Following a strong 750m swim in iconic Yas Marina, Potter jumped into an elite six-rider group that quickly pulled away from the rest of the field racing on the city’s famed Formula 1 circuit. Potter, riding with a CADEX WheelSystem, and her fellow escapees built a solid 24-second lead during the first of five 4km loops. That gap continued to grow, rising to 45 seconds as the front group reached the second transition of the sprint distance WTCS race.
The six frontrunners remained together during the early portions of the 5km run, but when Potter kicked hard on an incline near the end of the first of two laps gaps quickly started to form. Only Potter’s teammate, Brit Sophie Caldwell, was able to stay close and the pair were neck and neck for most of the last lap before Potter used the same late-lap incline to pull away solo in the final 500m. The 2022 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist triumphantly crossed the finish line alone with a time of 57:56. Caldwell held on for second, 18 seconds behind, with American Taylor Spivey snagging third, a further 13 seconds back.
“It’s always a bit of an unknown the first race of the season, but I’ve been training well,” said Potter. “I just wanted to do my best having worked not just on the physical side but also the mental. I feel much more calm, positive and aggressive racing. I knew I could potentially attack and run hard over the top of the hill, so it was back to my cross country days there.”
Meanwhile, in the men’s race fellow CADEX-sponsored pro Tyler Mislawchuk of Canada also put in a strong performance, crossing the line in 12th, less than a minute behind race winner Alex Yee. Vasco Vilaca of Portugal and Brazil’s Manoel Messias completed the top three.