British women dominate T100 Miami, India Lee winner after battle with Lucy Charles-Barclay

India Lee wins PTO T100 Miami (Picture: Triathlon Today)

After a stunning battle with Lucy Charles-Barclay, India Lee has just become the surprise winner of the PTO T100 in Miami. After a race in which many women failed to cross the finish line, it was ultimately three Britons who took their place on the podium.

The race – over 2 kilometers of swimming, 80 kilometers of cycling and 18 kilometers of running – was unsurprisingly led immediately by Lucy Charles Barclay, who took the lead from the start at the swim, trailing only Lucy Bucking in her feet. Both ladies stayed together throughout the swim and climbed back on shore after 24:52 minutes. The first serious differences had emerged by then, as Sara Perez Sala, who was third to her bike, was 57 seconds behind by then, as were Holly Lawrence, India Lee, Marta Sanchez, Pamella Oliveira, Haley Chura and Paula Findlay. Kat Matthews, Daniela Ryf and Emma Pallant-Browne – 11th, 12th and 13th – were more behind and came out of the water 2:20 minutes behind.

On the bike, a situation developed where the race was dominated by British women: Charles-Barclay and Buckingham stayed together and Holly Lawrence and India Lee also found each other and rode in third and fourth position. After about thirty kilometers, both women were thirty seconds behind the leaders, but it was especially clear that other favorites such as Paula Findlay and Kat Matthews could not get any closer for the time being, riding almost two minutes behind.

For a while it looked like there were few developments to come, until first Sara Perez Sala dropped out of the race and not much later Buckingham also dropped out the race due to physical problems. That meant Charles-Barclay was leading solo from that point on, fifty kilometers into the race, although Lee was getting closer and closer. For her part, Lee had already left Lawrence behind and had clearly opened the hunt for Charles-Barclay: the difference between the two women was down to 20 seconds at this point in the race. Lawrence followed in third at 1:26 minutes behind and then Lucy Byram, Kat Matthews and Paula Findlay followed at over two minutes.

With about 10 kilometers to go, Lee finally caught up to her compatriot Charles-Barclay. At least; she did not pass her, but the two women stayed together until T2 and thus also started the final 18 kilometers of running at the same time. Charles-Barclay did so fastest, as she immediately grabbed a lead over Lee. Meanwhile, the other women trickled in, with first Lucy Byram, Lawrence, Matthews and Findlay: this foursome entered T2 at 2:45 minutes behind. Ryf had a great final stretch on the bike, following in seventh and only a few seconds behind the group of four.

During the run, Miami again proved to be a veritable battlefield, and the first victim turned out to be Matthews: after only a kilometer, she found herself parked with cramp in her calf and could do nothing but walk and watch as several women passed her. Not much later, she dropped out crying and very disappointed.

At the same time, Lucy Charles-Barclay began to lose her lead over Lee again after a few kilometers, and after five kilometers on the clock the women were virtually running together again. Less than a kilometer later, Lee accelerated impressively, leaving Charles-Barclay immediately behind. By midway through the run, Lee was thus leading solo.

Even though Lee’s lead did not grow large, she continued to run strong to eventually claim a stunning victory. Lee won the race in a time of 3:27:12. Lucy Charles-Barclay finished second in 3:27:42 and Holly Lawrence third in 3:30:36.