Double Olympic gold medallist, Brownlee, banked his fourth ETU Triathlon European Championship title this evening in the Dutch city of Weert; cementing his return to form with back to back wins on the international circuit.
Following a solid swim, the 31-year-old led a hard-working bike pack of seven including fellow Brit, Ben Dijkstra. Despite losing a few seconds in T2, Brownlee quickly returned to the front and was soon heading up a four-man breakaway, including Belgium’s Marten Van Riel. Stamping his authority over the field, Brownlee push ahead; creating a 12-second gap by the end of lap one, which only increased as the race progressed. Eventual silver medallist, Joao Pereira clocked comfortably the quickest run leg of the day to claw back much needed time after falling behind with the chase bike pack, however it wasn’t enough to catch the Brit who crossed the line 22 seconds clear.
Alistair Brownlee, 2019 ETU Triathlon European Champion, said:
“I was really happy to be on the start line at the European Championships. I knew my form was good after racing in Italy a few weeks ago. The swim went well – I was out second or third in the end. I then pushed really hard on the bike to break the field up and, even though we worked very hard, we didn’t get a gap until the last few laps. The run felt ok – I had to hold off a fast running Joao Pereira, but with a couple of km to go, I knew I’d won and was able to ease off a little bit and think about next week (AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds). I’m absolutely delighted to be winning races again after a bit of time out.”
Barclay Izzard was the next best of the Brits; finishing 5th following a solid all-round performance. Calum Johnson was 24th, with Dijkstra in 38th place.
In the women’s race, former international track athlete, Potter struck gold the day previous; claiming her first international triathlon title since making the switch to the sport in 2017.
She exited the water alongside compatriots Olivia Mathias and Sophie Alden; all within the top 10 at this stage. A large bike pack formed, led by Mathias, which remained fairly stable throughout the 40km duration and come T2, the chase group were over 90 seconds back.
Once out onto the run, Potter had the race in her hands. The 2016 Olympic 10,000m athlete clocked by far the swiftest split on two feet to take the tape nearly a minute ahead of Sandra Dodet of France. Mathias was 8th after being caught on the run by a number of fast-finishing chasers. Former Paratriathlon Guide, Jenny Manners finished 19th, with Sophie Alden in 22nd place.
Beth Potter, 2019 ETU Triathlon European Champion, said:
“That was pretty much the perfect race for me, which is something you can rarely say. I had a good swim and placed well coming out and my aim was making the front pack of the bike as I knew that if I could help control the race, it would leave me in a strong position coming out onto the run. I knew going into the final discipline that I was the quickest on paper on, so I wanted to do as little work as possible to ensure I had something left in the tank.
“I’m learning a lot with every race. I’ve got three weeks off now and them I’m back at it in Antwerp for the World Cup. It hasn’t been an easy transition from track into triathlon, but it’s starting to pay off.”
The elite junior races saw Erin Wallace take fifth place for Great Britain, in a race won by Italy’s Beatrice Mallozzi. Oliver Makinson was top finishing junior male, coming home in 13th place.
The Mixed Relay takes place tomorrow afternoon and will see Mathias return to the start line, joined by Gordon Benson, Sian Rainsley and Morgan Davies for Great Britain.
2019 Weert ETU Triathlon European Championships
Beth Potter, GBR, 1:45:44
Sandra Dodet, FRA, 1:46:42
Claire Michel, BEL, 1:46:55
8. Olivia Mathias, GBR, 1:48:20
19. Jenny Manner, GBR, 1:49:22
22. Sophie Alden, GBR, 1:50:05
Alistair Brownlee, GBR, 1:35:01
Joao Pereira, POR, 1:35:23
Jelle Geens, BEL, 1:35:56
5. Barclay Izzard, GBR, 1:36:06
24. Calum Johnson, GBR, TIME TBC
38. Ben Dijkstra, GBR, 1:42:28
Beatrice Mallozzi, ITA, 54:46
Nora Gmür, SUI, 54:57
Magdalena Früh, AUT, 55:06
5. Erin Wallace, GBR, 55:20
13. Libby Coleman, GBR, 55:30
34. Sophia Green, GBR, 57:30
42. Annabel Morton, GBR, 58:47
Paul Georgenthum, FRA , 49:04
Boris Pierre, FRA, 49:07
Ricardo Batista, POR, 49:07
13. Oliver Makinson, GBR, 49:57
21. Calum Young, GBR, 50:41
55. Toby Osman, GBR, 54:17
DNF Marcus Dey
For full results, visit https://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2019_weert_etu_triathlon_european_championships