The only man to break 30 minutes for the 10 kilometer run leg, Alex Yee of Great Britain owned the leafy trail within Roundhay Park to finish in 1:43:27 with a 25 seconds margin on U.S. star Morgan Pearson and 36 seconds on Marten Van Riel of Belgium. Yee’s 29:46 run leg was 18 seconds faster than his nearest rival Pearson, accounting for most of his margin of victory.
After a closely packed swim and an even more crowded herd of cyclists, Yee exploded away at the start of the run, whereupon he ran for a solo masterpiece that left not only Pearson and Van Riel but also superstars like Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway, Jonathan Brownlee of Great Britain and Fernando Alarza of Spain in his wake.
After taking most of the last two years to focus on long course and Ironman racing, two-time Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee sent the day looking for some of the old magic that might lead to a fourth date with the Olympics. However, Alistair was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct during the swim and exited the course during the run.
In addition, the legendary Javier Gomez of Spain also failed to finish.
“That was very special,” Yee told ITU Media, of his delight at the warm reaction he got from an ecstatic home country crowd. “It is the first time that I’ve seen so many people on the street, and it was just amazing to be able to deliver in front of all of them. These results are a team effort. For me to finish fourth in Yokohama was a bit of a disappointment, but after the race I spoke with the team to see what we needed to work on and I think that this shows the progression I’ve made in the last weeks.”
If his bronze at Yokohama wasn’t enough to signal that he had arrived among the stars of triathlon, Morgan Pearson staked a solid claim with his silver medal performance that he is a force to be reckoned with in Tokyo.
With no more automatic qualification standards for U.S.A. Triathlon Olympic selection, Leeds was the lone large scale event where a performance can be reckoned by U.S. Olympic selectors. Pearson already cinched his spot with his third place finish at Yokohama, so his silver medal at Leeds will not add to his Olympic chances. Other U.S. men posting Leeds results were Seth Rider (17th), Chase McQueen (25th) and Matthew McElroy (30th). U.S. Triathlon Olympic selectors will take into account several factors and will announce the final selections on June 16 (live streamed on Facebook).
WTS Leeds – Men
June 6, 2021
S 1.5kj / B 40k / R 10k
1. Alex Yee (GBR) S 17:57 T1 1:04 B 54:24 T2 00:18 R 29:46 TOT 1:43:27
2. Morgan Pearson (USA) S 1:46 T1 1:00 B 54:42 T2 00:22 R 30:04 TOT 1:43:52
3. Marten Van Riel (BEL) S 17:41 T1 1:07 B 54:36 T2 00:18 R 30:23 TOT 1:44:03
4. Fernando Alarza (ESP) S 17:54 T1 1:10 B 54:22 T2 00:19 R 30:28 TOT 1:44:12
5. Hayden Wilde (NZL) S 18:05 T1 1:02 B 54:16 T2 00:19 R 30:47 TOT 1:44:27
6. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) S 17:57 T1 1:06 B 54:20 T2 00:20 R 30:53 TOT 1:44:33
7. Leo Bergere (FRA) S 17:45 T1 1:04 B 54:34 T2 00:18 R 30:54 TOT 1:44:36
8. Antonio Serrat Seoane (ESP) S 18:03 T1 1:06 B 54:19 T2 00:19 R 30:53 TOT 1:44:37
9. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) S 17:45 T1 1:04 B 54:36 T2 00:17 R 31:03 TOT 1:44:43
10. Jonas Schomburg (GER) S 17:42 T1 1:03 B 54:37 T2 00:17 R 31:10 TOT 1:44:48
17. Seth Rider (USA) S 17:42 T1 1:12 B 54:29 T2 00:17 R 32:42 TOT 1:46:21
25. Chase McQueen (USA) S 17:47 T1 1:08 B 54:36 T2 00:21 R 33:27 TOT 1:47:16
30. Matthew McElroy (USA) S 18:02 T1 1:07 B 56:56 T2 00:20 R 31:59 TOT 1:48:22