Royle was in touch after the 20km bike leg - Photo Credit: Janos M. Schmidt / Triathlon.org
Newcastle’s Wollongong-based triathlete Aaron Royle has continued his remarkable comeback from pneumonia to finish the best of six Australians in today’s World Triathlon Series Championship in Hamburg.
The 23-year-old, who has only been back in training for three weeks after being hospitalised in Vitoria, Spain a week after his ITU Madrid race and is still far from 100 percent, finished 19th in the 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run sprint course.
He is now sitting in 13th place, one place behind training partner Ryan Bailie, going into the second last round of the WTS in Stockholm (August 24 and 25) on the overall ITU World Rankings.
Royle gave himself every chance, exiting the swim inside the top ten and working hard to stay with world’s best, eventual winner, Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee, his Olympic champion brother Alistair Brownlee and former two-time World Champion Javier Gomez (Spain).
The reigning under 23 ITU World Champion knew he would struggle to stay in touch on the run as arguably the three best triathletes in the history of sport put on one of the most exciting finishes ever seen.
With the trio running stride for stride it was the Brownlee brothers who took control, first Jonathan, then Alistair and finally Jonathan finding that extra dash in a frantic sprint finish to upset his Olympic champion brother.
Royle had nothing in the tank over the second half of the run, managing to hang on to a top 20 finish with Dan Wilson the next bet placed Aussie in 23rd place after leading the chase pack on the bike.
Then followed Cameron Good (32nd), Ryan Bailie (35th), London Olympian Brendan Sexton (37th) and Peter Kerr (52nd).
Good is sitting in 22nd on the overall rankings; Wilson 42nd and Wilson 42nd.
Meanwhile Alistair Brownlee took a broadside some of his fellow riders, saying: “I wanted to get away on the bike and push on and we managed to do that but the other guys in the group didn’t work with usâ€¦..If any of them want to learn how to ride a bike, ring me up and I’ll give them some tips because they didn’t know what they were doing out there today.”
Should make for some interesting racing in Stockholm and London.
The Australian Team will now line up in tonight’s ITU World Championship Mixed Teams Relay with the red-hot British team; hosts Germany, Spain, South Africa, the USA and New Zealand all expected to vie for the podium.