Following a less than perfect start to his 2015 season Jonathan Brownlee turned in a master-class performance over the tough and hilly course. Read the recap from Triathlon.org below.
Great Britian’s Jonathan Brownlee finally ended the reign of Spain’s Javier Gomez in Auckland today at the 2015 World Triathlon Series. Brownlee had not beaten Gomez on three previous occasions and he was not to be denied a fourth time. A career-best performance from Pierre Le Corre (FRA) saw him grab his first WTS podium.
Remaining one of the athletes to beat throughout the entirety of the New Zealand course, Brownlee proved his gold-medal worth once foot hit the pavement and he secured a healthy gap that brought him into the finish-line. Adding a 10-second lead after each of the four-lap 10-kilometer run, he took home the top podium position with a time of 1:55:26.
“It was great to win today, first World Series event that I have won in a while. In Abu Dhabi I made a lot of mistakes and I have been beating myself up about it over the last three weeks and training hard because I did not want to do it again,” said Brownlee. “I felt good, I really enjoyed it today and I am pleased to win.”
63 athletes dove into the Auckland Harbour but it was no surprise to see the familiar sight of Richard Varga (GBR) at the front of the pack and first out of the water, a lead group formed crossing through the first transition that remained a tight pack until the end.
With the leaders becoming interchangeable, a 15-man lead group held a united front and stayed uninterrupted for all eight laps of the 40-kilometer bike discipline. The showcased leaders consisted of Brownlee, Thomas Bishop (GBR), Varga, Gomez Noya, Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Pierre Le Corre (FRA). The chase group, which housed New Zealand’s own Ryan Sissons (NZL) and the WTS Abu Dhabi gold medallist Mario Mola(ESP) could not close the gap and stayed behind by over 30 seconds.
Spain’s Gomez returned to form after his 6th-place finish in Abu Dhabi and earned himself a podium position. Despite not being able to catch up to the wind of Brownlee, in the final lap he broke away from Le Corre, who finished third, and established the silver medal. This is the first time in the four outstanding appearances in Auckland that Gomez has not placed first—he was the WTS Auckland champion most recently in 2014.
“Jonathan was just really strong today. I have been through a pretty tough time lately, I got sick right before Abu Dhabi and between that race and today I was taking a strain too so I am really happy with second place. Obviously I would have loved to win but I performed the best I could,” said Gomez.
Another standout performer throughout the day was Richard Varga who lead the charge out of the water and then out on the bike. The strong swimmer was first out of the water and remained a constant competitor among the lead pack on bike, where he also entered with the top time entering the second transition. He finished in seventh place with a time of 1:57:07.
2015 World Triathlon Series Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand – March 29, 2015
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 1:55:26
2. Javier Gomez Noya ESP 1:55:41
3. Pierre Le Corre FRA 1:55:52
4. Fernando Alarza ESP 1:56:48
5. Ryan Bailie AUS 1:56:53
6. Henri Schoeman RSA 1:57:03
7. Richard Varga SVK 1:57:07
8. Crisanto Grajales MEX 1:57:17
9. Ben Kanute USA 1:57:20
10. Tony Dodds NZL 1:57:39