American Katie Zaferes made a clear statement towards claiming the World Title at the end of the season by storming to victory in the Groupe Copley World Triathlon Montreal, in a warm and humid afternoon that saw British Georgia Taylor-Brown grabbing the silver medal, while her teammate Jessica Learmonth finished in third place.
In the fifth stop of the World Triathlon Series, the circuit crossed the ocean for the first of the Canadian races of the year, with athletes battling on a brand new sprint-distance Elite course on Montreal Island, emerging from Lawrence River and out onto a highly technical and tight city-centre ride before the 4-lap run reaches its finale back amongst the quayside’s crowds.
And the race started to unfold in the 750 meters of the point to point swim, with Brazilian Vitoria Lopes showing once more that she is a very strong swimmer. Behind her, only a few meters behind, were Maya Kingma (NED), Jessica Learmonth (GBR) and Katie Zaferes(USA), who quickly opened a small break and left the first transition with a few seconds over the chasers.
But in the first lap of the bike, Taylor Knibb (USA) and Georgia Taylor-Brown showed her bike skills and, along with Alice Betto (ITA), quickly joined the leading pack. And it was a matter of a few kilometers when the seven of them started taking turns in the lead to build up a difference that at the end of the fifth lap was just over a minute.
Enough for them to know that it was going to be decided in the run, knowing that a minute in 5 kilometers run seemed too much even for excellent runners like Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) or Rachel Klamer (NED).
Zaferes looked determined to go for the win right after leaving the second transition, and only Taylor-Brown seemed able to follow her. They quickly dropped Kingma, Lopes and Knibb, and half way through the run Jess Learmonth and Alice Betto also started to loose some seconds with the leading duo. In a final lap that looked quite similar to what happened in WTS Leeds only a few weeks ago, Taylor-Brown and Zaferes started yo-yoing one each other until Zaferes in the last kilometer showed that she is a tough one to beat when it comes to tough races. She sprinted without looking back, to cross the line in first place and grab her fourth victory of the 2019 WTS season, which puts her in a quite comfortable position for fighting for the overall victory next August.
Behind her, a delighted Taylor-Brown was all smiles claiming the silver medal, while Learmonth out sprinted Betto to claim the last spot of the podium, leaving the Italian in the bittersweet fourth place.
Knibb hold on to the fifth place, while Belgium’s Claire Michel had one of the fastest run splits of the day to finish in sixth place.