Yee Victorious at Paris Test Event

Out of the bike to run transition in 16th place, Alex Yee of Great Britain unleashed a fabulous 10k to arrive at the finish in 1:41:02 with a 13- seconds margin over a photo finish between runner-up Vasco Vilaca of Portugal and third place Dorian Coninx of France.

Yee began his day with a 18th-best swim that left him 21 seconds down, closed to within 5 seconds after the bike, and burst into a 2 seconds lead after the first lap of the run. Never looking back, Yee put the hammer down to speed out of sight while creating a 27 seconds lead after the third lap of the run. Yee then cruised to the finish, surrendering 14 seconds of his lead on his way to a race–best 29-minute 10k that was 14 seconds faster than his nearest rivals.

Prior to his Test Event heroics, Yee had a strong 2023 season winning races in Abu Shabi and Cagliardi. Today, recent Olympic silver medalist Yee out performed recent Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt who finished 9th.

Behind Yee, Vasco Vilaca of Portugal was running for the finish inside a French sandwich inside a three-man battle between Dorian Coninx, Pierre Le Corre and reigning recent World Champion Leo Bergere. When the blue carpet came in sight, Vilaca and Coninx were the last men standing, expending their last ounce of energy in a soul-stirring photo finish won by the Portuguese star.

“I just loved it,” Yee told World Triathlon media. “I pushed that middle 3km, where I really put an effort in. But by the end I was starting to die a little. It was relentless from the start. I was all into trying to help everyone stay away (on the bike) but everyone was too motivated to stay away. I was just buzzing to have a good swim. I have been feeling absolutely horrible in the pool so I am glad I was able to put something representative together from the hard work I have been putting in. (The World Championship final at) Pontevedra should be a good shoot out.”

Morgan Pearson of the United States had an impressive outing, rolling onto the start list this morning and running as high as 2nd place before finishing 6th and thus qualifying for the Olympic start. Pearson, a Tokyo Olympian, matched U.S. women’s star Taylor Knibb’s Olympic qualifying 5th place on Thursday.

Sadly, WTCS Series leader Hayden Wilde of New Zealand crashed in a training warmup and reinjured a lingering hip injury. Wilde made a game effort to compete but had to pull out before the run. Battling injury, two-time World Champion Vincent Luis also had to withdraw.

On a beautiful course that includes some of the French capital’s most famous landmarks, a 1.5km anti-clockwise swim that passes twice under the Ponte d’Invalides, a flat 5.715km bike lap to be navigated 7 times, each lap with over 25% cobbled surface down the Champs Elysees and a 10km run that is over 50% cobbles. The Test Event will thus give Yee and today’s rivals a great scouting insight for the 2024 Olympic clash.

The Swim

Mark Devay of Hungary led the swim with an 18:14 split that gave him a 5 seconds margin on Jonathan Schomburg of Germany. Devay’s margin over top contenders included 12 seconds on Coninx, 15 seconds on Leo Bergere, 17 seconds on Pierre le Corre, 211 seconds on Yee, 31 seconds on Morgan Pearson, and 52 seconds on Vasco Vilaca while Kristian Blummenfelt was just over a minute back.

The Bike

By the midpoint of the bike, Blummenfelt found himself in the lead with Yee on his wheel in the midst of a 40-man pack. Jelle Geens led at Lap 4, followed by Blummenfelt, Bergere, Emil Holm of Denmark, Le Corre, Casper Stornes of Norway, Coninx, Yee, Tim Hellwig of Germany, and Vilaca and Pearson 4 seconds back in 34th and 37th places.

The Run

Out of T2, Schomburg, Gens, and Vilaca led the field into the run, but Morgan Pearson and Blummenfelt took to the front. Whereupon Yee started to slice through the field, Blummenfelt fell back. On lap 1, Yee advanced to a 2 seconds lead, and then he put on the jets. Miguel Hidalgo of Brazil, Vilaca and Bergere moved into position along with Pierre Le Corre and Tim Hellwig of Germany.

Behind Yee, the three French triathletes were fighting for the podium as Vilaca pulled alongside as Hellwig and Pearson finally dropped off. From there it was a breathless dash to trying and failing to join Yee. Disappointing the home crowd, Portugal’s Vilaça produced a brilliant sprint to edge Coninx to the silver, Le Corre took fourth from Bergere, and sixth earning Pearson his Olympic berth.

“The Test Event is exactly that, the test for next year,” Vilaca told World Triathlon media. “You want to get as much as you can right here so that you don’t have to move too many details for next year. When you come back, you have a good feeling, that is going to help you get a good result. That was so intense, I am still a bit dizzy. I just want to sit down after this… that sprint in the end, I tried to position myself well, go to the front but just before the last corner but I lost a couple of meters. It really was just believing until the very last minute coming straight through the middle.”

“It was a super tough race, there were 5 or 6 of us at the end for the finish,” Coninx told World Triathlon media. “I had my chance but it’s always a bit tricky and Vasco is super strong. But third is good, my first podium of the year. I managed to be the first ahead of the French so I am really happy about that.”


1 Alex Yee GBR S 18:32 T1 00:48 B 52:17 T2 00:25 R 29:00 TOT 1:41:02
2 Vasco Vilaca POR S 19:03 T1 00:48 B 51:45 T2 00:24 R 29:15 TOT 1:41:15
3 Dorian Coninx FRA S 18:23 T1 00:55 B 52:17 T2 00:28 R 29:14 TOT 1:41:15
4 Pierre Le Corre FRA S 18:28 T1 00:50 B 52:20 T2 00:24 R 29:16 TOT 1:41:17
5 Leo Bergere FRA S 18:26 T1 00:50 B 52:19 T2 00:24 R 29:22 TOT 1:41:20
6 Morgan Pearson USA S 18:42 T1 00:47 B 52:11 T2 00:26 R 29:18 TOT 1:41:23
7 Tim Hellwig GER S 18:31 T1 00:46 B 52:18 T2 00:27 R 29:25 TOT 1:41:26
8 Miguel Hidalgo BRA S 18:30 T1 00:51 B 52:20 T2 00:26 R 29:25 TOT 1:41:30
9 Kristian Blummenfelt NOR S 19:15 T1 00:553 B 51:29 T2 00:28 R 29:49 TOT 1:41:52
10. Roberto Sanchez Mantecon ES:P S 19:21 T1 00:49 B 51:27 T2 00:29 R 30:00 TOT 1:42:05
14 Matthew McElroy USA S 19:22 T1 00:48 B 51:27 T2 00:29 R 30:14 TOT 1:42:19
26 Seth Rider USA S 18:42 T1 00:54 B 52:04 T2b 00:25 R 31:05 TOT 1:43:10
45 Darr Smith USA S 19:07 T1 00:54 B 51:40 T2 00:28 R 32:17 TOT 1:44:23
50 Chase McQueen USA S 18:29 T1 00:53 B 52:14 T2 00:28 R 34:08 TOT 1:46:09
51 Jonathan Brownlee GBR S 18:28 T1 00:52 B 52:22 T2 00:24 R 34:07 TOT 1:46:10
DNF Manoel; Messias BRA Richard Murray RSA, Vincent Luis FRA, Jacob Birtwhistle AUS, Hayden Wilde NZL, Henri Schoeman RSA, Luke Willian AUS.
DNS Matthew Hauser AUS