Alistair Brownlee dominated the ITU Kitzbühel World Triathlon Series event with superb efforts during the swim, bike and run despite having been out for a while with an Achilles injury. His younger brother Jonathan finished second and Javier Gomez grabbed third.
Igor and Dmitry Polyanskiy led the swim throughout and were first and second out of the water right at 18 minutes, but Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee were right there too.
Right out of transition a group of 10 athletes managed to gain a small advantage and both Brownlee brothers were driving the pace up front. The pace though was so high that only Ivan Vasiliev was able to keep up and all of the sudden there were only 3 athletes in the lead. Meanwhile behind them the group grew to about 30 athletes, but the trio up front was working well together. At one point their advantage grew to almost 30 seconds, but now the Germans moved to front of the chasing bunch and Jan Frodeno, Steffen Justus with the help of a few other athletes managed to reel in the break at the halfway point of the bike segment. Stuart Hayes now moved to the front and set the pace, or at the very least controlled the pace to make sure no other break would roll away. As it was, 30 athletes entered the bike-run transition together with pretty much all of the favorites present. Brad Kahlefeldt who has been dealing with a mystery illness had a poor swim and dropped out during the bike segment. Americans Jarrod Shoemaker and Lukas Verzbicas did not have a good day in Kitzbühel and reached T2 well behind the leaders - 4 and 5:30 respectively.
Right out of transition Alistair Brownlee took charge and pulled away from everybody else. Jonathan Brownlee and Javier Gomez were running together in second and third positions for about 2 kilometers, but then Jonathan took off in pursuit of his brother. But it was actually more so that Gomez just could not keep up with the younger Brownlee. At one point Gomez was actually reeled in by the Russians running in 4th and 5th position, but he did not let them get away. Up front Alistair Brownlee pulled away from his brother too and was very much in control until the end. He took the win in 1:50:13 with Jonathan crossing the line in second 49 seconds later. For Alistair this was his first real test since being plagued by that Achilles injury and he showed with panache that he will be the man to beat for the Olympic Gold in London, but was quite humble after the race.
"Obviously I couldn't have done much better today, there's always a bit of uncertainty, so it was good just to get out there and see how it worked," said the champion.
ITU Kitzbühel WTS
Kitzbühel, Austria / June 24, 2012
1.5k swim / 44k* bike / 10k run
1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 1:50:13
2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
3. Javier Gomez (ESP)
4. Alexander Bryukhankov (RUS)
5. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS)
6. Steffen Justus (GER)
7. Tony Moulai (FRA)
8. David McNamee (GBR)
9. David Hauss (FRA)
10. Tony Dodds (NZL)
* The bike segment in Austria is slightly longer.