British triathlon stars Alistair and Jonny Brownlee crossed the line arm-in-arm to win the Abu Dhabi Triathlon – the unofficial and extremely tough season opener.
The brothers from Yorkshire won in style completing the 1.5km swim, 100km bike and 10km run in 3hrs 12 minutes and 21 seconds.
The Olympic champion and former world champion battled against world class competition and 30 degree centigrade heat to win the prestigious event.
Not only did they win but Jonny helped his elder brother break his own record set last year. Ali said afterwards:
“Jonny and I both got a good lead out of the swim and we just concentrated and stayed focused on biking as hard as we could.”
In his first year in Abu Dhabi, Jonny added;
“Everything in Abu Dhabi is big and impressive and you can say the same about this event! The Yas Marina Circuit was a highlight and, due to the smooth tarmac, allowed me to get up to 65km/h on my bike which I really enjoyed.”
The brothers will share a record amount of prize money – almost £19k – and looked strong ahead of the 2014 world triathlon series which starts on April 5th.
The Abu Dhabi Triathlon which TriReview raced in 2012 has become one of the most glamorous events on the circuit and is considered the unofficial season opener.
Ahead of the race Jonny tweeted saying ‘it’s that time of the year again – my season starts tomorrow’.
After a dream 2012 that saw Ali get Olympic gold and Jonny crowned world champion, the brothers had a disappointing 2013.
Alistair suffered from injury throughout the season and Jonny was beaten in a sprint finish to take second place overall in the series.
The women’s short course elite was a closely contested race which saw Svenja Bazlen from Germany cross the line just seconds ahead of Australian, Annabel Luxford. Luxford gave everything she could on the day to try to close in on the German. Fellow Australian Lisa Marangon finished in 3rd, 5 minutes down on Luxford.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon and is the first year the event has completely sold out. A line-up of 1939 entrants took part in the event, attracting spectators from all across the world.
(pic credits – TCA Abu Dhabi / Getty Images Warren Little)