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Lausanne 2019: Kristian Blummenfelt wins Grand Final, Vincent Luis is World Champion

Chief Correspondent
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‘Big Blu’ finally tops a World Triathlon Series podium

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Fifth place enough for Vincent Luis to become 2019 ITU Triathlon World Champion

Despite a non-wetsuit swim, warm conditions and a challenging course on the bike, the depth of quality in men’s ITU racing meant that it all came down to the run at the ITU World Traithlon Grand Final Lausanne.

The start-list was loaded and the vast majority of the pre-race favourites were still there in the leading group of 20+ at T2, including Kristian Blummenfelt (who had one of his best ever swims), and three-time ITU World Champion Mario Mola, who made light of a 20 second swim defict to navigate his way to the lead group on the stunning circuit in Lausanne. We’ve had some courses on the circuit that look frankly awful on TV – but this is without doubt one of the most picture perfect you’ll ever see.

There were plenty of attacks on the bike – Blummenfelt, Marten Van Riel (BEL), Andrea Salvisberg (SUI) and Jonathan Brownlee just a few who tried either individually or in small groups – but none ever reached even double figures in terms of seconds gained.

After six second-place finishes in WTS events (including the 2017 Rotterdam Grand Final), Kristian Blummenfelt has been on a mission to crack that top step, and today was his day. He hit the front – hard – and in typical style, just kept on pushing. Mario Mola and Vincent Luis (FRA) were running together on 2nd/3rd for much of the run, before Mola pushed on with 2.5km to go and for a brief period looked like he was closing on the Norwegian. Blummenfelt has suffered that fate for too many times…

This time however, Kristian was not fading – despite some suffering from blisters he revealed, post-race – and he was able to grab a Norwegian flag and truly enjoy the blue carpet. Mola was clear in second, but now series leader Luis was fading. Passed by Fernando Alarza (ESP) and Gustav Iden (NOR), he was still in position to become World Champion courtesy of his points standings and fifth place meant that the title transferred from his training partner.

Javier Gomez (who will be racing the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship next weekend), finished in sixth place to secure a World Championship Series podium (Bronze), for the 11th time in his incredible career.

Jonathan Brownlee had a bad T2, his bike hitting the floor, and he would finish eighth, while Alex Yee ran from a long way back at T2 with the third quickest run (31:12) to end the day 13th.

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*** TO BE UPDATED ***

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne – Saturday 31st August 2019
1.5km / 40km / 10km

ELITE MEN

  1. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) – 1:50:46
  2. Mario Mola (ESP) – 1:51:02
  3. Fernando Alarza (ESP) – 1:51:17
  4. Gustav Iden (NOR) – 1:51:33
  5. Vincent Luis (FRA) – 1:51:52
  6. Javier Gomez (ESP) – 1:52:13
  7. Casper Stornes (NOR) – 1:52:19
  8. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) – 1:52:31
  9. Marten Van Riel (BEL) – 1:52:52
  10. Alois Knabl (AUT) – 1:52:52
  11. Morgan Pearson (USA) – 1:52:55
  12. Leo Bergere (FRA) – 1:53:10
  13. Alex Yee (GBR) – 1:53:25

WORLD SERIES STANDINGS

  1. Vincent Luis (FRA) – 5095
  2. Mario Mola (ESP) – 4939
  3. Javier Gomez (ESP) – 4533
  4. Fernando Alarza (ESP) – 4395
  5. Marten Van Riel (BEL) – 3659
  6. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) – 3255
  7. Henri Schoeman (RSA) – 3148
  8. Leo Bergere (FRA) – 3042
  9. Gustav Iden (NOR) – 3028
  10. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) – 2892

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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