Jonathan Brownlee smashed through ITU World Triathlon Stockholm last weekend, increasing his point score two disappointing finishes in the last few races. Here’s how the race played out.
Richard Varga lead the 1500m swim as he has been doing throughout the past few ITU races. Behind Varga was Jonathan Brownlee, followed by Aussie Aaron Royle and Swiss Andrea Salvisberg.
As the bike leg started, a ferocious lead pack formed made up of the seven fastest riders in ITU. Varga began the bike as a vital element of the lead group, but then dropped off the back leaving Brownlee, Royle, Coninx, Salvisberg, Schomburg and Nieschlag to dominate. The talented group pushed each other, ensuring they established a solid one minute lead on the chase pack.
Mario Mola and Kristian Blummenfelt broke away from the chase pack and started making their way towards the leaders as the bike leg progressed. Sadly though, talented Fernando Alarza crashed on the second lap, maybe because the bike leg is especially technical in areas.
T2 made all the difference
Jonny Brownlee was lightning fast through T2, which helped him power to the front of the leaders. Aaron Royle and Nieschlag chased fast behind, but Brownlee maintained his lead on his own for a whole 10km.
In the very last lap, the chase pack began to change though they couldn’t catch Brownlee who ran to victory in 01:49:10.
“It’s been a tough few months for me, and I guess that’s how it feels to feel normal again”, said Jonny Brownlee. “The swim didn’t hurt, the bike didn’t hurt, and the first laps of the run didn’t hurt. It only started hurting with 2 km to go, and that’s great. I hate having bad races, I hate finishing bad after races, so it feels great to be back again. It was nice to actually perform a full triathlon”.
Behind him Pierre Le Corre and Blummenfelt sprinted to the finish, with Blummenfelt finishing in 01:49:28 and Le Corre making it to an exceptionally close third place in 01:49:28.
“It was a very, very hard last lap”, said Blummenfelt after the race. “I knew I had to be in front before the last hill, and even though I had to sprint at the end, it turned out alright.” For the Frenchman it was also an extremely hard few meters. “The hills were tough but I felt alright. I worked really well over the last few weeks, so I feel really confident for the coming races. It’s a good race for me, I’ll come back next year”, said Le Corre.
All eyes will be on Brownlee to see if he can maintain his newly rediscovered edge at Rotterdam for the World Champs in September.