Taylor Knibb Earns First WTCS Medal of the Year for the U.S. in Cagliari 

by USA Triathlon

Taylor Knibb stands on the podium after placing third in WTCS Cagliari

CAGLIARI, Italy – U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team member Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) earned the first World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) podium of the year for the United States on Saturday, Oct. 8, placing third at the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Cagliari. 

The bronze is Knibb's fifth career WTCS medal, and comes in the first WTCS event she's raced since this May's 2022 season opener in Yokohama. She crossed the finish line of Cagliari’s Olympic-distance course (1500-meter swim, 38-kilometer bike, 10k run) in a time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 58 seconds.

Knibb led a strong showing for the U.S. women, as three women placed in the top 10 with Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) placing fourth and Kirsten Kasper (Andover, Mass.) taking sixth. 

“Any chance you get onto a WTCS podium it’s a pretty good day, you can’t complain. These don’t come very frequently. I’m just grateful to be back on the start line and be able to race well," Knibb said. "The run surprised me and it was an honor to run with those two [Georgia Taylor-Brown (Great Britain) and Emma Lombardi (France)]."

Knibb started the race down, after exiting the water with a 33-second deficit from the front. While a large group got going on the bike, Knibb pushed it with a small pack to catch up and join the leaders. She then took control at the front and worked to take a large group of 26 and narrow it down to only 11.  

The 11-strong also included U.S. compatriots Spivey and Kasper. Once onto the run, Knibb along with Taylor-Brown and Lombardi quickly separated from the group. The three kept tight for two laps until Taylor-Brown edged away to ultimately claim victory. She crossed in a time of 1:47:42, with Lombardi followed in second place at 1:47:54. Knibb followed suit just four seconds later. 

Knibb said of her come-from-behind performance, “You could see it in the swim! I think within the first 100 meters I was in last place. And then I thought, ‘OK I can still get into it, just move up, move up, move up.' And that was the game the whole day. It was nicer to be at the front, because then I could dictate where and what lines I could take into the corners, I was hoping that when I came up to the big group that it was a little bit of a surprise and then I could just go. But we had 11 people, a lot more than I wanted, but it is what it is and the cards just dealt what it was on the day and you make the most of it.” 

Spivey, currently ranked fifth in the WTCS standings, turned in her third fourth-place finish of the season with a time of 1:48:32. Kasper finished close behind in sixth, in 1:48:46. Spivey, Knibb and Kasper are all ranked in the top 10 of the WTCS standings with one stop left in the Series, Bermuda on Nov. 5, before the WTCS Finals in Abu Dhabi over Thanksgiving weekend.

Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.) crossed the line in 1:51:20 to finish 20th overall, and Summer Rappaport closed out the U.S. women’s finishers placing 27th (1:53:18).

In the men’s race, Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.) earned the top result for the U.S., finishing 10th with a time of 1:40:54. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) took 19th with a time of 1:41:28 and Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.) crossed in 22nd, clocking a time of 1:41:53. 

2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Cagliari 

1500m swim, 38k bike, 10k run 

Elite Women Podium - Complete Results
1. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR), 1:47:42 
2. Emma Lombardi (FRA), 1:47:54 
3. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), 1:47:58 

U.S. Women Finishers 
3. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), 1:47:58 
4. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 1:48:32 
6. Kirsten Kasper (Andover, Mass.), 1:48:46 
20. Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.), 1:51:20 
27. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.), 1:53:18 
Elite Men Podium - Complete Results
1. Alex Yee (GBR), 1:40:19 
2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), 1:40:26 
3. Manoel Messias (BRA), 1:40:29 

U.S. Men Finishers 
10. Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.), 1:40:54 
19. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 1:41:28 
22. Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.), 1:41:53 

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