Who are the current World Triathlon Championship Series leaders?

11 June, 2024 | español

Who are the current World Triathlon Championship Series leaders?

The provisional WTCS Hamburg start lists are now out and, two races into the season, the top of the 2024 Series leaderboard has a slightly unexpected look. No world champions are present in either the men’s or women’s top-3 and the current men’s podium doesn’t contain a single WTCS race winner. In the women’s standings, there is one race winner among the podium positions, although the individual in question has not won in the Series since 2021.

New generation? Notwithstanding that we are only two races into the Series, few would have predicted the composition of the current podiums.

One significant factor behind this is of course that several of the leading lights in the sport have only competed at one WTCS race in 2024. It does not take a great leap of the imagination to see how they consequently fall behind those with two starts. At the same time, however, there may be more to the standings than meets the eye. Are we seeing the rise of a new cluster of contenders and a case for a consistency challenge in the Series?

A month out from the third stop of the 2024 Series, let’s take a look at the current leaders.

Men’s Series

Luke Willian (AUS) arrived in Yokohama in exceptional form. The 27-year-old had excelled on the World Cup circuit, with his win in Wollongong standing out, and had Olympic qualification in his sights. Few, though, anticipated his rip-roaring performance that saw him claim 3rd place and a first medal in the Series. Thereafter, he finished 8th in Cagliari and thus holds the top spot in the men’s standings.

Hovering behind Willian is Charles Paquet (CAN). Finishes of 5th in Yokohama and 7th in Cagliari have thrust the Canadian athlete to the top of the pile. Similarly, Csongor Lehmann (HUN) finished 14th in Yokohama before winning a first ever WTCS medal of his own in Cagliari by crossing the line in 3rd place.

Lehmann only broached the top-10 of the overall WTCS for the first time in 2023 and none of the three leaders have been on the overall podium before. One thing to highlight is the age of Lehmann and Paquet in particular. The former was born in 1999 and may be fulfilling his immense early promise (he was the World U23 champion in 2021). Likewise, the Canadian was born in 1997 and is at the classic age to make a leap forward in his career.

Notably, there is no place for the two race winners of 2024 on the current podium as neither Morgan Pearson (USA), who had a difficult day in Cagliari after winning Yokohama, nor Alex Yee (GBR), who did not race in Yokohama, are in the mix. Over the course of the season, Pearson and Yee can be expected to rise up the standings. Matthew Hauser (AUS) and Hayden Wilde (NZL) already have a silver medal under their belts but also skipped a race. Look for them to return to the fold at the top soon.

Two men that may face a battle, though, are Vasco Vilaca (POR) and the reigning world champion Dorian Coninx (FRA). Both were affected by a bike crash in Yokohama; whereas Coninx did not finish the race, Vilaca crossed the line down in 27th. Neither subsequently raced in Cagliari. As a result, Coninx and Vilaca have a race on their hands to log enough high scores to be in the hunt for this year’s WTCS crown.

Women’s Series

The current leader in the women’s standings is Emma Lombardi (FRA). Still just 22-years-old, Lombardi recorded finishes of 3rd in Yokohama and 4th in Cagliari, making her the top scorer of either gender. Since winning the U23 World Championships in 2021, the French star has only once missed the top 10 in a Series race.

Following Lombardi is Taylor Knibb (USA) who finished 2nd and 11th in the opening stages of the WTCS. Lombardi and Knibb have each previously finished on the overall Series podium (Lombardi in 2023, Knibb in 2022) and both athletes have a smattering of WTCS medals to their name. Their presence at the top of the table, then, should not be a major shock.

Lisa Tertsch (GER) rounds out the women’s podium thanks to 14th place in Yokohama and silver in Cagliari. One of the quickest runners on the circuit, she is no stranger to the Hamburg podium after winning bronze in 2022 behind Flora Duffy and Beth Potter.

As with the men’s field, some stars have only raced once. The winner in Cagliari, Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA), falls into this group, as does the defending world champion Beth Potter (GBR). In addition, there is an emphasis on youth in the women’s podium. Knibb and Tertsch were both born in 1998 while Lombardi (2001) is the only male or female athlete born in the 21st century to hold a spot in the top-10. What we might be seeing, then, is a combination of a lag from absent stars and the rise of a new crop of challengers.

However, there is one final point to note. Although the 2024 WTCS is only two races in, one discernible trend has started to emerge. Lombardi the only athlete in either competition to have come away with two top-5 finishes and consistency has been hard to come by.

Pearson and Leonie Periault (FRA) went from winning in Yokohama to slipping out of the top-25 in Cagliari. The 2022 world champion Leo Bergere (FRA) suffered a similar fate as he dropped from 4th place in Yokohama to 16th in Cagliari while Taylor Spivey (USA) fell from 4th to 15th across the two events. On the flip side, Vetle Bergsvik Thorn (NOR), Ricardo Batista (POR) and Jeanne Lehair (LUX) joined Lehmann and Tertsch in improving across the opening races.

The levels in the Series have continued to rise and even the slightest off-day can be punished. Over the course of 2024, then, the consistency shown by athletes such as Lombardi and Paquet may be rewarded handsomely as, in an abbreviated WTCS season, every point could prove valuable. To that end, seeing a couple of surprise faces at the top of the end of season standings might ultimately be unsurprising.

The next WTCS stop in Hamburg is coming in hot on 14 July and could signal all change at the top of the leaderboard.
Stay up to date with all the action in the Series across the World Triathlon channels.


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