Race Review: World Triathlon Cup Hong Kong, Europe Triathlon Cup Quarteira, IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong & T100 Miami

Race Review: World Triathlon Cup Hong Kong, Europe Triathlon Cup Quarteira, IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong & T100 Miami

World Triathlon Cup Hong Kong

Sian Rainsley (GBR) - 1st

Sian Rainsley (GBR) claimed a debut World Cup podium and win on Sunday. This result will come as a huge confidence boost after a difficult 2023, where she found herself taken off UK Sport funding after injury. Rainsley made the select group of 7 out of the water and onto the bike, where they kept the chasers at bay for the 20km. It wasn't until midway through the 5km run that she kicked clear of Olympic bronze medallist from Tokyo 2020, Katie Zaferes (USA) and compatriot Kirsten Kasper (USA).

Several other stars of short-course racing were left in her wake, and despite an incredibly strong list of British athletes vying for the final two Olympic spots for Paris 2024, this result may provide an opportunity for the young Brit to try and stake a claim in the final races of Olympic qualification. Yokohama and Cagliari WTCS will now have even more focus, with Abu Dhabi being cancelled earlier in the year.

Europe Triathlon Cup Quarteira

Hugo Milner (GBR) - 1st | Lisa Tertsch (GER) – 1st | Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) - 3rd

Hugo Milner (GBR) again showed his running prowess with a dominant performance at the Quarteira European Cup. The race always attracts a high-profile list of athletes and is a staple in the European circuit. As we are used to in this race, a lead group formed out of the water, including two-time World Champion Vincent Luis (FRA). Milner was under 1 minute in arrears but ensconced in a large chase pack. Over the 40km, the group gained slightly on the leaders, but onto the 10km run, there was still a 30-second deficit. With the win in his sights Milner delivered a 29.32 10km to wrestle the lead from Luis with 2km remaining. This result shows he is a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

The women's race was equally as competitive and enthralling. The strength and depth in the field was astonishing, considering this was effectively a third-tier race with multiple WTCS medallists lining up to start their season. HUUB's Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) finished a fine third behind Lisa Tertsch (GER) and Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA). The Olympic Silver medallist from Tokyo 2020 was in contention until the final moments, which will give her a significant confidence boost as she looks to qualify for her second Olympic games.

IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong

Tom Bishop (GBR) - 2nd

It proved a successful weekend for the Rainsley / Bishop household as Tom Bishop (GBR) claimed a tightly fought 2nd place at Geelong 70.3. One of the early season half-distance races attracted a strong international field, which made for some exciting racing. Early on, Bishop pushed the pace on the swim, but unable to make anything stick, a group of 7 exited the water. It was a similar story on the bike, Bishop and Steve McKenna (AUS) tried to break things up, but it wasn't to be.

2023 winner Mike Phillips (NZL) joined the front group midway through the bike, meaning 8 athletes headed into T2 for a ferocious 21km run. Bishop was the first to pull clear, soon joined by Sam Osbourne (NZL), and the pair battled it out, with the lead changing places several times. It was only in the final few km that Osbourne opened up a significant gap that he held until the finish line. Bishop finished 12 seconds back, with Henrik Goesch (FIN) a further minute back in 3rd.

T100 Miami

India Lee (GBR) - 1st

Indie Lee (GBR) stormed to an emphatic victory in the first event of the inaugural T100 series at the weekend. She looked in complete control as she made her way to the front of the race, passing compatriot and current IRONMAN World Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay with just over 10km left to run. Lee went on to win by 30 seconds and recorded the quickest bike and run splits of the day, showing she will be a force to be reckoned with in 2024.

Illness forced a late withdrawal for Anne Haug (GER), who was dominant over the 100km distance when it was branded as the PTO Tour. She will have to wait to make her debut at the T100 series. The day didn't go as planned for Kat Matthews (GBR), as a calf strain early into the run put her out of the race despite a valiant effort to finish.

In the men's event, HUUB's Alistair Brownlee led for much of the race but was reeled in with 10km remaining, eventually finishing in 5th position. Prior to the event, Alistair had spoken out about his lack of race fitness and heat prep, which hopefully shows signs he'll soon be fighting for the win. Unfortunately, Dave McNamee (GBR) was one of several athletes forced to DNF. His eyes will now firmly be set on the next event in Singapore in five weeks.