Laura Lindemann claims gold at the first-ever indoor World Cup in Lievin

by Olalla Cernuda on 30 Mar, 2024 09:52 • Español
Laura Lindemann claims gold at the first-ever indoor World Cup in Lievin

With a fantastic final sprint, Laura Lindemann mastered the sizzling super-sprint format of the World Triathlon Indoor Cup Lievin, outsprinting in the last meters Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) and Gwen Jorgensen (USA) on an epic battle in the blue carpet.

The World Triathlon Indoor Cup in Lievin delivered a spectacle that will be hard to forget, with almost 3.000 espectators cheering on the stands, thrilled with the format that makes its debut on the World Cup circuit: 12 athletes line up on each race -6 heats for the men, 4 for the women- followed by three semi-finals for each gender and then the B final and A finals-. A 150m swim - 6 lengths of the pool with two athletes to a lane - is followed by a 15-lap, 3km bike and out onto the 5-lap, 1km run, with heats and repechage to decide the 36 athletes into three semi-finals per gender, the top four of each semi-final progressing into the final, the next four on the finish line of each semi-final into a B-final.

The stage was set for an exhilarating competition as 38 women lined up for the four Heats, all vying for a spot in the finals. With the top six from each Heat advancing, the pressure was on for athletes to deliver their best performances. Despite the intense competition, all the leading contenders navigated their heats successfully, except for Vicky Holland, the Rio 2016 bronze medalist, who faced disqualification for not serving a penalty during her Heat, that she in fact had won.

Leonie Periault, Laura Lindemann, Jessica Fullagar, and Audrey Merle secured their places in the Finals from the first semi-final, while Jolien Vermeylen, Lena Meissner, Georgia Taylor-Brown, and Zuzana Michalickova advanced from the second semi-final. The final semi-final saw Swiss athletes Nora Gmur and Cathia Schar dominate, with Gwen Jorgensen and Robin Dreijling earning their spots in the ultimate showdown.

As the finals commenced, Zuzana Michalickova once again demonstrated her prowess in the water, leading the field after the swimming leg. The athletes went through transition in one large pack and on the bike segment, a tight-knit group tackled 15 fast laps, with Jorgensen strategically conserving energy at the rear. Periault and Cathia Schar set a brisk pace, closely pursued by Taylor-Brown and Lindemann.

The tension mounted as the competitors hit the final transition, with Periault emerging as the frontrunner on the run, trailed closely by Michalickova, Lindemann, Vermeylen, and Taylor-Brown, while Jorgensen fought to close the gap. In a breathtaking climax, Lindemann summoned a burst of speed in the last lap, leaving her rivals trailing in her wake. Taylor-Brown managed to hold off Jorgensen, securing second place as the American claimed bronze. Periault, buoyed by local support, crossed the finish line in fourth, with Lena Meissner rounding out the top five.

“It was really hard, I think it was one of the toughest races I have ever done I think. I tried to follow and have some energy for the last metres but it really was all out from the beginning”, said Lindemann after claiming the victory.

“I am really happy with today, I don’t feel super run fit at the moment but I am getting there and it was really exciting today”, explained Taylor-Brown, who tried to save a bit of energy for the last leg, but was not really able to do it. “That was the idea (to save legs) but when you’re here and the atmosphere, you get carried away and I went harder than I wanted to in the heats and semis. The heats were a shock and it really hurt my throat because it’s such a dry air in here but everyone was the same but the Finals were really hard because it was busier and more compact on the bike and the run was super fast.”

“I came out here and I really wanted to treat this like my Abu Dhabi as the race was cancelled. I obviously came here to win but I got outdone by Laura (Lindemann) and Georgia (Taylor-Brown) and it was a really fun atmosphere, there are just so many people here in the crowd and it makes it really exciting, I’d like to see more of this format. It was really special,” said Jorgensen.

Related Event: 2024 World Triathlon Indoor Cup Lievin
30 Mar, 2024 • event pageall results
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