The GE Great Britain Triathlon Team won an exciting and eventful race in Stockholm to retain the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay world title. The team of Vicky Holland, Will Clarke, Non Stanford and Jonathan Brownlee overcame tough conditions and a strong international line up to win gold.
Only Brownlee returned from the team that won in Lausanne last year, but Holland, Clarke and Stanford were able to set him up for an exciting finish. Stanford had brilliantly moved the team up to second behind the Germans when Brownlee set off with a deficit of 28 seconds at the start of the swim.
He halved the advantage of Stefan Justus after the swim and then the German slipped coming out of transition before crashing twice on the very wet roads. Brownlee rode with Vincent Luis, but was too strong for the Frenchman on the run.
Brownlee crossed the line to claim the world title and was immediately embraced by the rest of the excited British team.
Non Stanford said: “It’s absolutely amazing! For me to compete with three Olympians is brilliant. I think we deserve it.”
Will Clarke said “I went as hard as I could. I like to think of it as a build; we started steady and built through the race. Jonny finished it off as usual.”
Jonathan Brownlee said: “I swam pretty fast and I knew I had a chance then. I wasn’t pushing too hard on the bike as Stefan crashed. When he crashed it completely changed things.”
He added: “I know my advantage is running off the bike and I knew if I ran as fast as I could then that was all I could do, and I got a 4 second gap and I knew then that I could do it.
“It’s a very exciting event to take part in. It would be great to get it into the Olympics.”
Vicky Holland said: “I knew I had to stay as close as I possibly could to the front to give the rest of them a chance. Will ran really well and put Non in a good position. Non and Jonny just absolutely stormed it! Seeing Jonny come round the corner at the end was just amazing.”
Commenting on the format, she added: “I love it, it’s fantastic I’m so pleased it’s part of the Commonwealth games. What more do you want, it’s fast, it’s furious and it’s exciting.”
A decision on whether mixed relays will be included in Rio 2016 will be made in September 2013.
ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay Result
1. Great Britain 1:26:48
2. France 1:26:58
3. Russia 1:27:31
Image: Delly Carr/ITU