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All-star elite field set for XTERRA Pan Am Champs in Utah

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Forty-five elites are scheduled to compete at the XTERRA Pan America / USA Championship race in Ogden, Utah next Saturday, September 16.

As the culmination of a series of off-road triathlons spanning South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S., the contenders are coming from near and far, and with $80,000 in prize money at stake and cameramen capturing all the action for a nationally broadcast one-hour TV show, the stage is set for XTERRA’s best to show what they can do.

The challenge starts with a one-mile swim in Pineview Reservoir (4,900-feet elevation), follows with an 18-mile mountain bike leg that climbs more than 3,000-feet to the top of Sardine Peak (7,300-feet elevation) and culminates with a 7-mile trail run featuring another 700-feet of climbing on trails around Snowbasin Resort in the Wasatch Range. The course, they say, is best-suited for mountain goats.

In the last few weeks we’ve caught up with some of the race favorites including reigning champs Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder from the U.S., and top contenders Bradley Weiss from South Africa (who just won the XTERRA European Championship) and Kara LaPoint from Colorado, but the talent goes well beyond those four.

In the men’s race Mexico is well represented with Mauricio Mendez, the current XTERRA World Champion. He was second to Middaugh at XTERRA Beaver Creek this year and 3rd at this race in 2014 as an 18-year-old.

XTERRA Argentina Champion Gonzalo Tellechea, who is currently ranked 5th in the Pan Am Pro Series, is on the start list along with his countrymen Andres Darricau and Mario de Elias. Representing Brazil is Felipe Moletta, the reigning and three-time XTERRA Brazil Champion.

Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, who finished in the top four at four races this year and is ranked fourth in the Pan Am Pro Series, will carry the torch for Canada while rookie elite Cedric Wane (ranked 6th) represents Tahiti.

The Kiwi’s are in full force with Kieran McPherson, the XTERRA Thailand Champion who is ranked 3rd in the Series, Kyle Smith, who was 3rd at XTERRA New Zealand and the ITU Cross Tri World Champs in Canada a few weeks ago, and Alex Roberts.

The Aussies are led by Ben Allen, who finished 3rd at XTERRA Worlds twice in the last three years.

Markus Benesch and Dominik Wychera from Austria and Julien Buffe from France add a European twist to the mix. For Buffe, ranked 8th on the tour, this will be the fifth race on the Pan Am Pro Series for he and his girlfriend Morgane Riou.

“Even if it was a tiring schedule with many travels between Europe and America, we don’t regret anything as we have discovered lovely places and beautiful races,” he said. “I’m very happy with my season which is my second as a pro on the XTERRA World Tour. I’ve reached the Top 10 at each race I’ve done on the Pan Am Tour and it is an unexpected result for me before the start of the season. My best race was the last one at XTERRA Dominican Republic with my first podium on the Tour (5th) and the first victory for Morgane. My goal in Utah is to enjoy the race and try to stay in the Top 10 of the Tour.”

And then there are the Americans, who will also be racing for the USA Championship title.

Branden Rakita leads the charge as the Pan Am Pro Series points leader, having finished in the top seven at nine events this season. Sam Long could be the dark horse, he finished 3rd at XTERRA Beaver Creek behind only Middaugh and Mendez this summer.

Chris Ganter says he’s looking forward to another shot at this course, where he did his first XTERRA as a pro back in 2010.

“Every year I say ‘this course doesn’t suit me, etc, etc.’ but then I decide to come back with a new strategy. This year I’ve trained nordic skiing at high altitude, and it seems to have helped with my cycling performances above 5,000-feet, so we’ll see! Luckily, I’m coming into form at the right time after injuring my ribs five-weeks back. It still hurts when I swim, so my strategy will be to get through the swim and really give’r on the bike and run! JP Thibodeau and I are road-tripping down to Ogden from Boise in the RV, which should be a rad adventure in-and-of itself!”

Alex Modestou, after a busy legislative season with his “real job” as an education data and policy analyst, is hoping to find the form he had in 2014 when he finished fourth at this race. Others in the mix include Walter Schafer, Michael Nunez, Ian King, Brad Zoller, newbie local pro Andrew Fast in his first-ever XTERRA, and the senior statesman of the bunch, 42yo Brian Smith.

