USA Triathlon Weekend Notebook: U.S. Podium Success from Hamburg to IRONMAN World Champs
by USA Triathlon
Hamburg Wasser 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg
Despite the calendar year, the World Triathlon Championship Series is onward looking to the year ahead as Hamburg hosted the first WTCS race to count towards the 2022 rankings season.
In the women’s race, Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) had a near perfect execution when she led through the swim, bike and most of the run to ultimately claim the sprint-distance bronze medal in Hamburg with a time of 58 minutes, 26 seconds. The third-place finish landed Rappaport her second WTCS podium of the year after her silver medal in Yokohama in May. Her performance led a solid day for the U.S. women as three Americans finished in the top 10.
Germany’s own Laura Lindemann claimed the gold medal with a time of 58:17, while New Zealand's Nicole Van Der Kaay took the silver in 58:21, edging out Rappaport in the final meters of the sprint-distance race.
United States success continued on the women’s side as Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) placed seventh with a 58:41 finish and Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.) placed 10th in 58:48, her first top-ten finish in a World Triathlon Championship Series race. Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfurt, Ill.), racing in her first WTCS race, placed 21st in 59:40.
For the men’s U.S. team, Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.) had the top performance of the day. He put forth a strong swim to be fifth out of the water that landed him in the lead pack on the bike. Also making it into the front group was Austin Hindman (Wildwood, Mo.).
McQueen and Hindman held their own through the bike. Once feet hit pavement for the run, the large field divided causing McQueen and Hindman to fall back off the lead. McQueen finished in 29th with a time of 54:16, while Hindman took 38th with a 55:02 overall time.
To end his debut WTCS competition, Darr Smith of the U.S. (Atlanta, Ga.) finished in 42nd with a time of 55:46.
The men’s gold resulted from an exciting sprint on the blue carpet and a photo finish between Tim Hellwig of Germany the overall winner, and Frenchman Paul Georgenthum. The home soil win was a first WTCS gold for the German, along with Georgenthum earning his first-career WTCS silver. The bronze then went to France's Leo Bergere who claimed his second consecutive WTCS bronze medal after Montreal and Edmonton in August.
After a full day of individual elite racing on Saturday, Sunday morning welcomed the Hamburg Mixed Relay event.
Putting forth a solid and consistent showcase with a roster of two women and two men who had never before competed together, the United States placed fifth overall in the mixed relay at the World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg on Sunday.
The team consisting of Ackerlund, McQueen, Summer Rappaport and Hindman finished the race in 1 hour 22 minutes and 51 seconds.
Germany earned the mixed relay crown after an impressive final leg saw Tim Hellwig create enough of a lead on the run that despite a 10-second penalty, had enough of an advantage to bring it home. The Germans captured the win, finishing with a time of 1:21:39 to complete a perfect home soil weekend after also taking home gold in both men's and women's individual events the day before.
Italy claimed the silver with a 1:21:45 finish and Denmark finished third at 1:22:32 to earn the nation’s first mixed relay WTCS podium.
Leg 3 athletes are off and racing! Team Italy, Germany and Demark are leading the #TriMixedRelay in Hamburg! Team USA and GRB are on the hunt with solid swims.— TriathlonLIVE (@triathlonlive) September 19, 2021
Head over to https://t.co/JwsigQVZc7 and follow along!https://t.co/Sz9jUhv9at pic.twitter.com/8mtBeUgD5b
IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship
The 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship was held Saturday in St. George, Utah and the Americans represented on the podium for the pros in both the men’s and women’s races as well as having six total athletes in the top-ten between both races.
Great Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay secured a long-awaited World Championship title, racing to victory in the women’s race in a near four-hour flat time of 4:00:20. South African Jeanni Metzler took the silver medal, but battled with USA’s own Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) from start to finish throughout the day.
While Knibb was holding onto second position through the bike, T2 and beginning of the run, she was ultimately passed by her training partner, Metzler, when she went for a break in the port-a-potty. Metzler finished second with a time of 4:08:39 and Knibb followed just 11 seconds after to step onto her first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship podium with a time of 4:08:50.
The U.S. had two additional top-ten finishes in the women’s race with Skye Moench placing sixth (4:12:50) and Jackie Hering in seventh (4:15:03).
In the men’s race, the United States represented proudly as they claimed three of the top-ten finishes on the day.
Ben Kanute led out of the water, clocking a 23:48 split. He would finish the day in sixth with a 3:43:48 overall time. Following suite in seventh was Eric Lagerstrom, who finished just 54 seconds after Kanute.
It was Sam Long who led the Americans for the men however, earning the silver medal, who gained his lead on the bike, capitalizing on the downhills. The podium finish was a huge accomplishment for Long, after having placed 36th at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Nice, in 2019.
Super League Triathlon Jersey
On Saturday, Jersey hosted the third race of the 2021 season. This event was the Enduro race, which puts athletes to the test on their stamina to get through nine back-to-back triathlon disciplines without any breaks. They swim 300 meters, bike four kilometers and run 1.6 kilometers, three times in a row.
Katie Zaferes and Taylor Spivey competed for the women. Zaferes finished seventh overall, putting her second overall in the Super League Rankings. Spivey finished right behind in eighth in Jersey, placing her sixth in the overall rankings.
For the men, Seth Rider is holding it down for the Americans. He had a stellar day that landed him seventh in Jersey, which bumps him up five places in the overall rankings at 16th going into the final event in Malibu next weekend.
2021 Dual in the Desert NCAA Challenge
In Arizona over the weekend, collegiate athletes lined up for the Dual in the Desert NCAA Challenge.
The Sun Devils of Arizona State University was crowned champion in the team-time Saturday against South Dakota and San Francisco after edging out USF by about a minute.
Age Group Team USA Athletes Earn Podiums in Switzerland
ZOFINGEN, Switzerland — U.S. age-group athletes Cora Sturzl (Malaga, Wash.) and Kristen Hetzel (Malibu, Calif.) reached the podium Sunday, Sept. 19 in their respective age groups at the 2021 World Triathlon Powerman Long Distance Duathlon Championships Zofingen.
Athletes covered a 9.2k run, followed by a 144k bike and a 25.5k run. Sturzl won her 55-59 age group, with a time of 11 hours, 38 minutes, 22 seconds, while Hetzel placed second in her 40-44 age group, clocking a time of 8:56:43. The U.S. also had one representative in the women's elite division, as Kari Giles (Austell, Ga.) placed sixth with a time of 8:26:41.
For more information about Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur athletes who represent the U.S. at World Triathlon World Championship events, visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa.