. I’m pleased with Barclay’s debut at this level, he had a promising individual race and returned with another good performance in the relay. We’re also really happy to be back on the podium in the Mixed Team Relay.
“I want to also recognise Alistair's impressive achievements. He returned to the ITU start line for the first time since 2019 and finished ninth in Hamburg before travelling home and winning the Helvellyn Triathlon the next day.
“Competing again has reminded us how much we missed racing so we will get in a solid block of winter training before preparing to race again in 2021.”
View the athletes' profiles here
View full event results here