“I am grateful that I can continue this amazing and challenging sport into my 40s at the highest level, and definitely pleased with how the season has unfolded,” said Smith, who finished fourth at both XTERRA Oak Mountain and Beaver Creek and 7th in Mexico. “The championship event at Snowbasin always brings out my best efforts. I love the long, sustained climbing on the bike and challenging run that follows. Both courses really suit my strengths and the lower altitude allows me to dig a little deeper into the pain cave. I want to be top 5 with the hopes of a top 3 if everything is perfect.”

Pam Am Tour Rank – Name – Age, Hometown

1 – Branden Rakita – 36, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2 – Josiah Middaugh – 39, Eagle-Vail, Colorado
3 – Kieran McPherson – 25, Matamata, New Zealand
4 – Jean-Philippe Thibodeau – 26, Quebec, Canada
5 – Gonzolo Tellechea – 33, San Juan, Argentina
6 – Cédric Wane – 31, Papeete, Tahiti
7 – Brian Smith – 42, Gunnison, Colorado
8 – Julien Buffe – 30, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France
12 – Felipe Moletta – 31, Parana, Brazil
14 – Chris Ganter – 38, Boise, Idaho
15 – Ian King – 27, Fort Collins, Colorado
18 – Michael Nunez – 36, Salt Lake City, Utah
19 – Mauricio Mendez – 21, Mexico City, Mexico
20 – Sam Long – 21, Boulder, Colorado
29 – Mario de Elias – 33, Buenos Aires, Argentina
31 – Andres Darricau – 41, Buenos Aires, Argentina
NR – Ben Allen – 32, Wollongong, Australia
NR – Markus Benesch – 43, Vienna, Austria
NR – Andrew Fast – 36, Salt Lake City, Utah
NR – Alex Modestou – 30, Durham, North Carolina
NR – Alex Roberts – 27, Taupo, New Zealand
NR – Walter Schafer – 26, Centennial, Colorado
NR – Kyle Smith – 20, Waikato, New Zealand
NR – Bradley Weiss – 28, Stellenbosch, South Africa
NR – Dominik Wychera – 24, Kritzendorf, Austria
NR – Brad Zoller – 40, Avon, Colorado

WOMEN’S ELITE RACE

The women’s elite field is just as diverse as the men’s with racers representing France, Brazil, Canada, Scotland, New Zealand, the U.S., and the U.K.

Two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson finished third on this course the first time she raced it in 2009. She was second in 2010 and 2011, and she won it in 2012 and 2013. This year, after a season spent touring the nation promoting her book The Brave Athlete, she says she’s ready to get back in the dirt.

“I’ll hit it hard from the start and never look back, I wanna win this,” she exclaimed. “I’m feeling good and just love the beauty of the course with the fall leaves and gruesome climbs. XTERRA is my home, its gritty, muddy, primal, and family grown!”

To win it she’ll have to get past Snyder, who won five races this year included a head-to-head against Paterson at Oak Mountain. In their next head-to-head, however, Paterson won big at Beaver Creek, so this will be the rubber match.

Other hopefuls include Morgane Riou from France, who did 11 XTERRA races this season including a stretch of eight in eight weeks this summer. In her last race, she won XTERRA Dominican Republic, and is ranked 3rd in the Pan Am Pro Series.

“I’m very satisfied with my season, it has been my best one since I began to race as a pro in 2014,” she said. “I recovered well after the big summer series of 8 races in 8 weeks and I’m now ready to fight again. XTERRA Ogden will be my last off-road triathlon of the year since I don’t have any more rest days to go to Maui. So, I would like to have a good race from the beginning to the end and enjoy each moment of the race.”

Lizzie Orchard from New Zealand was the runner-up here a year ago, finishing just three minutes behind Snyder and is fresh-off a third-place showing at the European Championship in Denmark.

“I had such a great trip to the Pan Am Champs last year Keith and I knew we wanted to come back again,” said Orchard. “It wasn’t just that the race went well for me, it was the atmosphere and activities that we enjoyed…the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah State Fair, Faar better Ice cream shop, Bobsledding down the Olympic run, there’s a lot to do. As for the race itself, the course is tough but beautiful. The elevation gain on the ride suits me and with enough preparation I’m not as concerned about the altitude as I have been in the past. It’s a mental challenge to keep the pressure on all the way up to T2 and then continue going up on the run.”

