The second stop of the Super League Triathlon Championship Series in Toulouse, France proved to be a dramatic one, with dominant victories from Kate Waugh and Léo Bergère marked by controversy.
In the women's race, England's Waugh asserted her dominance across all three stages of the Triple Mix format. She built an early lead on the swim and bike legs before charging to a finish line 46 seconds ahead of French athlete Leonie Periault.
However, Waugh's commanding performance was overshadowed by the disqualification of last week's London winner and hometown favorite Jeanne Lehair. Lehair failed to properly secure her bike helmet in transition, leading to an abrupt DQ from the race.
The men's event saw more turmoil, as pre-race favorite Hayden Wilde of New Zealand was handed a five second penalty after incorrectly completing an extra lap on the bike. This opened the door for Frenchman Bergère to claim victory in front of his home crowd.
Wilde's miscue allowed Bergère to gap the field on the final run leg, crossing the line first ahead of Britain's Jonathan Brownlee and South Africa's Henri Schoeman. Wilde's team appealed the penalty, but officials upheld the decision, denying the Kiwi a chance to contend for the win.
The controversy took away little from Bergère's dominant performance across all three legs of the unique race format. The Frenchman credited his training and preparation in powering him to victory on home soil.
In the overall team standings, Brownlee's runner-up finish earned more points for his Sharks squad, who still hold the series lead. The Eagles and Scorpions are now tied for second place, while Wilde's Warriors sit last after the drama in Toulouse.
The Super League Triathlon heads next to Malibu on September 30th for the third leg of the Championship Series. After the excitement in France, the world's top triathletes will be hungry for more success in California.