Jonathan Brownlee wins WTS Stockholm and heats up the Grand Final
Just one week ahead of the Edmonton Grand Final, Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) reasserted himself as one to watch in the fight for the World Championship title with a win at the World Triathlon Stockholm. The gold medal put him within 372 points of No. 1 Javier Gomez (ESP), who pulled out of Stockholm on the run. The win also gave Jonathan a 143-point lead over Mario Mola (ESP), which is a 127-point improvement.
“That was a great race, it was really, really exciting,” Jonathan said. “It was perfect team tactics really. It was a pure race. I don’t really think much about next week, but it shows I can perform.”
Jonathan and his brother Alistair Brownlee (GBR) broke away early on the bike and managed to make the break stick over the five-lap course to give the Brits a 1-2 finish. In a final mad dash, Gregor Buchholz (GER) outran Mola and Richard Murray (RSA) for his first ever WTS podium with bronze.
Despite chilly 14.6 degree water, Richard Varga (SVK) propelled through the water, followed by South Africa’s Henri Schoeman and the Brownlee brothers. tough swim saw Gomez fall slightly behind, but the then-small gap proved to be key, as the Alistair and Jonathan picked up their bikes first and immediately pushed out a volcanic speed to drop the field straight away.
With the early break, they enjoyed an 18-second lead over a 22-man pack that included Vincent Luis (FRA), Tony Dodds (NZL), Gomez and Mola on the end of the first lap. But with such critical points on the Threadneedle standings at stake, the Brownlees were relentless on the five-lap 20km bike. Their threatening lead only increased to 40 seconds after the third lap and grew to nearly a minute at the end.
From then on there was no reeling in the blazing Brits. They sailed through the two-lap 5km run with apparent ease despite the chilly temperatures and hilly, cobblestoned course. Jonathan overtook Alistair in the final metres to clench his first WTS win of the season, and maintain his Threadneedle ranking but with improved points.
Behind the pair, a battle for bronze was going on. Although Murray got sucked into the second bike chase group off the swim, he managed to bridge up to the main chase by T2, which put him in contact with the podium contenders.
France’s Anthony Pujades made an early move for bronze with impressive front end run speed, but it proved too much too soon. Instead, Buchholz made a tactical move on the second run lap to sprint ahead of Mola & Murray just in time to snatch the final medal.
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