Jonathan Brownlee was the class act at the second round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Auckland, New Zealand, winning gold ahead of ITU World Champion, Javier Gomez (ESP). After the race he compared the course to ‘the Yorkshire hills’ and said he was very happy.
Lucy Hall had a strong result as Gwen Jorgensen (USA) dominated the women’s race.
Brownlee was always in a good position throughout the race, having been assisted through the swim by Leeds based Slovakian, Richard Varga, and Tom Bishop on the bike.
He burst out of the second transition and established an immediate lead over Gomez and Pierre Le Corre of France. Current world number one, Mario Mola (ESP) was a minute down by this stage.
Running through heavy rain in the final stages of the 10km run, Brownlee was visibly delighted with victory. He celebrated around the final corner and with the crowd in the final metres before crossing the finishing line as a clear winner.
He said: “In [the previous round in] Abu Dhabi I made many mistakes, and I’ve been beating myself up about it for the last few weeks. I’ve been training hard because I didn’t want to do that again, and I wanted to be able to show how good I was.”
He added: “I really enjoyed it, I felt good and I’m pleased to win.”
Brownlee now takes up the world number one ranking, which he’ll carry through to the next round on the Gold Coast in two weeks. Tom Bishop finished 13th, a good result and reward for his efforts on the bike.
In the women’s race Jorgensen once again took up the running straight out of the second transition and dominated the 10km to win comfortably from teammate Katie Zaferes.
Britain’s Lucy Hall finished 17th, one of her best senior result.
Hall said: “That was great fun until the last lap of the bike. Lisa Norden was trying to break things up and that made it extra tough on the climbs. The run was hard for me, but I’m happy none the less with 17th place.”
Olympic Champion, Alistair Brownlee, missed this round through injury, but is hopeful of a return in time for the fourth round of the Series in Cape Town. Former ITU World Champion, Non Stanford is also hopeful of a return in time for Cape Town.