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Ahead of the 70.3 World Championships in St. George, Utah, next week we caught up with Olympian Taylor Knibb—one of the top picks for a podium spot. Her short career in the sport has spanned both short- and long-distance success, with a 16th-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, the fastest time at last year’s Collins Cup, a win at WTCS Edmonton, and a big win in April at 70.3 Oceanside.
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You’ve been alternating between long course and short course pretty consistently this year, with a third-place finish at WTCS Cagliari in the rearview mirror, how do you switch gears for 70.3 World Championships roughly three weeks later?
That’s probably a better question for my coach, Ian O’Brien. I feel like the majority of my training actually stays the same in general, but we also still have WTCS Bermuda just nine days after 70.3 Worlds and the WTCS Grand Final in Abu Dhabi on 11/26. I’m still on both my road bike and TT bike throughout the week. My run session this past Tuesday was probably a little longer than if I just had Olympic distance races coming up. But, otherwise, the training hasn’t really seemed that different from usual.
After a podium finish at 70.3 World Championships last year, what are your goals for next week? Have you changed your approach at all since that race last year?
My goal is to execute the best race I can on the day. We’ll see how it goes!
The distance is still so new to me, but last year I had only done my first 70.3 six weeks prior to 70.3 Worlds and didn’t decide to race until two or three weeks out. So the preparation was not very specific and more focused on just getting to the start-line and seeing what I can do. That aspect hasn’t changed: there’s still a huge focus on getting to the start-line and seeing what I can do on the day. But I feel a little more prepared in terms of the training I’ve done in the past six to ten months as well as the fact that I have a TT bike now and have some time to adjust to it (although it’s still a work in progress!).
What do you think is the key moment on this course? Either a spot that’ll break up the field or will be a decisive moment to make a move?
I think this course provides a lot of opportunities to make for an exciting race. We’ll see what happens on race day!
What do you love the most about the 70.3 distance versus short course? What do you hate about it compared to short course?
I’m really enjoying getting to race both distances/formats at the moment. I think that each format/distance has its own positives/benefits and exposes different areas needing improvement for me. I’m still learning how to be better at each format and I think the two compliment each other well for me. It’s always a fun process learning and trying to grow and improve. I’m grateful for all of opportunities I have to race.
In the last two years, what is the result you’re most proud of? What would a win in St. George mean to you?
I’m grateful that it’s hard for me to narrow it down to just one result in the past two years. But I think my win at WTCS Yokohama last May (2021) probably had the greatest impact on the races that followed and led to me even getting to try long-course last year.
I’m not sure I would be fully able to comprehend or articulate an answer to that question until it happened. But I know I would be very grateful for the luck it took on the day and in the lead up and all of the support I’ve had.
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