American Gwen Jorgensen had to work for it, having to pull back 1:34 on the run to overtake an escape during the bike leg. The only challenge Alistair Brownlee had to beat back was from his brother.
American Gwen Jorgensen pulled back a deficit of 1:34 to a bike breakaway trio to take the win at the World Triathlon Leeds in 2:00:33. Bermuda's Flora Duffy was the sole survivor from the breakaway for second and Vicky Holland out-sprinted countrywoman Jodie Stimpson for the final podium spot at the newest stop in the world tour.
Brits Jessica Learmonth and Lucy Hall along with Duffy led out of the water with seven other athletes less than ten seconds behind. A speedy transition coupled with a Duffy led attack on the course's opening hill provided all the daylight needed to establish a breakaway group for Learmonth, Hall and Duffy. By the end of the hilly and technical course the trio built an advantage of 1:34 over the chase group.
On the run Duffy pulled away from the two Brits but Jorgensen was in hot pursuit. After 5 kilometers, Jorgensen cut Duffy's lead in half, pulled even at the end of the third of four laps, and finished with a 51 second advantage. Duffy held off the fast charging British duo of Holland and Stimpson to finish runner-up on the day and retained her No. 1 ranking in the 2016 Columbia Threadneedle ITU World Triathlon Series.
In the men's race, hometown favorites Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee went 1-2 and Australian Aaron Royle rounded out the podium.
Slovakian Richard Varga led a group of six out of the water, including both Brownlees, Royle, Frenchman Aurelien Raphael and Javier Gomez. In similar style to Duffy's attack out of transition in the women's race, Alistair was the aggressor out of the gates and only Royle and Raphael could follow. 5 kilometers in to the bike, younger brother Jonathan, attacked Gomez and Varga and joined up with Alistair, who had dropped out of the leading trio in order to escort his brother into their breakaway group. Varga and Gomez were unable to respond and eventually entered T2 two minutes adrift as part of a large chase group.
Alistair wasted little time in moving to the front of the race and built an insurmountable advantage. The cushion of nearly a minute over Jonathan afforded him the opportunity to acknowledge the throngs of local supporters with high fives and lifted the finish tape in 1:49:27. Jonathan crossed the line 32 seconds later with Royle a further 34 seconds behind.
Leeds, United Kingdom / June 12, 2016
1.5k swim / 42k bike / 10k run
1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) 2:00:33
2. Flora Duffy (BER) 2:01:24
3. Vicky Holland (GBR) 2:01:57
4. Jodie Stimpson (GBR) 2:02:04
5. Barbara Riveros (CHI) 2:02:15
1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 1:49:27
2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 1:49:59
3. Aaron Royle (AUS) 1:50:33
4. Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:51:02
5. Auriliean Raphael (FRA) 1:51:22