World Champion Alistair Brownlee produced a sublime performance to win the 2010 Athlone ETU Triathlon European Championships on Sunday. He beat the defending champion, Javier Gomez, to claim a title that he has never previously won.
Alistair worked well with his younger brother, Jonathan, to cover a break early in the 1500m swim. Javier Gomez opened a lead at the front which was quickly erased to ensure both brothers made the front pack on the bike. A group of five formed, and although one dropped back, it was never caught by the chasers.
Will Clarke featured at the front of the chase pack towards the end of the 40km bike section, but a gap of over 50seconds had already formed.
On the run Alistair Brownlee made an immediate surge out of transition onto the 10km run that Gomez was unable to follow. Jonathan Brownlee held on to third position for much of the first lap, but his hard work in the small pack on the extremely windy bike section put paid to his chances on the run.
Olly Freeman briefly moved up to third place but there were some strong runners behind. He finished 9th with Will Clarke in 11th.
Alistair Brownlee said: “I’m absolutely delighted with that. We had a big Great Britain team and Johnny and I worked fantastically well together. I felt absolutely great and just went for it.
“I didn’t win last year and I can’t win the World title this year so this was really important to me. When I was injured earlier this year this was what I was aiming for. I think that is the biggest number of high fives I have ever done coming into the finishing straight.”
Tom Bishop finished fourth in the men’s junior race earlier today. The 19 year-old exited the swim in fifth place, and rode strongly in the small lead pack on the bike. He held on to third place throughout the 5km run, but was overtaken within sight of the finish line and finished fourth.
Vicente Hernandez of Spain was the winner in 55min 23 seconds, with two strong Russian juniors, Andrey Brukhankov and Vyacheslav Pimenov claiming the silver and bronze medals. Bishop was 28 seconds back from the winner.
Head Coach, Joel Filliol, said: “It was a fantastic performance by Alistair, he delivered on the day. He did it the hard way and showed he can ride at the front to win. I think he hurt Gomez on the bike and maybe that’s what made the difference on the run.
“Being European Champion was a significant milestone for Alistair and it was our highlight of the weekend. Lucy Chittenden yesterday was another great performance in the junior women’s race, but Tom Bishop just missed the podium and he will be disappointed with that.”