Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee made an impressive start to his 2013 world championship campaign with an imperious victory at the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego. Adam Bowden also finished sixth, two places ahead of Olympic silver medallist, Javier Gomez, and David McNamee was tenth.
The race had been billed as a head to head showdown between Brownlee and Gomez, but it was Richard Murray (RSA) and Joao Silva (POR) who claimed the silver and bronze medals as Brownlee jogged and then walked up the finishing chute to record over a 20 second victory.
Racing without his younger brother, Jonathan, Brownlee set a blistering pace in the swim, but wasn’t able to entice others to work with him to form a break away on the 40km bike. However, he set out on to the 10km run with intent and was never challenged.
He said: “I’m sure you think I’m lying when I said I’ve only done six weeks training, but I’m not lying. I did Abu Dhabi six weeks ago and I pushed on since then, that’s all I’ve done in terms of really meaningful work on the track.
“I think it’s good to have an injury free winter. I enjoyed that, it was great.”
Brownlee scores 800 points for the victory and will aim for three more top finishes in the World Triathlon Series (WTS) to take him to the PruHealth Grand Final London in contention to challenge for the world title.
He plans to race a 10km on the track in California next weekend, and then next race in the WTS in Madrid, 1-2 June, although he has not ruled out going to Yokohama, 11-12 May.
Loughborough based Adam Bowden put himself in a strong position after the bike leg and ran well to finish sixth. He equalled his best ever finish in the Series and recorded the third top ten of his relatively short career, having come to triathlon from steeplechase on the track.
David McNamee celebrated his 25th birthday with tenth place finish. The Leeds based Scot also enjoyed an excellent run leg. Mark Buckingham finished 24th.
Joao Silva now takes up the world number one ranking, ahead of Spaniards, Mario Mola and Javier Gomez, who finished eighth today.
The Series moves to Japan next, where Jonathan Brownlee is expected to make his season debut in Yokohama, 11-12 May.
1. Alistair Brownlee GBR 1:47:16 (24, Leeds, coached by Malcolm Brown/Jack Maitland)
2. Richard Murray RSA 1:47:38
3. Joao Silva POR 1:47:52
6. Adam Bowden GBR 1:48:22 (30, London, coached by Mark Pearce in Loughborough)
10. David Mcnamee GBR 1:48:54 (25, Irvine, coached by Malcolm Brown/Jack Maitland in Leeds)
24. Mark Buckingham GBR 1:49:49 (27, Holmfirth, coached by Mark Pearce in Loughborough)
Image: Delly Carr/ITU