Alistair Brownlee and Jodie Stimpson made it a double mountain-top celebration for Great Britain in Kitzbühel with convincing wins at the ITU World Triathlon Series. The win was Stimpson’s first ever in the Series and was achieved over a punishing uphill mountain course.
Brownlee missed the last round in Madrid, but dominated the cycle section to win. He had a steady swim, but as soon as the leading group reached the start of the climb on the bike, he made his move.
Olympic silver medallist, Javier Gomez (ESP) initially went with Brownlee, but as the gradient increased, he moved away and the challenge was taken up by another Spaniard, Mario Mola in second place. However, Brownlee started the run with almost a minute lead and reached the finish with enough time to walk across the line.
Brownlee said: “If any course is going to be my course, thing is my thing. With a background of hill running and mountain running, this is what I love doing. I got away and then it was about holding my own rhythm.
Alistair’s younger brother, Jonny, missed the race due to a stomach bug, which had also affected Alistair earlier in the week.
He added: “Once I was riding there was nothing I could do, my stomach was an absolute wreck. I was on the line, if I went too hard it just hurt too much. I kept a steady rhythm and fortunately it was enough.”
Gomez, who had a bike accident earlier in the week, remains series leader and world number one. He fell away on the latter stages of the bike course and finished 11th. Will Clarke came in a strong 15th.
Jodie Stimpson achieved her first ever Series victory after having achieved two third places finishes already this season. She was always at the front of the race and as the gradient kicked up on the bike, she broke away and ground out a significant lead to take into the run.
Throughout the tough run Stimpson retained her focus and overcame the altitude and gradients to cross the line first, clearly delighted.
She said: “I couldn't believe it. I got to half way and said ‘ok my legs aren't feeling too bad’. People were breathing heavily and I was actually feeling ok. I got to 2k and my legs felt ok, and Darren [Smith, coach] said if you feel ok at 2k let it rip, give it a go. On this course you have to give it a go and it worked out.”
Stimpson now moves up to second place in the world rankings behind Anne Haug of Germany. Non Stanford is ranked fourth.
It was a strong day for the British women. Natalie Milne led the field out of the water and up the early part of the bike ride. At the finish Katie Hewison finished in an excellent seventh place and Vanessa Raw was 15th. Non Stanford was 16th despite a slight chest infection and Milne finished 22nd.
1. Alistair Brownlee, GBR, 55:23
2. Mario Mola, ESP, 56:00
3. Sven Riederer, SUI, 56:46
15. William Clarke, GBR, 58:53
28. Matthew Sharp, GBR, 1:00:30
33. David Mcnamee, GBR, 1:00:59
50. Mark Buckingham, GBR, 1:03:36
1. Jodie Stimpson, GBR, 1:03:22
2. Emma Jackson, AUS, 1:04:21
3. Anne Haug, GER, 1:04:34
7. Katie Hewison, GBR, 1:05:05
15. Vanessa Raw, GBR, 1:06:51
16. Non Stanford, GBR, 1:07:17
22. Natalie Milne, GBR, 1:08:56
Image: Janos Schmidt