Canada is sending a strong contingent with Katie Button, Katharine Carter, Annie Bergen, and XTERRA newbie Holly Henry. Brazil counters with Sabrina Gobbo, winner of four straight XTERRA Brazil Championships, and Laura Mira Dias who is ranked fourth in the series.

“This year I would like to have a better race than last year,” said Gobbo, who was 12th last year. “I felt a lot the altitude and was a little tired. This year I’ll be in Ogden one week early, and hope that helps and my body responds.”

Jacqui Allen has also had trouble with the altitude at this race in the past, but will be a little more comfortable this year

“This race has always been a real challenge for me to master due to the altitude,” she said. “I’ve struggled in the past with my energy levels so the goal for this race will be to finish and finish strong. I’ve been living at altitude for four weeks now and have adapted very well so I’m excited to see what I can bring to the race. If it doesn’t work out it’s certainly no reflection of my fitness, it’s just altitude. I love the course, it’s the most stunning place to be in September and once I’m up the first hill on the run I’ll be smiling all the way into the finish line.”

In addition to Snyder and LaPoint, the American’s will be represented by 2015 USA Champ Emma Garrard and Julie Baker, who finished third in Utah last year. Other U.S. racers include Genevieve Evans, Heather Zimchek-Dunn, Caroline Colonna, Jessie Koltz, and Anne Usher.

Follow the elite race live on twitter @xterraoffroad and find live video look-ins on Facebook/xterraplanet starting at 9am MST on Saturday, September 16. Learn more at www.xterraplanet.com.

Pam Am Tour Rank – Name – Age, Hometown

1 – Suzie Snyder – 35, Reno, Nevada
2 – Kara LaPoint – 30, Woody Creek, Colorado
3 – Morgane Riou – 31, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France
4 – Laura Dias – 32, Lavras, Brazil
5 – Annie Bergen – 41, Kelowna, B.C., Canada
6 – Sabrina Gobbo – 40, Sao Paulo, Brazil
7 – Lesley Paterson – 36, Stirling, Scotland
8 – Caroline Colonna – 53, Taos, New Mexico
9 – Julie Baker – 40, Sonora, California
10 – Jessie Koltz – 28, Reno, Nevada
11 – Katie Button – 32, Victoria, B.C., Canada
14 – Emma Garrard – 36, Park City, Utah
16 – Heather Zimchek-Dunn, 31, Olympia, Washington
22 – Genevieve Evans, 44, Tahoe City, California
26 – Katharine Carter – 30, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
29 – Anne Usher – 38, Portland, Oregon
NR – Lizzie Orchard – 32, Auckland, New Zealand
NR – Holly Henry – 19, Victoria, B.C., Canada
NR – Jacqui Allen – 34, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom

A cyclist and tech geek at heart with a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of Australia's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.

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Major League Triathlon Adds 3rd International Team

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Major League Triathlon, the first and only professional triathlon league in North America, has announced a 9th team (3rd International franchise) for the 2018 season. For the first time in the league’s history, a National team from Mexico will participate in MLT.

The new franchise, dubbed, Guardianes de Guadalajara (Guadalajara Guardians), will consist of many of the top Mexican National Team athletes. The team will include:

Pro Men

  • Crisanto Grajales
  • Irving Perez
  • Abraham Rodriguez
  • Aram Peñaflor
  • Leonardo Saucedo

Pro Women

  • Cecilia Perez
  • Vanesa de La Torre
  • Adriana Carreño
  • Andrea Gutierrez
  • Lizeth Rueda

“We are thrilled to welcome this team to Major League Triathlon.” Said Daniel Cassidy, CEO of Major League Triathlon. “Triathlon Mexico and their athletes have established themselves as one of the world’s top federations leading up to Tokyo 2020. We are extremely excited to continue to increase the level of competition and give our athletes the opportunity to race Mixed Team Relay at the highest level possible. “

Major League Triathlon will host nine professional teams and will host many of the World’s best elite triathletes including international teams from Australia, Canada, and Mexico. MLT will host four events, making stops in: Atlantic City, Vail Valley, Tempe and Charlotte. The third year league specializes in the Mixed Team Relay format of racing, which will make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. At every event, each athlete will swim 300 meters, bike four miles and run one mile, one at a time, before tagging their next teammate. The first team to have all four athletes cross the finish line will win.

