Wednesday, 07 Dec, 2022

Georgia Taylor-Brown wins SLT Grand Final Neom as well as final standings

Georgia Taylor-Brown winst SLT Grand Finale. (Picture: Triathlon Today)

In a race that was actually quite boring to watch, if only because relatively few surprising things happen and the environment – that of Neom – was totally uninspiring, Georgia Taylor-Brown has just won the Super League Triathlon Grand Finale and thus also the final ranking over five races. For the top British athlete, it is a nice conclusion to a very successful season.

The Grand Finale followed the Enduro format, which required all athletes to complete three consecutive short triathlons (300-meter swim, 4km bike and 1.6km run per heat). Among the women, the expected battle between Georgia Taylor-Brown and Taylor Spivey was particularly interesting, as at the start of this final race both ladies had earned the same number of points in the four previous races and thus dominated the standings. 

Heat 1:

The first swim was immediately dictated by Emma Jeffcoat, who grabbed a five-second lead over her first pursuers. Sophie Coldwell, Cassandre Beaugrand and Georgia Taylor-Browne followed fairly quickly. Taylor Spivey lost a lot of time right away; 22 seconds to be exact. 

During the bike, it was Coldwell who went on a solo adventure and eventually grabbed a lead of almost six seconds; pretty impressive on a course almost entirely devoid of turns, in the open desert and with a strong wind. Behind Coldwell, all the ladies followed closely after each other, and just as impressively, Spivey had made up her deficit and was back in touch with Taylor-Browne, among others.

Beth Potter went fastest during the run, but along with Taylor-Brown came up two seconds short of overtaking Coldwell before the heat 2 swim. Behind them, the differences widened a bit; after eight seconds, the remaining ladies returned to jump into the water for a second time.

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Coldwell leads heat 1.

Heat 2:

Little actually happened during the swim, but on the bike it was Potter who went on an adventure and tried to get away on her own. As a result, she grabbed a minimal lead of a few seconds. Behind, the field began to break, but a group formed with four ladies; Coldwell, Taylor-Brown, Spivey and Nicole van der Kaay. While the expectation might have been that Potter would stay ahead during the run – the British is known for her always strong run – the four ladies from behind actually joined up halfway the run and so a leading group of five began the third and decisive heat.

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Five leaders in heat 2.

Heat 3:

Things got interesting during the third heat, because after the five leading women stayed together during the swim, the same goes for the bike ride. Potter did most of the work, shouting a few times to the other women to take over, but to her irritation they did not.

During the run, it was Coldwell who immediately took the lead. Taylor-Brown and Potter were best able to follow, while Spivey and Van der Kaay seemed to have more trouble with the pace. Consequently, that pace was particularly high in the final 1600-meter run.

In the final meters, Taylor-Brown ran past Coldwell, not entirely unexpectedly, and with it to the victory she claimed after 49:49 minutes. Coldwell was second at four seconds and Potter third at 8 seconds. Spivey was fourth at 12 seconds.

Taylor-Brown claims victory.

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