Taylor-Brown takes silver on home soil at the AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds

Georgia Taylor-Brown and Sophie Coldwell took second and third at the AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds

Georgia Taylor-Brown and Sophie Coldwell took second and third at the AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds

Imperious Georgia Taylor-Brown brushed off a “really rubbish” start to continue her flawless form and take second at the AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds, writes Josh Graham.

The Olympic silver medallist won in Yokohama in May and maintained her position at the top of the World Series standings with a second successive podium after powering through the field during the run.

Taylor-Brown shared the stage with compatriot Sophie Coldwell who matched her efforts from 12 months ago by taking third despite having led for large portions of the race as France’s Cassandre Beaugrand proved too strong for the British duo even with a late 10-second time penalty for mounting her bike before the line.

The result brought much-needed cheer for the home crowd, who had earlier witnessed Alex Yee and Jonny Brownlee crash out on the bike during the men’s race.

Manchester-born Taylor-Brown, 28, said: “It was really, really hard today. I had a really rubbish start, so I just had to make sure that didn’t get to me. I just had to think, ‘Okay we are over that now, let’s move on and just try and work hard throughout.’

“The bike didn’t really get moving but Sophie was incredible at the front, she was just pulling more and more time away. I thought ‘Oh god, that is ridiculous!’

“I’m so proud of Soph today, and it’s so nice to share the podium with another Brit.”

Taylor-Brown battled through the swim in Waterloo Lake but pinpointed her transition onto the bike as a key stumbling block that set her back early in the race.

“I had a bit of a rubbish swim. I got smacked around a lot and coming into the finish I moved back quite a few places because there was a lot of people coming on top of each other there,” explained Taylor-Brown, who emerged from the water in 11th place.

“Then I just couldn’t get my wetsuit off – I had an absolute nightmare, so I lost a few spaces there.

“Then I couldn’t get my bike shoes on, which is not ideal when you go straight up that hill but my feet were just so cold from the water.”

Taylor-Brown kept her cool and stormed through the 5km run, overtaking her teammate and making up the time she had lost earlier on her rivals.

Saturday’s race was held over the shorter sprint distance to accommodate Leeds’ inaugural mixed relay on Sunday, something Taylor-Brown can’t wait to get stuck into having been part of Team GB’s gold medal-winning quartet in Tokyo last summer.

She said: “I’m feeling good, tired, but I’m buzzing for tomorrow now, I’m ready for the relay.

“My lungs hurt; it was a good race. It started bad, but I managed to bring it back. I tried not to get down at the start when it was all going wrong.

“There are some things to take from this race, hopefully into tomorrow’s relay.”

Taylor-Brown’s second-placed marked the end of her three-year absence from Leeds in style after the 2020 edition was cancelled amid the pandemic before what was sold as an illness but turned out to be an injury precaution before the Olympics prevented her from competing last year.

And ahead of her maiden appearance for Team England at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer, she credited this weekend’s home crowd with giving her an important boost.

Taylor-Brown added: “The crowd were incredible; you just hear your name all over the course and they keep pushing you all the way to the end. They definitely got us round today.

“I’ve not thought too much about the Commonwealth Games yet, I’m just taking it one race at a time and trying to get fitter and fitter every race.

“I’m just enjoying it and trying to race with less pressure and also trying to be a bit braver and backing myself a bit more.”

The AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Leeds made its return to the city for the sixth time and if you’ve been inspired to take part visit https://www.britishtriathlon.org/get-involved/what-is-triathlon

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