The 2017 Hamburg men’s WTS race came down to a 5km blast-out, with almost the entire field having sat in for the six-lap 20km bike.
Heading the standings going into the fifth race of the season was Spain’s Fernando Alarza, looking for his first victory of 2017 having collected a string of silver and bronze finishes to date. But a crash at the end of lap one of the bike leg, coming through transition over the blue carpet, cut those hopes short.
With the remaining top four in the standings – Spain’s Mario Mola and Javier Gomez, GB’s Thomas Bishop and South Africa’s Henri Schoeman – left in the mix, the final 5km would provide the viewing public with the race they’d been expecting.
In the first half kilometre, reigning world champ, defending champ and two-time 2017 WTS winner Mola took his place at the front where he remained to the finish line; compatriot Gomez (and 2017 Abu Dhabi victor) running into second before the end of the first lap.
Trading places with New Zealand’s Ryan Sissons throughout, Gomez started to drop off the pace with just 300m to go, eventually crossing the line in fifth behind Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS), who outsprinted Sissons for silver, and France’s Vincent Luis in fourth. For ITU stalwart Sissons, 30, Hamburg was his first WTS podium finish.
GB’s Tom Bishop was the top-finishing Brit in 12th, and stays fourth in the overall standings, where Mola has now succeeded Alarza for the top spot. Gomez remains in third position.
Next up in the 2017 WTS is Edmonton on 28-29 July.