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Indoor racing with a twist – World Triathlon Indoor Cup Lievin

A 25 m pool and a 200 m track make for exciting racing in France

Photo by: TriathlonLive.TV

The Arena Games offers indoor racing that features a pool, a bike trainers and treadmills, but today we got to witness a completely different type of indoor racing in France. The World Triathlon Indoor Cup Lievin featured a “course” that saw athletes compete over 150 m in a 25 m pool, then jump on their bikes for a 3 km (15-lap) bike around the 200 m track, and round things out with a 1 km (5-lap) run.

After a set of heats in the morning, athletes qualified for one of three semi finals, with the top 4 from each semi making the A final, the next 4 competing in the B final. It all made for some exciting racing, with transition expertise playing a huge premium.

Lindemann on top, Jorgensen earns valuable qualifying points

Photo: TriathlonLive.TV

In the continuing drama over who will qualify for the American women’s team for the Paris Olympics, 2016 gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen continued her steady build towards the final automatic qualifying spot by making the A final, while rival Gina Sereno had to settle with sixth in the B final. It wasn’t easy though – with both racing in the third semi final, Jorgensen had to run her way up from well behind to make the top four.

Looking strong heading into the women’s final was Tokyo silver medalist Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR), with Germany’s Laura Lindemann and Switzerland’s Cathia Schar also seemingly in control, In the final Slovakias Zuzan Michalichova flew through the swim, but was quickly joined by a huge group on the bike as Lindemann powered the group in the early stages. After a strong swim, Jorgensen struggled in transition and would have to push to get to the front group.

The group bunched up towards the end of the bike, with Jorgensen working hard to stay with the group at the back. It was Schar who led the way into transition, with Belgium’s Jolien Vermeylen having the quickest transition and hitting the run first. Another slow transition put Jorgensen at the back again as France’s Leonie Periault took the lead, with Lindemann and Taylor-Brown close behind. Jorgensen had an incredible run to storm through the field to join the leaders for a scorcher of a final lap. As Jorgensen appeared to be ready to surge to the front, Lindemann made her move and pulled clear, holding off the rest of the women for the win. Taylor-Brown would hold off Jorgensen for the silver medal, with the American rounding out the podium.

While Lindemann already has her Olympic spot, Taylor-Brown and Jorgensen both find themselves in a tough position to just get to Paris – the British and American teams will be incredibly competitive this year. Their performances today bode well as they head into the final few qualifying opportunities.

You can see full results here.

Thorn flies to the men’s win

Photo: TriathlonLive.TV

The Netherlands’ Mitch Kolkman dominated the 150 m swim and was quick out onto the bike, but most of the 12-man field in the final was quick to get up to the front – Norway’s Caspar Stornes found himself in full chase mode as he tried to bridge up to the group, which he did by the halfway point of the 3 km bike.

French national junior champion Fernandez flew through the second transition to lead Germany’s Tim Hellwig onto the run course, with Norway’s Vetle Bergsvik┬áThorn close behind. Halfway through the run those three were clear of two-time world champion Vincent Luis as Hellwig pushed to the front, but with one lap to go Stornes moved up next to his countryman and the two flew past Hellwig. Then Luis made his move, thrilling the French crowd as he passed Stornes with about 100 m to go. Thorn would hold on, though, getting to the line ahead of the Frenchman, with Stornes rounding out the podium.

Today’s race is a huge result for Luis, who was injured for much of last year and finds himself in a competitive situation for the final spot on the French team with 2022 world champion Leo Bergere.

You can see full results here.