Alice Betto back to her best in Brasilia with magnificent World Cup win

15 October, 2023 | español

Alice Betto back to her best in Brasilia with magnificent World Cup win

After nearly two hours in the searing Sunday morning heat of the Brazilian capital, Italy’s Alice Betto came off the Juscelino Kubitschek bridge for the last time, pulled alongside Katie Zaferes and then put the hammer down up the final hill, running solo for the final 10 minutes to the tape and a first World Cup win.

Zaferes hung on to round off her comeback season with silver, Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal (MEX) using the same spot to test Petra Kurikova (CZE) and ultimately win the battle for bronze.

“It’s amazing, I didn’t expect the first place,” admitted Betto after finishing her own comeback season in style. “I knew Katie was really strong and just kept telling myself to stay focussed to the end. This is my first ever first place so at the end of this season it’s really incredible. I felt better at the end of the turn and I knew the uphill was my best moment. When I started this season, I wanted just to race and enjoy it, so this feels incredible.”

Lopes fires up the crowds

The 1500m swim began with a water start, and after the first turn at 300m it was a long stretch to the next turn that caused some problems. Vittoria Lopes strayed off the line, Zaferes first going with her then straightening, but the Brazilian swim specialist lost some precious ground.

Nevertheless, Lopes held a sizable lead by the time she came up the ramp, Valerie Barthelemy out second, Zuzana Michalikova (SVK) and Kurikova also right there.

Tapia and Italy’s Verena Steinhauser were soon into it as well, so it wasn’t long before a 10-deep group came together with the Brazilian, while Romina Biagioli (ARG) and Miriam Casillas Garcia (ESP) were among those chasing 25 seconds back.

Casillas hauls chasers up

Spain’s number one Casillas was driving things on with Erica Hawley and Emy Legault, while there was 35 seconds to the third pack led by Luisa Baptista (BRA) and Lisa Perterer (AUT).

It wasn’t long before Casillas worked up to and through to the front of the leaders, and some 20 athletes now snaked together across the bridge for the remainder of the six lap ride, Perter and Baptista able to make some inroads over the closing stages.

Tapia looks to shake up the run

Tapia and Casillas came into T2 together but it was the Mexican out fastest, Steinhauser giving chase, Betto and Kuriokova in the middle of the group and Zaferes with work to do as they got the first of three run laps underway.

With Tapia going off the front, Betto and Zaferes joined the pack of seven runners with some daylight behind them, but by lap two the Mexican talent was dropped, Kurikova moving up into third.

Tapia had a lot of work to do at that stage, but the second long climb was again the moment to claw back ground on the Czech and move through into third.

Kurikova then attacked again and the two battles, one for gold, one for bronze and the third podium place, raged across the final lap.

Betto times it just right

Out front it was Zaferes still in front before Betto timed her climb attack to perfection to pull clear for gold, while Tapia did likewise a hundred metres further back, but the day belonged to Alice Betto as she scored a first gold at the end of a huge comeback season.

Fourth went to Kurikova, with Casillas edging Elizabeth Bravo (ECU) to fifth in a sprint down the blue carpet.

“It was very challenging,” said Zaferes, “I wasn’t in the best head space until the last lap on the bike, getting out on the run I felt in control and just thought ok, stay with this feeling and stay present. The swim was interesting, I was on Vittoria’s feet then made a tactical mistake going straighter, but I was happy with getting out where I did, so progress made. You couldn’t stay comfortable on the run and I just had to be ready but I couldn’t respond when the attack came. This year has been long and has had its challenges, but this makes it all worth it.”

“I was coming here for my first World Cup medal and I did it,” said a smiling Tapia. “Last year I ran with Petra and she won that World Cup, so I was glad I made it to the front it showed the work had all been worth it. I was trying to focus on working off the front at the bike and that’s something I’ve been working on with my coach.”

For the full results, click here.

event website

2023 World Triathlon Cup Brasilia