Jonathan Brownlee finally gets a 2018 victory
Ashleigh Gentle adds Beijing title to Grand Final win
“I have missed that feeling!!!”. They are the words of Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee who, in late September, has finally taken his first win of the 2018 season today at the Beijing International Triathlon.
As far as I can remember, this was only the second non-drafting Pro race that Jonathan has competed in, the first being some years back at the original Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.
Defending Beijing champion, Henri Schoeman (RSA), Ben Kanute (USA) and Jonathan built a lead of around 30 seconds through the swim, to leave Alistair Brownlee, Cam Dye (USA), Eric Lagerstrom (USA), Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and Max Neumann (AUS) chasing.
Only the powerhouse riding of Kristian Blummenfelt was able to bridge that gap to the lead trio over the bike, to leave Jonathan Brownlee, Schoeman, Kanute and the Norwegian starting the 10km run in close order. Kanute’s bid for victory soon faded (and he would eventually be overtaken by Alistair Brownlee for fourth place), and by the finish Jonathan was able to take the win by nine seconds from Kristian, with Henri in third.
“I was thrilled to win today, my first win of the season,” said 2018 Beijing International Triathlon Champion Jonny Brownlee. “The race was very challenging, I have never competed in a race with so many ups and downs, it was a fight until the very last 500 meters when I finally overcame Kristian and Henri at the bottom of the stairs. I also really enjoyed getting to do some sightseeing and enjoy the local culture before the race.”
All three will be racing again next weekend at Super League Jersey. The winner last year, Kristian will be hoping to also end his 2018 run of fine performances – but no wins – next weekend.
— Kristian Blummenfelt (@kristianblu) September 23, 2018
Also racing next weekend in Jersey will be Alistair Brownlee. Having had to recover from injuries and with a focus on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, logic would suggest that the Super Sprint formats next weekend could mean a tough couple of days for the double Olympic Champion who, like Jonathan, has had a year which has been a frustrating one. But then again, many have looked rather silly writing off Alistair’s prospects in years past.
— Alistair Brownlee (@AliBrownleetri) September 23, 2018
No surprise to see Great Britain’s Lucy Hall leading the way through the water, and with Non Stanford on her feet, the Brits started in fine style with a lead at T1 of more than a minute over the main chase pack which included Andrea Hewitt (NZL), Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), Barbara Riveros (CHI), Paula Findlay (CAN), Alicia Kaye (USA), Sophie Corbridge (NZL), Erin Storie (USA) and Claire Davis (AUS).
Grand Final winner, Gentle, was able to jump from the chase group up to Stanford, while Hall – who often races in non-drafting ‘style’ within ITU races – held a small lead at T2 and started the 10km run in the lead. (Note – we ‘think’ that Lisa Norden (SWE) was also part of that group starting the run, but she is not currently showing in the online results – to be updated once confirmed).
Very happy with my victory at @beijing_tri !! I really enjoyed pushing hard on the interesting and challenging course. I’m glad my body cooperated after last weekend. Special congrats to @nonstanford and @lucy_tri in 2nd and 3rd 🇨🇳
📸- @rockyarroyophotography pic.twitter.com/Qn0mTUboPQ
— Ashleigh Gentle (@AshleighGentle) September 23, 2018
Aussie Gentle ran strongly for a clear win and fastest run split, to finish almost two minutes clear of Stanford, while the swim-bike efforts of Lucy Hall were rewarded as she held strong for third, 16 seconds ahead of Barbara Riveros.
Beijing International Triathlon – Sunday 23rd September 2018
1.5km / 40km / 10km – Non-Drafting
1st – Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) – 1:51:37
2nd – Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) – 1:51:46
3rd – Henri Schoeman (RSA) – 1:51:58
4th – Alistair Brownlee (GBR) – 1:54:08
5th -Ben Kanute (USA) – 1:54:09
11th – Mark Buckingham (GBR) – 2:00:44
13th – Matt Nelson (GBR) – 2:07:46
1st – Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) – 2:05:55
2nd – Non Stanford (GBR) – 2:07:52
3rd – Lucy Hall (GBR) – 2:09:12
4th – Barbara Riveros (CHI) – 2:09:28
5th – Radka Vodickova (CZE) – 2:10:07