India Lee Leads British Clean Sweep In Women's First T100

Sunday 10 March 2024

Great Britain’s India Lee won the Miami T100 at Clash Endurance Miami to give her victory in the first ever women’s T100 and the maximum 35 points.

“I’m speechless,” said the 35-year old after what is her biggest win in the sport by some distance, beating fellow Brits Lucy Charles-Barclay and Holly Lawrence into second and third places respectively. “It feels like I’m watching myself in a different entity. It’s mad.”

“To be honest I was just looking at my watch and I had my coach’s voice in the back of my head saying ‘don’t go out too hard, it’s better to be steady and consistent than try and just go for it’. So I was going to target, and going to catch Lucy and then I was thinking ‘don’t over think it’.  I went past her and I just thought ‘if you go past her you can’t settle down again’. Just do a hundred steps with a bit more force. So I did that and then settled down again.”

On her storming run, she explained:

“Throughout my triathlon career I’ve been frustrated how my run has turned out because it’s been a bit average to be honest. But I know I had it in me to be able to run well. On one-off runs I can run well. So, in my head it was just a matter of time to put it together. Today was the first time that I’ve had a run that I’m actually proud of.”

A special win, which saw her fall into the arms of close friend and fellow competitor Kat Matthews after the finish, puts her on top of the women’s T100 rankings in the eight-stop series. Prompting GOAT-cum-TV commentator Jan Frodeno to ask her about becoming a World Champion.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” replied India. “It’s the first race of a long season so I’ll celebrate it today and not get too far ahead of myself. I’m off to Singapore next before having a bit of a break and then crack on with the rest of the year.” As well as casually mentioning that she plans to train for the humidity of Singapore in a plastic shed in her garage.

Second placed Lucy Charles-Barclay was ‘pretty happy’ with her performance. “I’ve not had a massive block of training leading into this after Hawaii. So I’m pretty chuffed with that and I can definitely build on it. I wanted to get through it in one piece and I’ve done that. I had a great battle out there…and Indi, what a performance. I’m super happy for her and it was an amazing day for the Brits as well. We have got some really badass women in the UK and the Brits will always put up a battle. It’s amazing to see what we can do and in this series you’re hopefully going to see the Brits dominating.”

How The Race Unfolded

The Homestead-Miami Speedway provided a stunning venue for the first-ever T100 event and there was no surprise when it came to the leader of the 2km swim with ‘The Mermaid’ Lucy Charles-Barclay immediately taking to the front. On her feet was fellow Lucy and fellow Brit, Lucy Buckingham, who’d been struck down by illness in the days before the event and initially looked unlikely to start when race day dawned.

Once out of the water, Lucy and Lucy continued to press their advantage in an attempt to stay away from the rest of the women. Their 52-second lead was slowly eroded to 30 seconds by halfway through the 80km course, Britain showing strength in depth with India Lee the main aggressor in the hunt. Holly Lawrence initially held onto Lee before being distanced.

As Lee closed the gap to Buckingham, Charles-Barclay pushed on at the front to go solo. Despite her valiant attempt, Buckingham’s illness caught up with her as energy ran out and she was forced to retire – per the whiteboard message ‘Pull out Luce’ held by her husband, Mark.

Lee, now in second place, continued to close on her countrywoman and make time on Lawrence, who was eventually absorbed into the chasing group of Kat Matthews, Paula Findlay and Lucy Byram.

By T2, Charles-Barclay and Lee had almost 2:40 on the rest with Charles-Barclay first to eke  out a small lead over Lee. Once the chase group hit the run, drama ensued as Kat Matthews was hit with massive cramps and reduced to a walk along with a protracted back-and-forth with her husband on the sidelines.

That put Lawrence in third place, with Findlay and Byram next and 10-time world champ Daniela Ryf in sixth.

With 11.5km to go, Lee bridged back to Charles-Barclay and took the lead, steadily pulling ahead while Lawrence was solidifying her podium position – and a British clean sweep – with a lead of more than a minute on Findlay.

That was the story as the race reached its climax – Lee, a dark horse with the pundits – put together a truly complete performance to become the first ever T100 winner and take the maximum 35 points, a key victory on the way to the inaugural T100 Triathlon World Championship title hunt.

Charles-Barclay came second to score 28 points with Lawrence rounding out that all-Brit podium and earn 25 points. Ever consistent, Findlay took fourth and 22 points while Daniela Ryf proved she’s still a force to be reckoned with, coming fifth and putting 20 points on the board.

T100 Miami USA Women
1 India Lee GBR 3:27:12
2 L Charles-Barclay GBR +0:30
3 Holly Lawrence GBR +3:24
4 Paula Findlay CAN +4:27
5 Daniela Ryf SUI +5:17

P.T.O.


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