Taylor Knibb Dominates San Francisco T100 to Earn Convincing Victory

American Taylor Knibb delivered a commanding win at the San Francisco T100, bolstering her bid to make history in Paris.

Taylor Knibb Dominates San Francisco T100 to Earn Convincing Victory

American triathlon star Taylor Knibb claimed an emphatic victory in the women's race at the San Francisco T100, part of the 2024 PTO Tour. She stopped the clock in 3:38:01, a massive 3:45 ahead of runner-up Kat Matthews, with Germany's Laura Philipp rounding out the podium a further 3:30 back.

Knibb, known for her consistency strong bike, wasted no time in surging to the head of affairs once out on two wheels. She would go on to post a race-best bike split that put her far out of reach of the competition, allowing her to relish the final run leg on her way to a maiden T100 title.

Pre-Race Expectations and Conditions

The San Francisco start list read like a who's who of women's long course triathlon. But most eyes were on 26-year-old Taylor Knibb, the rising American talent who had just won her country's national time trial championship against a field of cycling specialists. Her development into a fearsome all-around triathlete made her a strong favourite, though seasoned stars like Imogen Simmonds (SUI), Kat Matthews (GBR) and her countrywoman Laura Philipp promised to push her all the way.

The indefatigable Kat Matthews nearly didn't make it to the start line in San Francisco. After a bitterly disappointing disqualification while leading in Hamburg the weekend before, most athletes would have called time on their season. Not the plucky Brit. On a whim, she booked a last-minute trans-Atlantic flight, arriving in California with a point to prove. Her gutsy runner-up finish, including the day's fastest run split, silenced any doubters.

San Francisco's famed fickle weather was on full display – it was a cool, grey morning with moisture in the air as the athletes prepared for the point-to-point Bay swim. The waters, known to play host to great white sharks, were churned up, with strong currents set to be a major factor. The bike course, featuring a modified version of the legendary Escape From Alcatraz route, looked typically demanding – a series of steep climbs and technical descents that would reward courage and bike handling.

How the Race Was Won


Start and Strategy: The women's field dived together from the San Francisco Spirit boat, quickly forming a strung-out line as they knifed through the choppy waters. The key would be finding the fastest currents to sweep them to the swim exit.
Leading Performers: Swiss ace Imogen Simmonds, one of the strongest swimmers in the field, used her open water savvy to do just that. Cleverly angling her line to maximise the push of the tides, she reached land in 17:00 flat, already 23 seconds to the good on the dangerous Knibb.


Gradients approaching 16%, tight hairpin, and roads made slick by ocean spray and mist – the San Francisco bike course packed a sting in its tail. The domain of lightweight mountain goats and fearless descenders, it was expected to create major splits in the race.

For Knibb, this imperious display carries extra significance coming just weeks out from the Olympic Games in Paris. There, the young American will attempt a historic double, chasing gold in both the triathlon and the cycling time trial. No woman has ever achieved such a feat, but on this evidence, few would bet against her.

Tell that to Taylor Knibb. Within the first 5km, the American had already bridged up to Simmonds. By the 10km mark, she was alone in the lead, her power on the climbs and precision on the downhills putting her in a race of her own. As the rest of the field splintered behind, Knibb just kept padding her advantage – 1:45 to the good after one lap, 2:15 by halfway, a scarcely believable 4:45 as she flew into T2.


Known more as a swim-biker in her earlier days, Knibb's run has become a real weapon, and she underlined that here. Looking smooth and assured over the 18km, multi-lap course, the leader lapped rivals who'd managed to lose over 4km to her during the first two legs. Runner-up Kat Matthews was chipping away at the gap with the day's fastest run split, but it was too little too late.

This was a coronation. Knibb took the opportunity to drink in the cheers of the crowd over the final kilometer, grinning broadly as she broke the tape to seal a famous win.

Post-Race Reflections

Knibb, in typically understated fashion, said: "It did not feel easy but it is a great course and atmosphere out there – and I was very grateful to do this race today. On the swim, I dove in, probably a little late, and the one thing I'd been given advice on was that you dive into the water and everyone disperses and that didn't happen. But it was like, get to the end, figure it out." She added: "Once I was in the lead [on the bike], I wasn't descending very well, I wasn't taking the corners very well but I was trying to be better each lap. So, I think on the fifth lap I finally nailed the one turn into the curb, uphill."

Matthews, delighted with second after her last-minute decision to race following a frustrating disqualification in Hamburg the previous weekend, quipped: "I'm pretty proud. I'm glad to have been able to have given Taylor a training day out before her Olympic prep begins! This race feels like I've just got back level – a redemption of my own personal performance. I'm still now desperate for that personal satisfaction to go more, to go higher."

This was a complete performance indicative of a athlete reaching her physical and mental peak. Knibb's swim was good enough to keep her in touch with the leaders; her bike was utterly dominant, the fastest in the race by nearly five minutes; and her run, so long considered her weak link, was second only to renowned speedster Matthews. But perhaps most notable was her equanimity throughout. As Jan Frodeno noted on commentary, she was composed from start to finish, betraying no signs of stress even as she tore the race apart. It's a mindset that bodes well for her biggest challenges to come.


In a display of utter authority, American phenom Taylor Knibb obliterated a world-class field to take victory at the San Francisco T100. Leading almost from start to finish, Knibb's race-best bike leg powered her to an insurmountable advantage, one she would only extend on the run to win by a huge margin of 3:45 from Kat Matthews, with Laura Philipp third.