2018 World Championship bronze medallist went above and beyond to overthrow the seemingly unbeatable Katie Zaferes and achieve her first ever win on the ITU World Triathlon Series.
Following a strong swim, Taylor-Brown made up solid ground during the bike and a quick transition in T2 saw her close the gap even further going onto the run. Once out in front, there was no looking back as she went on to take the tape 11 seconds clear of the pre-race favourite.
Commonwealth silver medallist, Learmonth performed her textbook leading swim and came back strongly following issues within T1 to finish third; holding off USA’s Taylor Spivey.
Georgia Taylor-Brown, AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds champion, said: “Last year’s race was a breakthrough race for me and this year I really wanted to fully commit on the swim and I did that. I’m just so happy and I definitely had a tear in my eye crossing the finishing line knowing all my family were here. It was amazing once again racing in Leeds – crowd are the best on the World Triathlon Series circuit.”
Jess Learmonth, AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds bronze medallist, said: “I’m delighted to have achieved a podium in Leeds. After difficulties in T1, I managed to keep it together and I’m so happy with the result. Going forwards it is a case of taking it race by race and performing the very best I can in every event I compete in.”
The race saw five of the six Brits finish in the top ten, with Non Stanford coming home in 5th, Vicky Holland 7th and Sophie Coldwell in 9th. Jodie Stimpson made a positive return to the start line following injury to come home in 15th place.
The men’s race saw Tom Bishop as Great Britain’s highest finisher, taking 13th place after a solid all-round performance. A large group formed within the swim that then continued out of T1. Despite a number of athletes trying to form breakaways, over half the field came together come T2 and the race came down to a battle on foot.
Bishop kept up with the pace over a large proportion of the 10km distance but was unable to inject anything extra towards the end. Alex Yee clawed his way back through the field, but the gap proved too much to close and he came home 15th. Despite strong swim and bike legs, both Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee experienced difficulties on the run and finished down the field.
Wayne Coyle, AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds Event Director, said:
“Great Britain claiming two brilliant medals in the elite women’s race has closed a fantastic fourth edition of the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds. This weekend has been a true celebration of triathlon and confirms Leeds’ status as Great Britain’s beating heart of the sport.
“On behalf on every event stakeholder, we are proud to have delivered a world-class event which has enabled thousands of participants to achieve their personal sporting goals.”
Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake, said:
“To host the AJ Bell World Triathlon Series for the fourth time this year has been absolutely fantastic and to see some of the world’s greatest triathletes competing in Leeds at the weekend was just a huge honour for the city.”
“A massive thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this weekend’s event happen, including of course the many volunteer ‘Tri-makers’ who gave up their free time and got involved to make the event so enjoyable for athletes and spectators.”
AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds – RESULTS
Georgia Taylor Brown, GBR, 1:55:46
Katie Zaferes, USA, 1:55:57
Jess Learmonth, GBR, 1:57:22
5. Non Stanford, GBR, 1:57:53
7. Vicky Holland, GBR, 1:58:01
9. Sophie Coldwell, GBR, 1:58:36
15. Jodie Stimpson, GBR, 1:59:45
Jacob Birtwhistle, AUS, 1:45:12
Matthew McElroy, USA, 1:45:19
Javier Gomez-Noya, ESP, 1:45:21
13. Tom Bishop, GBR, 1:46:07
15. Alex Yee, GBR, 1:46:16
35. Jonny Brownlee, GBR, 1:48:57
44. Alistair Brownlee, GBR, 1:50:34
For full results, visit https://triathlon.org/results/result/2019_aj_bell_world_triathlon_leeds