She came, she saw and she conquered: in more than impressive fashion, Beth Potter just won a stunning WTCS Finals in Pontevedra. After an exciting battle, Potter struck in the last three kilometers of the run to eventually win in impressive fashion. With that, Potter showed once again that he might be the biggest favorite for next year’s Olympics.
Only minor differences emerged during the swim. When Olivia Mathias came out of the water first, all the favorites followed close behind. The small differences that emerged during the swim made for a nervous start on the bike. Several small groups came together and all the women tried to join the leading group that was slowly but surely forming. In any case, the Dutch Maya Kingma was keen to keep the leading group as small as possible and that resulted in a situation where the Dutch athlete rode hard in the lead and tried to urge her fellow riders to take on some leading roles as well.
Despite Kingma’s frantic efforts, a second group managed to ride to the front anyway, creating a leading group of fifteen women after one of eight bike laps. Besides Kingma, the biggest names here were Sophie Coldwell, Cassandre Beaugrand, Taylor Spivey, Emma Lombardi, Beth Potter and Laura Lindemann. Behind this leading group, an equally large group formed, but these women saw their deficit increase to fifty seconds in the first half of the bike leg. During these kilometers, Kingma tried to get away from the leading group a few more times; she did not succeed, but she did ride away nicely a few seconds a few times and visibly hurt her competitors.
After the first twenty kilometers on the bike – and thus halfway through – everything started to change; the leading group just started to lose time on the chasing group and saw them getting closer and closer. With one lap to go there was only a 20-second lead left and once in T2 only thirteen seconds. On paper, that almost guaranteed an exciting run; all the more so because the four running laps (2.5 kilometers per lap, ed.) presented a leaden climb each time.
During the run, five women immediately went head-to-head: Potter, Beaugrand, Lombardi, Coldwell and also Kate Waugh. Even within this leading group differences quickly emerged and Potter and Waugh in particular proved dominant, although Lombardi was also able to keep up with the acceleration of the British women.
What followed was an interesting run in which mostly Waugh dictated the pace and Potter and Lombardi mostly followed. But, after six kilometers and at the steepest part of the course, Potter accelerated and that cost Lombardi dearly: only Waugh could keep up and so from that moment on there were two British women in the lead.
With 3 kilometers to go, Potter placed one more acceleration and that proved too much for Waugh as well; from that point on, Potter began a victory lap of sorts, although she still had to keep running at full speed to maintain her lead, heading for the finish line.
Potter won the race in 1:53:19. Waugh was second 18 seconds behind and Beaugrand was third 31 seconds behind.