Both the sun and the wind were out for the pro athletes racing World Triathlon Cup Arzachena, in Sardinia on 29 May. It was a stacked field in the men’s race, with Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Mario Mola and Kristian Blummenfelt racing, but it would prove to be Jonny Brownlee’s day.
Quick in the water, Jonny Brownlee exited the 750m swim in the lead group and out on the bike leg he attacked first, carving a little daylight out only for the hoards to move back in. Among them were Antonio Serrate Seoane (ESP) and Emil Holm (DEN), who were first to try and break away at the end of lap one.
Into the ride and Alistair Brownlee was leading the chase pack with Tom Bishop (GBR) on his back wheel, but fast-forward to the third lap and Bishop crashed near the top of a steep hill on course, effectively ending their chances of bridging the gap, and GB’s chance to secure that third spot at Tokyo.
It was no surprise to see Blummenfelt right on Brownlee’s shoulder out of the second transition, but he looked to be less comfortable after his recent efforts and wasn’t able to hang on, while Adrien Briffod (SUI) and Matthew McElroy (USA) were well placed to strike.
The Swiss was hitting his stride coming along the beach at the halfway point, he and Brownlee then pulling away to play a little cat and mouse and test each other as it became clear the gold and silver would be decided between them.
Mola was looking dangerous as he eased away from Serrat Seoane and McElroy into third, but there was to be no catching the front two, with Brownlee pulling clear over the final 300m to secure the gold and a timely win just a week before his home race in Leeds (WTCS).
“It was complicated on the bike, because of the wind, and we were a large group,” said Jonny. “That’s not what I expected. In the run I felt really good. I know it’s easy to say that when you win, but I felt in control. I saw Alistair about 1km to go and he said ‘when you go, make sure you mean it’ and I made sure I did.”
|Results: Elite Men|
|4.||Antonio Serrat Seoane||ESP||00:55:08|