Executing yet another phenomenal run, Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee recaptured the title at the 2016 Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm. First earning the crown in 2013, his winning performance meant that the Stockholm gold would return back to the Brownlee name as it has now been claimed by Alistair or younger brother Jonathan Brownlee four out of the five years.
Younger brother Jonathan Brownlee stayed on his hip until the final metres to claim silver while France’s Pierre Le Corre ran his way to bronze.
Alistair said of his race and fitness now getting closer to Rio, “It was tough, I mean it is a good course, it is technical. It was proper racing, you can make it difficult even when you are in a group. We did that, we tried to break it up a little bit and I think we did that. I felt good today, I definitely felt a step up from Leeds to be honest, well on my way to be to be well fit.”
“I felt good on the run, but then he started putting some digs in, but in first two kilometres I felt okay. I knew that my legs were not sparkly and feeling really zoomy, but I just thought that if I could toughen it out on the last kilometre really hard that would be my best chance.”
“I feel that overall, my overall triathlon performance has been good, I think I just need to run about a minute faster, which I think I can do in the next six weeks if I can move my running on about that much I will be at my best, and that will be my best possible chance at winning another Olympic medal.”
Sticking with Alistair right until the final metres, Jonny finished the day with silver, meaning the Brownlees have now gone 1-2 on the WTS podium six times. They have now also| shared the WTS podium a total of 11 times.
“I am pleased with how I felt, I thought I had a good chance at beating Alistair because I felt good on the run. We got through the first two laps and I thought, ‘well that five kilometres went really quickly’ and then on that last lap I heard him breathing hard, and obviously with us training together I know when he is trying to hurt. So I thought I would give it a go, but then he was just a little bit better than me today. I am a little disappointed because I thought I had a good chance at beating him today, but I will come back and try again,” said Jonny.
While the women had to endure choppy waters just a few hours before, the men were greeted to a calmer two-lap swim. Frenchman Raoul Shaw took the early lead heading up the first lap with a string of talent behind him. But by the end of the 1500 metres, it was Richard Varga (SVK) who bulldozed into the first transition zone as the leader.
Varga’s lead was only momentarily as the wave made their way through the transition zone and a group of 12 men formed together to start out the 9-lap cycle. The pack included both Brownlees, Fernando Alarza (ESP), Henri Schoeman (RSA), Dan Wilson (AUS), Jorgen Gunderson (NOR), Jonas Schomburg (TUR), Andreas Salvisburg (SUI), Aurelien Raphael (FRA) Le Corre, Varga, and Shaw.
Just off the pace was trio Andreas Schilling (DEN), Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and Gordon Benson (GBR), who worked vigorously to catch the leaders, a task that they accomplished midway.
While there were a few breakaway attempts, the peloton remained tight and entered the second transition zone bunched together, but with a sizeable 90-second advantage over the chase.
Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee seized the opportunity to catapult to the front two spots on the four-lap run.
Running side by side, it was clear that both brothers would once again be on the WTS podium together, but it was not a matter of who would get the gold and who would get the silver.
Behind them, Schoeman, Blummenfelt and Schomburg were running as a trio, gunning for the final podium spot. However, a negative split performance meant Le Corre came blasting past the group into the bronze medal position.
With one kilometre to go, it still was uncertain which of the Brownlee brothers would take the gold. However, in a final last-ditch effort, older brother Alistair jutted ahead of Jonny to hit the finish chute first. He captured his second consecutive WTS victory of the season and also his second WTS Stockholm title after first winning it back in 2013.
Jonny then followed suit just 10 seconds later to claim the silver medal and his fourth WTS medal of the season. Le Corre’s impressive run landed him his second WTS podium of his career.
“I could not believe that I could do this today. I was in training camp in high altitude, so I was really tired yesterday, so it is a surprise for me, but I think it is a good shot,” said Le Corre.
Another strong performance of the day went to Alarza, who earned 5th place, which was enough to move into the leader position in the ColumbiaThreadneedle Rankings over Spanish compatriot Mario Mola.
Results: 2016 ITU World Triathlon Stockholm : Elite Men
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