Anyone leading a major women’s triathlon after the bike phase knows this: Katie Zaferes is coming.
An All-Big East steeplechaser at Syracuse, Zaferes showed once again her prowess on the streets of Montreal (CAN), posting the fastest time in the field by nine seconds (!) to overpower everyone and win her fourth World Series title in five races this season by a commanding 11 seconds in the shorter Sprint event, with a tremendous final lap in the 5 km run against Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown.
Zaferes now has a 4,925-4,170 lead over Jessica Learmonth (GBR) in the seasonal standings, with Taylor-Brown third at 3,925. Impressive, but hardly decisive with three events remaining.
The men’s race featured surprise winner Jelle Geens of Belgium, who not only won his first World Series gold, but also the first victory in series history for Belgium. He and training partner Mario Mola broke free of a pack with just 500 m to go on the run phase, despite a sudden rainstorm, and Geens managed to get to the finish line first.
Even with a silver, the race was highly encouraging for three-time defending World Series champion Mola, who had finished 26-29-29 in his last three races. He moved up from 13th to seventh in the overall standings.
The drenched crowd was happy, however, as Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk finished third and won his first-ever World Series medal! Summaries:
ITU World Series
Montreal (CAN) ~ 28-29 June 2019
(Full results here)
Men (Sprint): 1. Jelle Geens (BEL), 53:49; 2. Mario Mola (ESP), 53;50; 3. Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN), 53:53; 4. Richard Murray (RSA), 53:58; 5. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), 54:02. Also in the top 25: 12. Seth Rider (USA), 54:42; … 17. Tony Smoragiewicz (USA), 54:52; … 23. Ben Kanute (USA), 55:22.
Women (Sprint): 1. Katie Zaferes (USA), 58:15; 2. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR), 58:26; 3. Jessica Learmonth (GBR), 58:49; 4. Alice Betto (ITA), 58:57; 5. Taylor Knibb (USA), 59:24. Also in the top 25: 15. Chelsea Burns (USA), 1:00:39.