Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee won gold on his injury return at the Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town. His win sealed a golden weekend for Great Britain following Vicky Holland’s win yesterday.
A shortened swim due to the cold water prevented any sort of breakaway out of the first transition. The 40km bike saw a group of up to sixty men ride around Cape Town together.
Brownlee stayed at the front of the group coming into the second transition and was first out onto the 10km run. Things didn’t go to plan, however, as Brownlee found himself on the floor having tripped when the lead group had whittled down to four, including Javier Gomez (ESP), Richard Murray (RSA) and Vincent Luis (FRA).
Brownlee said: “Richard was going across the course, Javier followed him and I was on the wrong side. He came across me, not on purpose, I think he was following Richard at the end of the day. In the heat of the moment everyone is going real hard but you’ve got to be careful.”
He recovered from the fall and re-joined the leaders. Luis was the first to drop off, and then Murray, leaving just Brownlee and Gomez. With just over 1500m to go, Brownlee stepped up the pace and broke away to set up his first Series win of the season.
Having missed the first three Series races due to injury, Brownlee said: “I knew I wasn’t that fit, I didn’t have good legs to be honest I was hurting though that first lap. The whole thing was tough. I’m delighted with that win.”
Having watched younger brother, Jonathan, emphatically win the last two rounds, he added: “I probably wouldn’t have won that today if Jonny was there. So at least I’ve got one back. I should only get fitter from here. Give me another three weeks, hopefully I’ll be another notch up and be competitive in Yokohama.”
Gomez took the silver medal and moved up to number one in the World Triathlon Series rankings. Luis overtook Murray to claim the bronze.
The Series moves on to Yokohama (16-17 May) for the fifth of nine rounds before the World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago in September.
Results, Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town, 750m swim, 40km bike, 10km run:
1. Alistair Brownlee, GBR, 1:39:19
2. Javier Gomez Noya, ESP, 1:39:24
3. Vincent Luis, FRA, 1:39:28