Guardianes de Guadalajara

Guardianes de Guadalajara is the only Mexican/Latin-American Team competing in Major League Triathlon. They represent the City of Guadalajara. The Guardianes de Guadalajara will feature experienced triathletes like Olympians: Crisanto Grajales (London 2012 and Rio 2016), Irving Pérez (Río 2016), Cecilia Pérez (Río 2016) and the future of the extremely strong Mexican National Team including: Junior and U23 triathletes like Vanesa de la Torre, Abraham Rodriguez and Aram Peñaflor.

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Rudy Project Launches Project Podium for Age Group Athletes

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Rudy Project North America, the exclusive distributor of Italian-made endurance sports gear, and the most worn helmet at Kona 7 times in a row is launching Project Podium, an initiative that rewards North America’s fastest age group triathletes with award-winning performance Rudy Project eyewear and helmets. All age group racers that win their age group in any sanctioned long distance triathlon in the United States and Canada are eligible to receive a free, top-of-the-line Rudy Project Boost 01 road aero helmet and a pair of Tralyx sunglasses. Winners will also be featured on Rudy Project’s website and lauded on social media as the top long-distance age group triathletes on the continent.

“A full-distance, 140 miles plus race is nothing to sneeze at, and attempting one is a feat in of itself,” said Paul Craig, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Rudy Project North America. “To win your age group, to come out on top, is something exceptional, and we want to reward the best, with the best.”

The program is open to all age group triathletes that compete in a sanctioned long distance triathlon race, in Canada or the United States, that is included in Project Podium’s list of eligible races. Athletes must be legal residents of either Canada or the United States in order to be eligible to win. The prize pack being offered is worth up to $625 USD, and triathletes that win their age group can submit their results online for verification at www.rudyprojectna.com/pages/project-podium in order to redeem. Athletes will be able to choose from the entire Boost 01 road aero colour line up, which includes Stealth Black and eye-popping Pink Fluo. Rudy Project’s new road aero helmet is quickly becoming an athlete favourite, following wind tunnel testing by ProCycling Magazine that demonstrated the Boost 01 was faster than any competitor helmet tested. To complement their helmet, athletes can also select a frame from the entire award-winning Tralyx family, including the regular Tralyx, Tralyx XL for additional coverage, or the new Tralyx SLIM, designed specifically for athletes with narrower faces. That, coupled with customer-forward warranties like Rudy Project’s 6 Year Crash Replacement Guarantee and Lifetime Replacement Lens Guarantee, make this an unbeatable prize package for the age grouper at the top of their game.

“Rudy Project is simply the best,” said Paul Craig. “We’re choosing to celebrate athletes who power the sport – the age group athlete and rewarding those that get to the top, the pinnacle of success. It may seem too good to be true, but we’re serious. If you win your age group in one of our listed races, we want to give you a helmet and sunglasses. If that extra push is all it takes to motivate someone to train a little harder, run a little faster down the chute toward the finish line, then we’ve done our job.”

Winning athletes can submit their information and race results for verification online. Athletes that won their age group in any 2018 full distance triathlon prior to the announcement of the program are also eligible to redeem retroactively. Full terms and conditions of the initiative can be found online, as well as a full list of eligible races. The program will run until December 2018.

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Taiwan added to XTERRA World Tour on 29-30 September at Kenting National Park

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XTERRA World Tour today announced the inaugural XTERRA Taiwan off-road triathlon and accompanying sports festival to be held September 29-30, 2018 at Kenting National Park.

Events include an XTERRA championship distance event, an “Xticer” beginner distance off-road triathlon, 5, 10 and 21-kilometre trail runs.

“We are thrilled to bring XTERRA to the people of Taiwan and introduce the sport and lifestyle to athletes of all ages and skill levels,” said Brian Wei, Vice President of Marketing. “We also look forward to having XTERRA Tribe members from around the world join us in Taiwan to discover a truly remarkable location in Kenting and the fabulous culture and community that is found here.”

Kenting is on the southern tip of Taiwan and famous for its warm, turquoise water and white-sand beaches that give way to magnificent mountains and natural reserves.

The main event starts with a one-mile swim at Little Bay beach with a short run in between two-laps. The swim-to-bike transition is at the fascinating Kenting Youth Activity Center, which is comprised of 17 different styles of old-world buildings and is a tourist destination all by itself. Then, the 26-kilometer mountain bike course takes competitors from coastal terrain to rocky riverbeds to uncharted territory high atop MenMaLou mountain. And the final test of endurance is a 10-kilometer trail run through the tranquil and “enchanted forest” of Chihniuling, considered one of the eight wonders of Hengchun.

