TRIATHLON: Stanford returns to the top of the podium; Birtwhistle wins again in Hamburg World Series

Australia's Jake Birtwhistle is pretty happy to win the ITU Hamburg Triathlon! (Photo: ITU)

Britain’s Non Stanford, now 30, was the 2013 World Champion, but hadn’t won a World Triathlon Series medal early last season. Was she still a contender?

At the Hamburg Triathlon on Saturday, she emphatically answered the question with an impressive win by seven seconds over the 2018 Hamburg leader, Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) and 18 seconds ahead of American Summer Rappaport, who won her second medal of the season.

Stanford broke the race open during the run phase, surprising even herself with the victory.

“I really didn’t expect to do that. I’ve been trying to edge my way back to the podium and this is testament to all the hard work behind the scenes.

“There was a [bike] crash behind me at one point and my wheel was slipping and my saddle dropped down too. Im going to fully focus on preparing for Tokyo now and i want to go there and show the selectors im a genuine contender for that team.”

One of those impacted by the crash was American Katie Zaferes, who was trapped behind a mass of metal and rubber and could not finished better than 34th overall. She still has a big lead of 4,925-4,170 over Jessica Learmonth (GBR) with two races to go this season.

The men’s race came down to who could catch France’s Vincent Luis, who stormed to the lead late in the run phase after another bike crash had narrowed the field considerably. A pack five chasers was closing, but only Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle could pass Luis, winning his second World Series race in the last three events. Belgium’s Jelle Geens, the surprise winner in the Montreal Sprint, suddenly looks like a consistent contender with his third-place finish ahead of defending Series titlist Mario Mola (ESP).

In the Mixed Relay World Championship, France won for the second consecutive year and third overall, with Luis anchoring for a four-second win over host Germany. Justus Nieschlag brought Germany up through the mix of contenders for the silver medal and Birtwhistle brought Australia in ahead of Spain and Belgium. Summaries:

ITU World Series/Hamburg Triathlon
Hamburg (GER) ~ 6-7 July 2019
(Full results here)

Men/Sprint: 1. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS), 55:09; 2. Vincent Luis (FRA), 55:10; 3. Jelle Geens (BEL), 55:13; 4. Mario Mola (ESP), 55:15; 5. Leo Bergere (FRA), 55:17; 6. Hayden Wilde (NZL), 55:20; 7. Justus Nieschlag (GER), 55:25; 8. Javier Gomez Noya (ESP), 55;34; 9. Marten van Riel (BEL), 55:41; 10. Ryan Sissons (NZL), 55:45.

Women/Sprint: 1. Non Stanford (GBR), 59:24; 2. Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA), 59:31; 3. Summer Rappaport (USA), 59:42; 4. Rachel Klamer (NED), 59:43; 5. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR), 59:49; 6. Taylor Spivey (USA), 59:51; 7. Laura Lindemann (GER), 59:52; 8. Nicola Spring (SUI), 59:59; 9. Vicky Holland (GBR), 1:00:03; 10. Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA), 1:00:06. Also in the top 25: 16. Chelsea Burns (USA), 1:00:58; … 18. Kirsten Kasper (USA), 1:01:02.

Mixed Relay World Championships: 1. France (Morier, Bergere, Beaugrand, Luis), 1:20:18; 2. Germany (Lindemann, Wentz, Eim, Nieschlag), 1:20:22; 3. Australia (Van Coeverden, Royle, Jeffcoat, Birtwhistle), 1:20:43; 4. New Zealand, 1:20:46; 5. Canada, 1:21:08; 6. Spain, 1:21:13; 7. Belgium, 1:21:20; 8. Netherlands, 1:21:56. Also: 9. United States (Taylor Spivey, Eli Hemming, Katie Zaferes, Matthew McElroy), 1:22:07.

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