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'Under-par' Alistair Brownlee sets up a thrilling Grand Final in London
He is already one of the great-est triathletes in International Triathlon Union history, but Bramhope’s Alistair Brownlee added yet another notch to his incredible record in Stockholm last Sunday with his 15th career World Triathlon Series win.
In yet another classic dis-play of all-round Brownlee brilliance, he was one of the first out of the water and, alongside younger brother Jonny and Javier Gomez, did the bulk of the work on the first seven laps of the bike.
But like in Kitzbuhel earlier this year, he wasn’t content to stay with that group, and in the eighth lap kicked off on a solo break.
He edged out a 20-second lead from transition two and held onto that across the ten-kilometre run for his third World Triathlon Series victory this year, ahead of Spain’s Gomez and younger brother Jonny, in a time of 1hr 43min 13sec.
The elder Brownlee said afterwards: “I just did all I could to win really.
“I knew my running wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be so I had to do a bit of something on the bike, but I got off the bike and thought ‘Oh no, I’ve had it here’.
“I just kept going and I actually felt quite good on the second and third laps but the last lap of the run I was just a dead man on legs.”
The result also set up an all-out battle for the 2013 World Triathlon Series title at next month’s London Grand Final.
Alistair’s win put him at the top of the WTS rankings for the first time in 2013.
Fellow Bingley Harrier Jonny is now in second and Gomez is third, but they are so close that it means that the 2013 ITU World Championship title will be decided in the final race.
Brownlee added: “To be honest this year I never really thought I would be in a position to win a world title.
“It’s been a year of absolute disasters, and a bit of a slow one after last year, so I couldn’t be happier.”
The final World Triathlon Series ranking score is obtained by adding the points gained in the ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final, plus the four best scores in the ITU World Triathlon Series events and the ITU Triathlon World Cup events.
As each Brownlee had only raced three WTS races before Stockholm, while Gomez had raced in most events, they were in a position to boost their rankings significantly in Sweden.
A crew of 15 quickly ditched their wetsuits after the swim and blasted onto the ten-lap bike course together but with the Brownlees and Gomez going straight to the front and setting a hard act to follow across the Stockholm cobblestones, that fell to just ten within the first lap.
That then became eight, and Alistair decidced to go it alone at the front, making a decisive break on the eighth lap.
Behind him, there was the thrilling battle between Jonny Brownlee and Gomez.
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