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Desert showdown – WTCS Abu Dhabi in words and pictures

We recap the exciting day of racing at WTCS Abu Dhabi

Photo by: World Triathlon/ Wagner Araujo

It was a thrilling way to end the 2021 WTCS season – some thrilling racing at the World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi that saw a thrilling final half-mile sprint to the line in the men’s race and another dominating performance by Flora Duffy to solidify her position as the sport’s top short-distance athlete at the moment. We look back at the exciting racing through these photos from World Triathlon photographers Tommy Zaferes and Wagner Araujo.

Mislawchuk returns to racing with sixth in Abu Dhabi

As he has done in all his races this year, France’s Vincent Luis led the men out of the water. Photo: Wagner Aurajo
Luis was joined at the front by a group that included Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk. Photo: Wagner Araujo.
The lead group had 45 seconds on the chase pack, which turned the race into a 5 km sprint for the medals. At one point New Zealand Olympic bronze medalist Hayden Wilde looked like he might run away from the group, but he couldn’t stay away.
How’s that for a return to racing? Mislawchuk wasn’t able to stay near the leaders on the run, but hung tough for a sixth-place ¬†finish. Photo: Tommy Zaferes
Even runner-up Vincent Luis was happy to see his training partner Jelle Geens take the win – the Belgian wasn’t able to compete in the individual race at the Olympics because of a positive COVID-19 test. Photo: Tommy Zaferes

Duffy beats stacked field at WTCS Abu Dhabi in dominating style

A stacked field was on hand for the women’s race and the action started right from the gun. Photo: Tommy Zaferes.
Surprise! Lucy Charles-Barclay didn’t lead out of the swim – it was her countrywoman Sophie Coldwell who was first out, but another Brit – Jess Learmonth – was on her feet and quickly surged ahead into T2. Photo: Wagner Araujo
A lead group of five formed (Lucy Charles-Barclay is seen here trying to hang on to the group, but couldn’t stay with the group through the technical sections of the course). In that group of five were Learmonth, Flora Duffy, Taylor Knibb, Sophie Coldwell and Georgia Taylor-Brown. Photo: Wagner Araujo
As she did at the Olympics in July, Duffy ran away from the rest of the women. Photo: Wagner Araujo
Charles-Barclay would stay clear of the rest of the women on the bike, but was eventually caught by some of the women in the chase pack and would take 12th overall. Photo: Wagner Araujo
France’s Cassandre Beaugrand would run her way to sixth – she was the fastest of the chase pack. Photo: Wagner Araujo
Sophie Coldwell was thrilled to take third behind countrywoman Georgia Taylor-Brown, nailing herself a spot on the British Commonwealth Games team for next year.