Actually the whole race it looked like France would claim victory, but after a wonderful fourth heat Germany and Great Britain had to sprint for the win of the Mixed Team Relay at the Olympic Test Event in Paris. Laura Lindemann did so fastest, claiming victory for Germany. The race – due to the poor water quality of the Seine – was held as a duathlon.
Heat 1 – Brazil and France leading the way
In the first heat Dutch Mitch Kolkman broke away immediately during the first run, taking a gap of a few seconds. At the end of the run, however, he lost his lead again, creating a huge pack with 21 athletes – all countries combined – on the bike. It stayed that way until the final 1800-meter run began: then Spain flew out of T2 as if lives were at stake, grabbing a lead of a few seconds. Yet that also changed again and some more groups emerged towards the second heat and in the end it was Brazil and France who ticked off their second athlete first.
Heat 2 – France is flying
While TriathlonLive experienced problems with the livestream in the second heat – the connection dropped completely and the race could not be followed anymore – France, thanks to Cassandre Beaugrand, went off pretty fast during the run. Yet on the bike she also saw Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Brazil and Belgium reconnect.
In the concluding run of the second heat, it was Beaugrand again who managed to grab a nice lead on behalf of France: thirteen seconds ahead of Germany, seventeen seconds ahead of Belgium and 28 seconds ahead of Great Britain, she got back to get the third athlete started, putting France in a great position.
Heat 3 – Belgium is doing everything they can to fight back
The third heat was dominated by France and Belgium: especially on the bike, French Leo Bergere managed to increase his lead to eventually start the final run with over 20 seconds ahead of Belgium. Germany followed in third place at thirty seconds.
During the run, Jelle Geens was truly fantastic; for Belgium he managed to narrow the gap to France tremendously, leaving all chances open for the fourth and decisive heat. At the ticking off of the fourth athlete, Belgium’s deficit had been reduced to just 9 seconds, while behind a group followed including Portugal, Hungary, Australia, Great Britain and Germany: this group was half a minute behind the race leader.
Heat 4 – Germany and Great Britain taking over for sprint finish
In the fourth and final heat, the race still went completely haywire; for a long time it looked like France would win the race, but in the last kilometer of the final run, Great Britain and Germany still came alongside. On behalf of Great Britain, it was Beth Potter who dictated the pace and Laura Lindemann hooked up on behalf of Germany. As they passed Lombardi, the French athlete had to let go immediately, leaving the battle for gold still between Great Britain and Germany. With 200 meters to go, Lindemann put on a sprint and even though Potter tried to come back, it was Germany that ran away with a beautiful victory. Great Britain thus finished second and Belgium third at 19 seconds behind.