June 12, 2017

Brownlee Brothers Smash-fest in Leeds!

 

 

The Brownlee brothers took on the World Triathlon Leeds 2017 back in their hometown in front of over 50,000 fans and totally smashed it with a gold and silver performance to repeat their 2016 result.

Fellow Brits Adam Bowden and Derby's Tom Bishop added to the celebrations with fourth and fifth to make it a top 4 out 5 for the GBR athletes with Spain's Fernando Alarza taking third.

HUUB athletes dominated the swim with Richard Varga (SVK) leading out for the 29th time in his career, followed by Jonny Brownlee and Raoul Shaw (FRA). Alistair Brownlee and Henri Schoeman (RSA) came out just seconds behind in 7th and 8th. After a busy first transition only a few men managed to get out onto the bike with a slight advantage.

With the unique course that Leeds offers, the men cycled 13 kilometres through the country side before heading into the main seven-lap course located in the city centre. During that first long scenic lap, a group of four men, the Brownlees and Frenchmen Pierre Le Corre and Aurelien Raphael, pushed ahead. However, as the men made their way closer to the city centre, where the mass crowds and grandstand awaited, the Brownlees broke away to ride as a leading duo to gain the cheers and their hometown support.

While the chase pack, that contained almost the rest of the field such as Aaron Royle (AUS), Alarza, Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) rode on, they worked hard to not allow the Brownlees to get too much of an advantage. That deemed to be slightly harder of a task considering the momentum the Brownlees gained every time they rode through the transition area. Out of the saddle and working hard, the Brownlees managed to have over a minute lead going into T2.

But once feet hit the pavement there was no stopping them. It became clear very early on that one of the Brownlee brothers was going to take the gold medal, it just had to be seen which one it would be.

As the remaining cyclists entered the run, two battles out on the course quickly developed: Alistair versus Jonny and Alarza versus the Brits.

Both Alistair and Jonny ran together for the first three laps of the run. While Jonny is more acclimated for the Olympic distance, in the end it was Alistair who had the fitness and got away from his brother to take the gold. Jonny was left to earn the silver, but gave him much needed WTS points for his overall Series rankings.

In the battle for bronze, Bishop, Bowden and Alarza broke away from the mass pack and rode side by side fighting for third place. While the position went back and forth between the three men and the possibility of a Brit sweep seemed likely, Alarza put forth a final push and got away to seal his fate of the bronze finisher.

 

 

For the Womens Elite just two HUUB athletes raced with Ai Ueda (JPN) taking fifth place overall, pictured above in the new HUUB Acara wetsuit and Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) who did not finish. Brit Jessica Learmonth was first out the water but after a tactical decision to wait for her team mate Non Stanford for the bike stage, the race was later won by Flora Duffy (BER).

 


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