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The three favorites to take medals at the 2012 London Olympics earned the top three spots at the ITU World Triathlon Series race in Kitzbühel, Austria. Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee dominated the run to easily take the win. His brother, Jonathan Brownlee, finished second, with Spain’s Javier Gomez earning third.
Read the race recap from Triathlon.org below:
Russian brothers Igor and Dmitry Polyanskiy led the elite men after first lap of the swim in Lake Schwarzee. Alistair has a slower than usual start in his return but he pulled himself up from 15th in the first lap to fifth by the end of the swim, exiting the water alongside his brother Jonathan.
From there the Brownlees wasted no time on the bike and within the first kilometre rocketed off the front with another Russian, Ivan Vasiliev. That trio quickly build a 25-second lead on a chase pack of 28 athletes in the first lap.
But they were no match for the organized German Olympic team at the head of the first chase. Jan Frodeno, also returning from injury, Steffen Justus and Maik Petzold worked together to cut the gap to 20 seconds on the second lap and by the third of six laps, they had bridged to the leaders and became a large group of 31. After those groups merged, Stuart Hayes controlled a fast pace at the front of the pack as the group rolled into T2 together.
From T2, Alistair led from the start, sprinting out of transition to the lead. Jonathan tried to stay with him but he never came close from leaving T2 as Alistair hammered out an unforgiving pace that no one could match. He cruised to the finish line with a time of 1 hour, 50 minutes, 13 seconds, capping off a successful return.
“Races never go to plan, I never really have a race plan these days,” said Alistair, who has won seven of his last nine ITU races. “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.”
Jonathan came across for silver, more than 50 seconds behind Alistair, his 13th consecutive ITU podium, an astounding streak that started in July 2010 in London.
“It was a tough, tough race,” said Jonathan. “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.”
Gomez held on for bronze to complete the podium after holding off a late surge by Alexander Bryukhankov.
Rising American star Lukas Verzbicas clocked the second fastest run split behind Alistair but finished in 32nd position in his debut in the ITU World Triathlon Series..
ITU World Triathlon Series Kitzbühel
Kitzbühel, Austria – June 24, 2012
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 1:50:13
2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 1:51:02
3. Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:51:18
4. Alexander Bryukhankov (RUS) 1:51:27
5. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) 1:51:41