Alistair Brownlee’s return to racing didn’t result in a medal at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, but there was drama and entertainment as France’s Pierre Le Corre won the gold medal.
2018 Glasgow ETU Triathlon European Championships RESULTS:
|1.||Pierre Le Corre||FRA||01:47:17|
|3.||Marten Van Riel||BEL||01:47:40|
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Brownlee hasn’t raced since April, and his return helped draw huge crowds to Strathclyde Park. He swam and cycled brilliantly around the challenging course and held a lead in the early stages of the ten kilometer run.
However, he had to watch Le Corre and Martin Van Riel (BEL) run away, and later Fernando Alarza (ESP) pass him and relegate him to fourth place. Alarza ran from the chase pack through to second place, nearly catching Le Corre and keeping spectators on the edge of their seats until the finish.
Brownlee was pleased to be there, commenting: “I knew I was going to struggle on the run, but I enjoyed racing.”
He added: “A few things are a bit rusty. On the run I did everything I could. I’ve had a terrible six months, I’ve done a handful of running session, so off that I’m really pleased and I’m just happy to be racing.”
Gold medal winner, Le Corre, was respectful towards the double Olympic champion, commenting: “That was really tough today with Alistair Brownlee. I know he’s an opponent that is hard to beat, but today it was my day, and I’m really happy.”
Britain’s Barclay Izzard made a brilliant senior debut, his first championship full distance race. He finished ninth after a very strong run. He said: “I came to this race for experience.
I didn’t know how my run form was going to be, but I just went for it. To come top ten, it’s unreal, I didn’t expect to do that.”
Local hero Marc Austin battled to the finish after a heavy fall on the bike. He appeared to clip a bollard and lose his position in the chasing pack. Looking as if his day was over, he climbed back on his bike and finished the race.
Austin was scheduled to be part of tomorrow’s Mixed Relay so was rushed off to receive medical treatment. Despite not winning a medal, Britain’s men were part of a memorable triathlon race as part of this excellent multisport European Championships.