Potter sent a message that she will be a contender for gold when she makes her Olympic triathlon debut next summer. The 31-year-old Scot, who represented Great Britain as a track athlete at the 2016 Olympics in the 10,000-meter run, has been rising through the ranks in triathlon and now leads the World Triathlon Championship Series rankings.
The Paris Test Event Triathlon featured the world’s best athletes, 65 men and 65 women, on the same course that will be used at the 2024 Olympics. The course starts at the iconic Pont Alexandre III bridge and passes by some of the city’s most famous sights.
For the 1.5k swim, athletes entered the Seine River from a floating pontoon. Potter started in the middle, a tough position, and managed to complete the swim about 35 seconds behind Italian Bianca Seregni, who led going into the first transition. Potter was in a group of three with American Taylor Knibb and German Lisa Tertsch as they set out on the 40km bike leg.
Powering her Factor bike with a CADEX 50 Ultra WheelSystem around the seven-lap course on the streets of Paris, Potter stayed within striking distance to make her move on the 10km run. Home favorite Cassandre Beaugrand of France led the pack through T2 and out onto the run, with Potter giving chase.
“I just couldn’t go with the pace out of the transition but thought I would work my way back up to [Beaugrand] and it was actually really fun,” Potter said.
The tactic paid off, as Potter caught Beaugrand about 2.5km into the run. A lead group of five, also including Germans Tertsch and Laura Lindemann, along with Emma Lombardi of France, took shape. They stayed together for a few kilometers until Potter and Beaugrand eventually dropped the other three, setting up a battle to the line.
It came down to a sprint for the win, with Potter just able to edge out Beaugrand.
“I don’t really know what to say to be honest, I just really enjoyed that battle with Cassandre,” Potter said after the win. “This was my main goal for the season and I ticked it off. I am super happy.”
Top-10 for Blummenfelt
In the men’s event, 2020 Olympic gold medalist Kristian Blummenfelt continued his transition from an Ironman-distance focus to the shorter Olympic distance with a strong effort in Paris. The Norwegian, who made history when he became the first triathlete to hold the Olympic, World Triathlon and Ironman World Championship titles at the same time, is fully focused on Paris 2024.
The Paris Test Event was another stepping-stone for Blummenfelt as he puts his attention back to WTCS events. “The main challenge is to use the series to get the leg speed again, to get the qualification right and to get the ranking high enough that I’m in a good position on the pontoon in Paris next year,” he said.
Riding his Giant Propel Advanced SL bike with a CADEX 50 Ultra WheelSystem, Blummenfelt was in the mix from the start at the Test Event. He had one of the fastest bike splits and ended up finishing ninth, less than a minute off Alex Yee’s winning time of 1:41:02.
Also representing CADEX in Paris was Tyler Mislawchuk, a two-time Olympian from Canada. The 28-year-old turned in a strong performance, finishing 13th as he continues his build-up to attempting his third Olympics campaign next year.