Katie Zaferes crowned 2019 ITU world champion

America’s Katie Zaferes rocked up in Lausanne battled-scarred after hitting a crash barrier in the Tokyo test event just two weeks earlier. But the 30-year-old American was in a powerful position heading into the Grand Final, needing a 12thplace finish or better to take her first world title. 

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Her title chase started well, with a decent swim some 17secs behind GB’s Jess Learmonth, who was second in the standings. While Learmonth shot off down the road on a one-woman mission post-T1, Zaferes was able to catch the main chase group and sit in with GB’s Georgia Taylor-Brown (third in the standings pre-race) and Sophie Coldwell, Flora Duffy (first in the test event), Taylor Spivey (USA, 4thin the standings) and Vittoria Lopes (BRA, 4thin the test event). Nine kilometres in and they’d met up with Learmonth to form a lead group of seven.

London 2012 victor, Rio silver medallist, mother of three and all-round Swiss heroine Nicola Spirig was also towing the line in her home country, but a 52sec swim deficit saw her head up the chase group for almost the entirety of the 40km bike leg. Joining her were GB’s Non Stanford (fifth in the standings) and reigning world champion Vicky Holland.

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