Yee claims gold at Paris Olympic Games Test Event


Alex Yee put in a stunning run to claim gold in the men’s race at the Paris Olympic Test Event just 24 hours after compatriot Beth Potter did the same in the women’s race.

Barclay Izzard, who was a late addition to the start line, was the next Brit over the line in 17th after receiving a penalty on the swim. Jonny Brownlee came home in 51st after spending large parts of the race in the front pack.

Yee said: “I'm really happy with the way the race went.

“Initially I wasn’t sure how it [the course] would suit me. It’s a flat fast course.

"It was beautiful. It had lots to do, with currents on the swim, the cobbles on the bike and tight turns and it becoming a big pack. There were lots of exciting things happening. I was just really pleased with how it went, and we’ve got a great course for next year.

“It’s amazing you’re just in awe all the time as you’re racing through the amazing landmarks that you dream of racing down. I have grown up watching the Tour de France all my life, those cobbles are a holy part of cycling, so for us to get an opportunity [to race on them] is just bonkers.”

Izzard added: “When I got told I was racing I had to get my mind on it and do some mental preparation, like work out the course. This morning I didn’t feel any different to normal.

“When I’m riding round in that massive bunch, there’s so many good athletes and it feels cool I got to this position.

“On the course on the first few laps of the bike I wasn’t really looking around I was focused on wheels [of other triathletes] but as it slowed down a bit, you can look around and take a look at the scenery and soak up the atmosphere.”

Brownlee led the British trio through the swim as he finished the first lap in 12th place, 11 seconds off Hungary’s Mark Devay, who was leading at this stage. Yee was a further five seconds back in 16th place with Izzard in 59th. At the end of the swim, Frenchman Vincent Luis moved to the front of the race with Brownlee dropping back to 14th, as did Yee, who was now in 20th. Izzard was still towards the rear of the field as he stayed 59th.

As the first bike lap developed, Yee quickly moved to the front of the pack alongside Leo Bergere of France, as Brownlee joined him in the lead group of 22 racers.

The lead then changed hands as the race progressed, with both Yee and Brownlee taking first place at several points on lap two. Izzard was amongst the large chasing pack, with New Zealand’s World Triathlon Championship Series Leader Hayden Wilde for company.

At the start of lap three, the chase group had moved within 30 seconds of Bergere and the lead group with Izzard up to 47th. Both Brownlee and Yee were still in the front pack in fifth and tenth respectively.

Lap four saw the field bunch together as the chase group, that included Izzard, closed to the front pack, meaning 54 triathletes were now separated by just ten seconds. After a solo break attempt by Shachar Sagiv of Israel, which was quickly reduced by the pack, the British trio settled into the group and remained with five seconds of the new leader Wilde.

As the race entered the penultimate bike lap, Izzard was now the lead Brit in the large pack as he moved up to 31st ahead of Yee in 32nd. Brownlee was still within five seconds of now leader Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway in 48th showing how close the athletes were together

Heading into T2, Dorian Coninx of France led the way with Yee leading the British trio in 17th. The pace was dictated by American Morgan Pearson in the early stages of the run but he was quickly caught by Yee, who took the lead before the end of lap one.

He then kicked on and by lap two he had built himself a 10 second lead to Bergere. Izzard was 32 seconds back with a penalty to serve in 24th. Brownlee was over a minute off the lead in 46th. At the halfway stage Yee was 16 seconds clear of the chasing group that included home favourites Bergere and Pierre Le Corre as well as Vilaca. Izzard was 39 seconds behind his teammate in 15th with Brownlee back in 50th.

Heading onto the last lap and Yee’s lead was extend to 24 seconds as the battle for the other two steps of the podium consisted of seven athletes. As Yee claimed gold, Vilaca burst through to take second ahead of Coninx in a photo finish. Izzard made the top 20, crossing the line in 17th place with Brownlee ending the day in 51st.

The attention for the British triathletes will now turn to Sunday’s mixed team relay event. Before that though, Dave Ellis guided by Luke Pollard, Oscar Kelly guided by Charlie Harding, and Claire Cashmore are in paratriathlon action in the PTVI and PTS5 categories respectively.

View the PTVI start list here.

View the PTS 5 start list here.

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