The XTERRA Taiwan Championship event offers an elite prize purse of $15,000 USD split among the top seven men and women and also 49 qualifying spots for amateurs vying to compete at the 2019 XTERRA World Championship race in Maui.

The Xticer tri is a perfect introductory race with a manageable 200m swim, 10km mountain bike and 2km trail run. Relay teams of two-or-three people are encouraged to race in the full distance event.

In addition to the off-road triathlons there is a race for everyone in the family during the 5km, 10km and 21km trail running races. And for the fast runners, a $20,000 NTD (about $700 USD) will be awarded to the top three men and women in the half-marathon distance race.

XTERRA has had a presence in the Asia-Pacific region since 2000 and hosts events in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Tahiti, and New Caledonia, however, this is its first foray into the burgeoning endurance sports market of Taiwan,” said Janet Clark, President of XTERRA World Tour.

Nico Lebrun, the XTERRA European director, helped design the course. He also returned to Taiwan to host local coaching clinics to help leaders in the area teach the various disciplines of XTERRA as well as champion the XTERRA motto to “Live More” through a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle.

“After two trips to Kenting I can tell you it’s a beautiful place, and the perfect location for XTERRA,” said Lebrun, who is also part of the organizing committee producing the event. “If you like hot weather, warm water, fresh local food, and strong culture, you will love it here.”

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Drama and excitement at Challenge Denmark

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Andreas Dreitz and Pernille Thalund each took home a convincing victory in Saturday’s Challenge Herning. After a non-wetsuit swim the athletes had to conquer an unusually hot summer day, which delivered as well drama as excitement.

For a while favourite, Camilla Pedersen (DK) looked like a sure winner. The former elite swimmer came first out of the water after only 25:56 minutes, with two minutes down to fellow dane Pernille Thalund. But almost halfway through the bike course, Thalund took the lead and kept it all the way to the finish line. Laura Siddall (GB) fought her way up from being 9th to second place, well three minutes after Thalund. 18 minutes later Frankie Sanjana (GB) crossed the finish line.

Meanwhile, Camilla Pedersen fought a brave but brutal battle with her stomach which refused to hold anything down in the heat. It goes without saying that it was an unfair match, and halfway through the course, she chose to pull herself out of the race.

Dreitz does it again

Among the men, Swedish favorite Jesper Svensson was first out off the water with Daniel Bækkegaard right behind him. But racing across the Danish heath, the ranks were turned upside down. Ultimately, the former Challenge Denmark winner Andi Dreitz took the lead, after which Danes Matthias Lyngsø Petersen and Kristian Hindkjær succeeded in overtaking Svensson.

Last year’s winner, Anders “Hightower” Christensen finished fifth.

The weather as X factor

One should never complain about the fabulous, Danish summer weather. But in the triathlon context, the heat was grueling.For the pros, the water temperature of 23.1 degrees meant a non wetsuit swim, which was a draw back for the heavier athletes.The vast majority of the age groupers athletes chose to swim in their wetsuits.

The almost non-existent wind made cycling really fast. But as the athletes went out running, the combination of heat, sun and no wind meant an excruciatingly hard run through Herning’s otherwise festive streets.

“The weather is always the x-factor in triathlon. It’s something you can not predict or change – and that can make a huge difference in either direction. But it’s the same for everyone, and that’s something that makes it exciting”, says race director Claus Vesterby.

All about the experience

It is a very proud and happy race director, Claus Vesterby, who can close and shut Challenge Herning this evening: “We had a phenomenal pro field with some amazing athletes and personalities. It’s amazing to notice how the Challenge Family spirit influenced the day among both pro and age group athletes. All the amateur athletes at all levels who struggled to exceed their own expectations and have a party with their sport, never seize to amaze me. They are just as important to us as the professionals, and it’s fascinating to see the breadth of our sport. I am proud of that,” says Claus Vesterby:

“Everyone is here to do their best, but first and foremost they come to get a great experience. And there’s no doubt they’ve got that today – and so have I.It’s a pleasure to feel how the city of Herning has taken the Challenge in and really backs us up and creates a party around the athletes. That means so unbelievably much. So we are already looking forward to making an even more amazing event next year.”

