U23 world champions crowned in Edmonton


Taking place either side of the World Triathlon Championship Series racing, the U23 World Championships saw a number of young British athletes taking to the course in Edmonton.

Olivia Mathias, Sophie Alden, Kate Waugh and Sophia Green were first up to represent Great Britain in the female U23 race in Canada, with Mathias and Alden setting the early pace in the water.

By the time the athletes left and re-entered the water to start their second lap, the field was quite stretched out, Alden and Mathias were at the front of a train of athletes with McConnel (IRL), and closely followed by Hedgeland (AUS), Skrabanja (NED) and Lombardi (FRA). Green was 14th and Waugh 16th at the turn of the lap.

The second lap stretched them out further, with a top six of McConnel, Alden, Mathias, Lombardi, de Koning (NED) and Hedgeland, all coming into T1 within a matter of seconds.

These six set off together, however, the Irish athlete dropped back to leave a five-athlete lead group on the bike. The quintet managed to build a lead of around a minute early in the six laps of the bike course, a lead which they maintained all the way through to T2.

Waugh and Green were part of a busy chase pack as a couple of groups merged together, with the two Brits often seen at the front of the group pursuing the leaders however weren’t able to make inroads whilst on the bike.

Once onto the run, Mathias, Alden, Hedgeland and Lombardi pulled away from de Koning, leaving the young Dutch athlete as they set off on the 10km run.

Lombardi took the initiative to pull away from the other three, with Mathias, Alden and Hedgeland quickly under threat from chasing athletes who were bridging the gap to the front runners.

Pedersen (DEN), Koch (GER) and Coninx (FRA) were leading this charge and in the latter stages of the run, found themselves having closed the gap. These three passed Mathias and Alden, whilst fellow Brit, Waugh, was a little further back.

Lombardi crossed the line in just under two hours (01:59:48) to become U23 world champion, with Pedersen second 17 seconds back, and Koch finishing third a further five seconds behind. Mathias (6th), Alden (7th) and Waugh (10th) all secured top-ten finishes, with Green coming home in 16th.

The final race of the day was the male U23 World Championships, with Cameron Main and Connor Bentley the Brits involved. Bentley claimed bronze at the U23 European Sprint Championships in Kitzbühel earlier this year, whilst Main also took bronze in the senior race at the Europe Triathlon Cup in Dnipro in June.

Bentley was the first of the two Brits out of the water, 20 seconds behind the leader Moya (CHI) with compatriot Main a further 15 seconds back.

At the front, a lead group of around a dozen athletes including Hauser (AUS) and Lehmann (HUN) were riding with Moya and had set off on the 40km bike leg with the Brits in chasing packs behind.

With three of the six laps completed, the leaders had been unable to create a commanding lead with the main chase pack around 20 seconds down the road from them. Bentley was just over a minute behind with his group of eight.

Over the second half of the bike, the leaders managed to grow this lead to over a minute on the chase group with Bentley two minutes down on the leaders as he started the run.

Hauser marked the early pace on the run at the front however wasn’t able to shake of the rest of the leaders, whilst, having set off on the run, Main was making great inroads to bridge the gap to the chase groups in front of him.

With one lap to go, it was Hauser, Lehmann and Hellwig (GER) who had broken away, with the podium seemingly reserved for the three of them. In the closing stages, Lehmann pulled ahead and made the decisive break to become U23 world champion with Hellwig and Lehmann second and third.

Bentley crossed the line 18th, just under four minutes behind Lehmann. Main ran the sixth fastest run time of the race to cut through the field and finish 23rd in a time of 01:51:48.

You can view all the results from Edmonton by clicking on the button below.


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