Britain’s Alistair Brownlee showed remarkable confidence as he won his fourth consecutive Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series race in London at the weekend.
Hyde Park, the designated triathlon venue for the 2012 London Olympic Games, hosted the event as competitors swam in the Serpentine before biking and running around local roads under the watchful eye of thousands of spectators.
Brownlee utilised his usual tactic of racing from the front and he helped to form a small breakaway of 12 during the opening 1,500 metre swim. Ivan Vasiliev lead out of the water with both Alistair and younger brother Johnny, on his feet. The stayed almost a minute ahead of the large chase pack of 40 plus riders until the 30km mark when 2008 world champion, Javier Gomez, hit the pavement and was forced to retire from the race. After the incident the lead group slowed down and the chasers swallowed them up heading into the final lap. A visibly upset Brownlee wasn’t impressed to see the chase group catch on as some of the sport’s top runners including Steffen Justus, Kris Gemmell and Brad Kahlefeldt were included.
Forty-seven men came into second transition together, the largest bike pack seen this year, and both Laurent Vidal and Kahlefeldt collided and hit the floor. Vidal was able to continue but Kahlefeldt was stretched out of the transition zone with a suspected foot injury.
Despite his frustrations it was Brownlee who quickly closed down the early leaders and accelerated away. Although a small group was able to stay with him over the first six km, it wasn’t long until the series leader was on his own. The seemingly unstoppable Brownlee once again blew away the field to claim his fourth Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series race this season with a closing 28:52 run split to cross the line in 1:41:50.
Germany’s Steffen Justus took his first step onto the podium with second place with Kris Gemmell from New Zealand outsprinting Sebastian Rank from Germany for third with the French pairing of Vidal and David Hauss in fifth and sixth respectively.
“I can’t quite believe it, I never expected at the start of the season to get a win in Madrid, Washington or Kitzbühel or here,” explained Brownlee. “I’ve had a lot of luck on my side, [Javier] Gomez crashing today definitely helped, but you’ve got to make the most of it and I think I have. It’s been a great run of results and I hope it continues.
“I heard a big crash behind me and looked round but couldn’t see who it was, then Johnny [Brownlee, Alistair’s brother] rode up to me and said it was Gomez. I thought because there was a group catching us up that he might be able to get back in the race and catch back up, so I didn’t know he was out of the race until I was on the run. You’ve just got to concentrate on who is in the race and think about beating them instead.”
With his win, Brownlee solidifies his lead in the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series rankings leading into the Grand Final on the Gold Coast of Australia in four weeks time. Steffen Justus moves into third with his second place finish and Gomez falls out of the top three.
London Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Elite Men – Official Results
Gold – Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 01:41:50
Silver – Steffen Justus (GER) 01:41:58 +:08
Bronze – Kris Gemmell (NZL) 01:42:01 +:11
4th – Sebastian Rank (GER) 01:42:01 +:11
5th – Laurent Vidal (FRA) 01:42:16 +:26
6th – David Hauss (FRA) 01:42:17 +:27
7th – Courtney Atkinson (AUS) 01:42:24 +:34
8th – Tony Moulai (FRA) 01:42:29 +:39
9th – Tim Don (GBR) 01:42:31 +:41
10th –Jonathan Zipf (GER) 01:42:32 +:42
Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series
1st – Alistair Brownlee (GBR) – 3,200 pts
2nd – Maik Petzold (GER) – 2,493
3rd – Steffen Justus (GER) – 2,388
4th – Javier Gomez (ESP) – 2,368
5th – Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) – 2,276