Jonathan Brownlee claimed gold at the ITU World Triathlon Series event in San Diego with a dominant display in the birthplace of the sport. Making his season debut, Brownlee was in control throughout the race and strolled to the finish line to take the win.
Having not raced since the ITU World Championship Grand Final in Beijing last September, Brownlee had an unusual starting position of 47, meaning he was not lined up near any of the pre race favourites. However, he quickly moved across Bonita Cove and took up the lead on the swim.
Brownlee was part of a lead group of nine athletes on the bike, but that group was eventually caught and Britain’s Todd Leckie powered to the front. Aaron Harris and Adam Bowden also briefly took up the lead during the 40km bike ride.
On the run Brownlee looked in a class of his own, striding away from the rest of the field and easing down towards the finish. The win was his first Olympic distance gold in the ITU World Triathlon Series, although he has previously won sprint events.
He said: “It was a very different race without Alistair and Javier (Gomez), that’s two people who are aggressive on the bike and if they’d have been here maybe that breakaway would have stayed away.
“It was my first race of the season, I didn’t really know what to expect. I went into it really relaxed. I just had to race my own race. I felt tired towards the end, I think I lacked a bit of racing there.
“It was a good race, I’m pleased to win. My training has gone well over the winter, I’ve missed one day when I was ill, but that was it, and my cross country races have been good.”
Tim Don was aiming for a podium finish in order to achieve British Triathlon’s Olympic consideration criteria. Clearly inspired by the challenge, he got into a strong position early in the run, but eventually finished seventh. However, his consistency in the Series means that Don is ranked second overall behind South Africa’s Richard Murray.
Will Clarke finished 20th with David McNamee just behind in 23rd. Adam Bowden was 37th.
Elite men: results – 1,500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run
1. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 01:48:47?
2. Sven Riederer SUI 01:48:52?
3. Richard Murray RSA 01:49:01
?4. Mario Mola ESP 01:49:09?
5. Hunter Kemper USA 01:49:18?
7. Tim Don GBR 01:49:25?
20. William Clarke GBR 01:50:07
?23. David McNamee GBR 01:50:10?
37. Adam Bowden GBR 01:50:49?
DNF Aaron Harris GBR
DNF Todd Leckie GBR
Credit: Larry Rosa