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Taylor Knibb proves once again she’s in a class of her own with huge win at T100 San Francisco

She's Paris-bound in two sports and once again topped some of the sport's best long-distance triathletes

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Scarily enough, it’s probably a good thing that Taylor Knibb is focussed on so many different distances and sports right now. The Olympian is gearing up for the Paris Olympics next month, where she’ll compete for the USA as both a triathlete and a time-trial cyclist. She’s been bouncing back and forth between long-distance racing (she won Ironman 70.3 Oceanside by almost 11 minutes in April) and the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS), where she finished second in Yokohama and 11th in Cagliari. Four days after the race in Yokohama she won the US National Time Trial Championships (see below), which earned her an automatic spot for the US cycling team in Paris.

Triathlon star shocks cycling world with big win at US National Time Trial Championships

The only time Knibb wasn’t in front of the race in San Francisco was in the chilly swim that saw the women enjoy a strong current and fly through the 2 km swim in just over 17 minutes. Switzerland’s Imogen Simmonds nailed the siting and beach landing to lead the way out of the water, averaging 51 seconds/ 100 m. Knibb was second, 23 seconds down, with T100 Miami champion India Lee third out of the water and her British countrywoman Kat Matthews just a couple of seconds behind, with Canadian Paula Findlay another two seconds back and Germany’s Laura Philipp on her feet. Rounding out that chase group was Australian Ashleigh Gentle.

Knibb crests the climb in the San Francisco fog, well in front. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

From there on the race was the Taylor Knibb show. By the 5 km timing point the American was 30 seconds up on Philipp, with Simmonds another 10 seconds back and Matthews at 48 seconds. By the halfway point Knibb was over two minutes ahead of Matthews (who was a last-minute addition to the field after being DQd at Ironman Hamburg last weekend for passing in a non-passing zone). By the end of the run Knibb was 4:33 ahead of Matthews, with Philipp at 6:16, Simmonds at 6:38, Findlay at 9:03, Emma Pallant-Browne (GBR) at 9:09, Lee at 9:11, Laura Madsen (DEN) at 9:14, Gentle at 10:41 and Amelia Watkinson (NZL) at 13:48.

The run was simply a formality as Knibb cruised through the day’s third-fastest run (her 1:07:00 slotted in behind Canadian Tamara Jewett’s 1:05:31 and Matthews’ 1:06:00) to take the win in 3:38:01. Matthews would come back after her 3.8 km swim and 180 km bike session in Hamburg with an impressive runner-up finish (3:41:48) and Philipp rounding out the podium in 3:45:07. Simmonds would take fourth, Pallant-Browne fifth, Findlay sixth and Gentle crossed the line in seventh.