Connor Bentley and Lena Meissner win World Triathlon Cup Samarkand

Lena Meissner wins World Triathlon Cup Samarkand (Picture: World Triathlon)

In Uzbekistan, since Challenge Samarkand has become a lot more familiar to European triathlon fans anyway, Connor Bentley and Lena Meissner have just won the World Triathlon Cup Samarkand. Many of the world’s best athletes skipped the race because of the upcoming Olympics, but that doesn’t make the wins for Bentley and Meissner any less wonderful.

In the men’s race, we quickly saw a leading group of eight men emerge: in addition to Bentley, Jonas Schomburg, Chase McQueen, Márk Dévay, Yanis Seguin, Simon Westermann, James Edgar and Aiden Longcroft-Harris were in this group. As this leading group began its run, it was already clear that the winner was among them, as the first chasing group followed at more than two minutes.

For quite a while, the leading group stayed together, although as the kilometers ticked away, it began to fall apart more and more. Yet it was only in the closing stages that the final decision was made and Bentley proved inimitable. He won the race in 1:41:52, while Seguin finished second, twelve seconds behind. Right behind Seguin, Schomburg finished third.

In the women’s race, a beautiful and also exciting battle ensued between Lena Meissner and Jessica Fullagar. After the bike, Austrian Therese Feuersinger also had a connection: the three were on an adventure with each other and started the final ten kilometers with a lead of almost two and a half minutes.

However, it was Feuersinger who soon had to drop out and could not keep up with the pace, while Meissner and Fullager kept running together and did so for ten kilometers. A final sprint was necessary to determine the winner. Meissner proved to have the fastest sprint in her legs and won the race in 1:52:52, while Fullagar finished second three seconds behind. Sweden’s Tilda Mansson, engaged in an impressive run, approached the winner to nineteen seconds to finish third.