Vincent Luis won WTS Yokohama and seized a 454 points lead in the 2019 World Triathlon Series with a 3 seconds margin of victory over Henri Schoeman.
Luis kept in control throughout the race, starting 2 seconds back on the swim, stayed with the lead pack on the bike and led the field out of T2. Luis was in charge of a four man break on the run before outsprinting Schoeman at the line for the win.
Schoeman led the field with a 17:39 swim split which gave him a 2 seconds lead on Luis and Marten Van Riel of Belgium, 4 seconds on William Huffman of the U.S., 6 seconds on Javier Gomez of Spain, and a similar advantage over Dorian Coninx of France and Aaron Royle of Australia.
Leaving T1, the seven were joined by Jonas Schomburg of Germany, Bence Bicsák of Hungary, Ilia Prasolov of Russia and Alois Knabl of Austria. Top runners Fernando Alarza of Spain, Alex Yee of Great Britain, Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway, Ryan Sissons of New Zealand and Casper Stornes of Norway formed a main chase pack while usual top shelf competitors Mario Mola of Spain and Jacob Birtwhistle of Australia were unusually out of contention after slower swims.
Leaving T2, Luis jetted out front, while Schoeman, Bicsak, and Gomez were the only men who could stay in touch. Lurking back was new run sensation Alex Yee, who quickly started to chew up his 50 seconds deficit. By 5k, Yee came within 10 seconds of the leaders, but the effort left him exhausted and his challenge was spent.
After a 3rd-best 30:21 run, Luis finished in 1:43:21 with a 3 seconds margin of victory over Schoeman (30:22 run), 5 seconds on Bicsák (30:23 run), 17 seconds on Gomez (30:33 run) and 36 seconds on 5th place Yee (29:58 run split).
“I didn’t feel great at the start and wasn’t expecting to have a great race but I just wanted to keep my lead and I worked hard on the breakaway,” Luis told ITU media. “I tried to lead as long as I could during the run, which I did not do in Bermuda and it cost me a bit. Today I was one of the strongest and I am really happy it payed off.”
While Luis has a commanding lead in points, history tells him to refuse to relax. “I am always thinking about my squad mate Katie (Zaferes),” he said. “[Last year] she was leading into Gold Coast and she lost the title. Until the [Grand Final] finish in Lausanne, I am not going to expect anything. If I can lead until then I will be happy. If someone else is stronger than me, I will be happy for them to win.”
Schoeman was satisfied with his silver finish. “I’ve had some disappointing performances of late,” he told ITU media. “This is where the Olympics is going to be next year and I really wanted to have a good result. To finish second after a disappointing Bermuda, I am really happy to be back in good shape.”
After his first WTS podium at 22 years of age, Bicsák was thrilled. “I was just trying to be patient before the race and I tried everything in the swim to do my best,” he said. “I was in the breakaway and tried to work hard. I wasn’t thinking too much, I just tried to stay in the front. It was really hard work but this is the best result I could achieve.”
May 18, 2019
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
Pro Men Results
1. Vincent Luis (FRA) 1:43:21 S 17:41 T1 00:55 B 54:07 T2 00:18 R 30:21
2. Henri Schoeman (RSA) 1:43:24 S 17:39 T1 1:02 B 54:02 T2 00:20 R 30:22
3. Bence Bicsák (HUN) 1:43:26 S 17:52 T1 00:50 B 53:59 T2 00:23 R 30:23
4. Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:43:38 S 17:47 T1 00:50 B 54:06 T2 00:23 R 30:33
5. Alex Yee (GBR) 1:43:57 S 18:27 T1 00:52 B 54:12 T2 00:30 R 29:58
6. Fernando Alarza (ESP) 1:44:06 S 18:22 T1 00:53 B 54:14 T2 00:29 R 30:19
7. Luke Willian (AUS) 1:44:07 S 18:24 T1 00:50 B 54:14 T2 00:19 R 30:21
8. Marten Van Riel (BEL) 1:44:09 S 17:41 T1 00:56 B 54:06 T2 00:21 R 31:07
9. Ryan Sissons (NZL) 1:44:13 S 18:25 T1 00:53 B 54:10 T2 00:19 R 30:28
10. Sam Ward (NZL) 1:44:19 S 18:27 T1 00:52 B 54:11 T2 00:21 R 30:30
15. Morgan Pearson (USA) 1:44:49 S 17:54 S 17:54 T1 00:51 B 54:47 T2 00:22 R 30:57
28. Tony Smoragiewicz (USA) 1:46:21 S 18:45 T1 00:50 B 55:00 T2 00:22 R 31:14
30. Matthew McElroy (USA) 1:46:31 S 18:43 T1 00:54 B 55:11 T2 00:21 R 31:26
35. William Huffman (USA) 1:47:21 S 17:43 T1 00:55 B 54:54 T2 00:25 R 33:26
39. Eli Hemming (USA) 1:48:44 S 18:24 T1 00:54 B 54:13 T1 00:27 R 34:48
Season WTS Rankings
1. Vincent Luis (FRA) 2523
2. Fernando Alarza (ESP) 2069
3. Henri Schoeman (RSA) 1887
4. Bence Bicsák (HUN) 1769
5. Javier Gomez (ESP) 1716
6. Alex Yee (GBR) 1657
7. Léo Bergere (FRA) 1553
8. Dorian Coninx (FRA) 1484
9. Mario Mola (ESP) 1255
10. Gustav Iden (NOR) 1217
28. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 459
29. Morgan Pearson (USA) 449
30. Tony Smoragiewicz (USA) 433
31. Matthew McElroy (USA) 420
32. Eli Hemming (USA) 392
47. William Huffman (USA) 142
49. Ben Kanute (USA) 113