Mario Mola of Spain took his third WTS victory of the season and rose to 1st in the 2017 WTS point rankings by dominating the men’s field at the WTS Hamburg sprint.
Mola began with 16th place and a 23 seconds deficit after the swim and advanced to 8th place and a 3 seconds deficit after the bike leg. Mola, the 2016 WTS series World Champion, then unleashed a race-best 14:01 5-kilometer run to finish in 54:07 with a 12 seconds margin of victory over Jacob Birtwhistle of Australia and 15 seconds over 3rd-place finisher Ryan Sissons of New Zealand.
Mola’s win was his 5th career WTS sprint distance victory, which tied him with Jonathan Brownlee (who did not race today), and Mola’s 14:01 run split was his second-best at Hamburg - 6 seconds off his race run record.
“I think I swam pretty good, was able to stay quite close to the front in order to avoid possible [bike] crashes,” Mola told ITU Media. “I just heard that Fernando (Alarza) crashed so I hope he is okay, but then I felt really good on the run. I haven’t seen any times yet but I am very happy with the result.”
With his 3rd victory in five races of the 2017 season, Mola advanced from 2nd to 1st in the WTS men’s standings with 2864 points, 121 points ahead of fellow Spaniard Fernando Alarza, who DNF’d after a crash on the bike leg.
Alarza and Pierre Le Corre of France crashed next to the bike racks on the blue carpet after the first lap of the bike leg.
Birtwhistle’s runner-up finish was his second in a row at Hamburg and topped his previous best 2017 WTS finish of 5th place at the Gold Coast in April.
“I don’t know really, but I always seem to have that little something there I guess from my history as a runner before I made that switch to triathlon,” Birtwhistle told ITU Media “I would rather not put myself in that position to have to chase like that in the last 500 meters, but when it comes to days like today I am glad that it is there.” Birtwhistle’s 14:15 run split was the second best of the day.
Ryan Sissons of New Zealand was thrilled with his first WTS podium finish of his career: “I could not be happier really – this is one of my favorite races and I have always wanted to get on the podium,” he told ITU Media. “I put myself in a good position the whole time and just believed in myself and have had a pretty good season so far, so my confidence is growing.”
July 15, 2017
S 750m / B 21k / R 5k
1. Mario Mola (ESP) 54:07
2. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) 54:19
3. Ryan Sissons (NZL) 54:22
4. Vincent Luis (ESP) 54:25
5. Javier Gomez (ESP) 54:27
6. Dorian Coninx (FRA) 54:28
7. Richard Murray (RSA) 54:30
8. Leo Bergere (FRA) 54:35
9. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) 54:38
10. Joao Pereira (POR) 54:44
18. Matthew McElroy (USA) 55:04
21. Kevin McDowell (USA) 55:10
36. Ben Kanute (USA) 56:01
51. Austin Hindman (USA) 58:12
2017 World Triathlon Series Men’s Rankings
1. Mario Mola (ESP) 2864 points
2. Fernando Alarza (ESP) 2743
3. Javier Gomez (ESP) 2448
4. Thomas Bishop (GBR) 2004
5. Richard Murray (RSA) 1827
6. Henri Schoeman (RSA) 1742
7. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) 1656
8. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) 1392
9. Ryan Sissons (AUS) 1186