Jonathan Brownlee dominated the 2012 ITU Madrid World Triathlon Series event with a superb run after a fine swim and a successful 9 men bike breakaway effort, and thus kept the Brownlee winning streak in Madrid in tact.
68 Elite men entered the water of Casa de Campo lake for the 1.5k non wetsuit swim, and as expected swim ace Richard Varga was first out of the water in 17:45 with Aurelien Raphael and Maik Petzold right on his heels.
After a frantic fast transition Jonathan Brownlee led a bunch of 10 out on the bike, and in that group were Alexander Bruykhankov, Ivan Vasiliev, Dmitry Polyansky, Hirokatsu Tayama, Alessandro Fabian, Tommy Zaferes, Raphael, Varga and Petzold. But Zaferes got dropped and the lead bunch had shrunk to 9. Several bike groups were spread all over the road about 20 seconds apart, but while some of the chase groups started to join together, the lead group driven by Brownlee opened up their advantage to over 30 seconds. Despite a hard effort by the growing chasing bunch, the front group of 9 managed to extend their lead to 1:20 by the halfway point of the bike segment and to well over 2 minutes into the bike-run transition. Quite a surprise though awaited Fabian whose transition box had been removed from T2 in error by officials and thus the Italian lost valuable time waiting for his running shoes.
Brownlee immediately charged out of transition and took control of the run and did not look worse for the wear despite the hard effort on the bike. Behind him Bruykhankov and Polyansky hung tough in second and third positions, but the others seemed to be paying for the extra curricular bike activities. Varga in fact was caught by Mario Mola and Laurent Vidal about 7k into the run, but Fabian was still holding on to a slight advantage in 8th position 2:15 behind the fast running Brownlee. Brownlee though was in a different league had carved out such a big advantage over second place that he was able to really enjoy the final 100 metes and interacted with the audience before finally crossing the finish line. He took the win in 1:51:49, with Bruykhankov in second 41 seconds later and Polyansky in third 1:06 behind the champion.
For Petzold in 6th position that meant he finally got that elusive Olympic spot, by finishing in the top eight here, and Varga also stamped his ticked to the Olympic games.
The Canadians will be able to send 3 athletes to London with Brent McMahon besting Joao Pereira from Portugal by a few spots.
Neither Will Clarke nor Tim Don finished in Madrid, but David McNamee crossed the line in 17th place and that gives the British selectors a bit more work to figure out who will join the Brownlee brothers in London.
The Australian men also did not have a good outing here and Brendan Sexton was best in 31st position.
ITU Madrid WTS
Madrid, Spain / May 27, 2012
1.5k swim / 40k bike / 10k run
1. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 1:51:49
2. Alexander Bruykhankov (RUS) 1:52:28
3. Dmitry Polyansky (RUS) 1:52:54
4. Ivan Vasiliev (RUS) 1:53:17
5. Alessandro Fabian (ITA) 1:53:24 ***
6. Maik Petzold (GER) 1:53:33
7. Hirokatsu Tayama (JAP) 1:53:35
8. Aurelien Raphael (FRA) 1:53:53
9. Mario Mola (ESP) 1:54:23
10. Carlos Javier Quinchara (COL) 1:54:34
17. David McNamee (GBR) 1:55:15
24. Brent McMahon (CAN) 1:55:39
28. Joao Pereira (POR) 1:56:05
31. Brendan Sexton (AUS) 1:56:25
*** Fabian crossed the line in 8th position, but after review of the "errant box removal" the officials decided to deduct 47 seconds from his time and that moved him from 8th position to 5th.