RESULTS

Men

  1. Andreas Dreiz, D, 3:47:12
  2. Matthias Lyngsø Petersen, DK, 3:51:54
  3. Kristian Hindkjær, DK, 3:57:31

Women

  1. Pernille Thalund, DK, 4:20:55
  2. Laura Siddall, GB 4:24:00 PM
  3. Frankie Sanjana, GB, 4:42:00 PM

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Mark Allen is Final Surge’s New Partner, Spokesperson, and Advisor for Triathlon

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Mark Allen, 6-time IRONMAN® Triathlon World Champion and “The Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time” according to ESPN, has teamed up with FinalSurge, the Best Online Training Log according to Triathlete magazine’s June 2018 Issue, to produce a special edition “Mark Allen Coaching” branded training program for triathlon. Allen will also serve as a spokesperson and advisor for Final Surge triathlon projects.

“His accomplishments as an endurance athlete are legendary, but we were even more blown away with his depth of knowledge, experience, and innovations in coaching,” said Bob Butler, IRONMAN Certified Coach and COO of Final Surge. “Having Mark Allen on the team represents an extraordinary opportunity for us to use his unparalleled athletic experience and coaching insights to build on our recent honor as “Best Online Training Log.”

“When the opportunity arose to work with Final Surge I recognized that the technology created by their team had finally reached a level of sophistication and ease of use that would be a perfect match for my coaching theories,” said Allen. “Final Surge has developed the best mobile applications for online coaches in all endurance sports, and I am proud to be a part of their team as they continue to innovate and grow.”

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Rio Olympian Ryan Bailie moves to 6th on the WTS World Rankings

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It was a case of survival of the fittest in yesterday’s energy-sapping World Triathlon Series Leeds round with Australia’s Rio Olympian, “Mr Consistent” Ryan Bailie the best of the Aussies, moving up the ITU WTS World Rankings to sixth after his 10th place finish.

His Olympic teammate Aaron Royle, after his sterling performance to put Australia in the medal hunt in Thursday’s WTS World Triathlon Mixed Relay, faded on the 10km run to finish 13th.

The tough Olympic distance Leeds course, with its immediate hill climb off the 1500m swim and then the 12.5km ride into the city before the tight technical street laps over 27.5km, proved unforgiving for some.

There were some casualties on the bike and then more on the run – including the likes of Leeds local hero and two-time Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jake Birtwhistle, third on the rankings going into Leeds, has dropped to seventh after his 22nd placing in a race which also saw his Commonwealth Games teammate Luke Willian 32nd and Marcel Walkington 36th.

“But there were some positives up until that point and in recent times they have been few and far between so I’ll take it. Bit of ‘R&R’ for a few days and then back into it.”

Royle has jumped four places on the WTS rankings to 17th to 13 to give Australia three in the top 15 after the first five events of a season that will culminate in the 2018 Grand Finale on the Gold Coast (September 12-16).

The next stop will be Hamburg on July 14 and 15; Edmonton (July 27-29) and Montreal (August 25-26) before the Gold Coast final stop.

Defending champion Mario Mola sits on top of the rankings ladder after his second-place finish behind South African Richard Murray yesterday which saw Frenchman Vincent Luis third.

But things didn’t go all Mola’s way as Murray scooted away to South Africa’s first-ever Olympic distance WTS gold.

“I had a beginner’s mistake today,” said Mario Mola. “I jumped on my bike and when I hit the pedal it hit the floor so I had to get down and fix it. Luckily I had a very good swim so I was able to get in the second pack. From then, I just kept working and today the effort paid off. Congratulations to Richard, he was really strong today. I really liked the course, it’s tough but I liked it.”

The Australian women had a frustrating day in the office with Ashleigh Gentle, Natalie Van Coevorden, Charlotte McShane and Gillian Backhouse all falling by the wayside recording DNFs through the 40km bike leg.

Gentle wrote on Twitter: “Out of Leeds after my pre-race swim yesterday. Things went south.

“Stomach bug or food poisoning flattened me. I lined up to give it a go but unfortunately, I felt incredibly weak and couldn’t hardly push any power.”

The race eventually went to local Vicky Holland in a GBR quinella with youngster Georgia Taylor-Brown taking silver and Katie Zaferes (USA) third.

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