Comeback kid Brownlee triumphs with gold at Kitzbuhel ITU World Series
Sunday, 24 June 2012
June 24 – Alistair Brownlee, British Olympic favourite and reigning ITU World Seires champion, put on a masterful performance today taking gold in his first World Championship Series race of the season in Kitzbuhel – despite suffering from an Achilles tear four months ago.
Producing an outstanding time of 29min 51sec for the 10 kilometre run split, Brownlee (pictured above and below, centre) beat younger brother, Jonathan (pictured below left) – who has won the last two races in San Diego and Madrid – into second.
Spain's Javier Gomez (pictured below, right), also recently returned from injury, took bronze
After the race, Alistair said: "Obviously I couldn't have done much better today, there's always a bit of uncertainty so it was good just to get out there and see how it worked."
The experienced Brownlees faced a tough field, with most of strongest contenders for London 2012 medals on form and ready for action.
However, it was Russian brothers, Igor and Dmitry Polyanskiy, who led the elite men after the swim's first lap.
By the end of the swim though, the Brownlees were among the first set of athletes to exit the water, rocketing off on their bikes to lead the pack alongside Ivan Vasiliev of Russia.
From the second transition, Alistair came into his own, leaving Jonathan behind, sprinting into the lead at a hammering speed no one else could match and marking his return to form.
Finishing with a time of 1 hour 50mi 13sec, Alistair cruised the line 50 seconds ahead of Jonathan, making this his 13th consecutive ITU podium.
Alistair said: "We just tried to push the early part of the bike as hard as we could and see what happened, but we couldn't get away, but I think it was important we hurt a lot of people's legs early on.
"It's nice to be back on the podium and it is fantastic that we got a one-two.
"That's what we always aim to get and it's a special day."
Jonathan added: "It was a tough, tough race.
"Today was a real test because it's a strong field and everyone who is going to be in the Olympics was there.
"It was kind of a practice Olympics really, so to have everyone there and still come second is great."
Fourth place went to Russia's Alexander Bryukhankov, who despite missing out on a podium place retains his series lead, with compatriot Dmitry Polyanskiy behind him in fifth.
June 2012: Team GB ignores top-ranked triathletes to pick domestiques for London 2012
May 2012: Jonathan Brownlee maintains family dominance of World Series Madrid triathlon
May 2012: Britons Brownlee and Jenkins top the field at ITU World Series meet
September 2011: "Inspirational" British triathletes achieve ideal warm-up for London 2012
September 2011: Brownlee lifts second world title to cement place as London 2012 favourite