Vive la France: Leo Bergere takes the day at SLT Toulouse

Leo Bergere celebrates his SLT Toulouse victory (Picture: Triathlon Today)

Leo Bergere won the SLT Toulouse at home. After a battle with small differences, and in which Hayden Wilde made a crucial mistake by cycling too far, the Frenchman was the rightful winner at home. There were no Dutch men at the start.

The SLT Toulouse went over the Triple Mix Format, with athletes completing three heats. The first heat was a swim-bike-run, the second heat a run-bik-swim and the third heat a bike-swim-run. Each heat involved swimming 300 meters, cycling 4 kilometers and running 1 kilometer, with the exception of the third and decisive heat, where the running part was doubled in distance to two kilometers.

Heat 1 – Bergere home favorite, Blummenfelt runs to the front

Already in the first heat the pace was high and that was mainly due to a leading group of seven. The front group included Leo Bergere and Jonathan Brownlee, two of the favorites for victory. During the run, it was Bergere who ran to victory, but it was especially nice to see Blummenfelt, who was slightly behind during the swim and bike, cross the finish line in third place thanks to a strong run.

Heat 2 – Hayden Wilde gives a little show, Seth Rider wins

Hayden Wilde was apparently saddened to see Blummenfelt overtake him on the finish line in the first heat, because in the second heat he began to show why he is always an athlete to be reckoned with. From the bike he took the lead solo, but in the water he couldn’t prevent Bergere from rejoining him and thus the differences with the other men also narrowed. Once out of the water, most of the men were even together again and so there were actually no differences made. It was American Seth Rider crossing the finish line first.

Heat 3 – Small differences, stupid mistake for Hayden Wilde

At the start of the third and decisive heat, the differences were small; Bergere took off first, followed by Wilde (+0:02), Brownlee (+0:03), Rider (+0:04), Schoeman (+0:08), Nener (+0:11) and Blummenfelt (+0:14), among others. Immediately on the bike, Rider crashed pretty hard in a downhill part, so that did not work in the American’s favor. At the same time, Bergere and Wilde managed to get away in pairs, chasing the overall victory.

However, when the men were allowed off the bike, after four bike laps, Wilde made a stupid mistake by going for another lap. Pretty soon he realized his mistakte and in the end he had to turn around to still enter T2, but by doing so he had already lost far too much time and was seen in the battle for victory. Bergere went off on his own and was  from that moment on chased by Schoeman and Brownlee during the run, but still managed to take the win. When Bergere won, he had an eight-second lead over Brownlee and 13 seconds over Schoeman. Wilde, who was pretty pissed when he crossed the finish line, still finished third at 23 seconds.