Gustav Iden surprises the favourites for Lausanne ITU World Cup victory

Gustav Iden - Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup

Second place in Switzerland for Jonathan Brownlee

Another great day for Norway, this time in Lausanne

After taking all of the podium positions earlier this year at ITU World Triathlon Bermuda, the fine season for Norway continued as Gustav Iden secured his second ever World Cup victory at the Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup in Switzerland. Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee out-sprinted another Norwegian, Kristian Blummenfelt, in what most thought would be the battle for Gold, rather than Silver, at the venue for next years ITU Grand Final.

The opening (non-wetsuit) 1.5km swim did little to determine the direction of the race. Mark Devay (HUN) lead the way in 17:53 but with 34 athletes hitting T1 within 30 seconds, it was pretty much all square and a case of the race starts on dry land. With the bike course splitting the women’s race apart, would the same be true for the men?

Looking for a win to return some confidence to his 2018 season, Jonathan Brownlee attacked early and was joined by Switzerland’s Andrea Salvisberg, but in truth they never gained more than 10 seconds and with a huge chase pack including the strong riding Norwegians amongst them, it never amounted to anything significant.

Unlike the women’s race, the challenging circuit did not seem to have the selective effect expected. Blummenfelt and Iden attacked. Leo Bergere (FRA) atttacked, Jonas Schomberg (GER) attacked – and it all pretty much had no impact. With just one lap (of seven) remaining on the 40km bike leg, 33 athletes went through transition within three seconds. It was surely all going to be decided over 10km of running.

Tom Richard (FRA) gained a few seconds over the final cycle lap, but with the same 33 athletes hitting T2 within 10 seconds, the bike leg – much like the swim – had been relatively uneventful. As well as Jonathan Brownlee, Great Britain’s Sam Dickinson was also right in the mix. Any logic based on form from this point would suggest this would have to be a Brownlee vs. Blummenfelt race. Would logic prevail?

The race finally started to take shape on the run, with Gustav Iden (NOR) and Bence Bicsak (HUN) joining the expected favourites in the front four early in the run.

Brownlee and Blummenfelt traded the lead during the early stages, but it neither appeared to be going “all in” just yet – more shadow boxing and the odd jab than throwing powerful left hooks. It was still all to play for as they went into the final 5km.

And then the Norwegian attacked… but it wasn’t Kristian Blummenfelt, it was Gustav Iden. Within one 2.5km lap he gained almost 20 seconds and just eight minutes of running remaining, the race was his. He was showing no signs of going too soon and looked strong and in control.

Iden continued to extend his lead to what would be a very comfortable 30+ seconds, while behind, Blummenfelt was pushing hard, but when Brownlee sprinted with around 300m remaining, he had no response and the Brit would prevent a Norwegian one-two.

In summary, a big win for Gustav Iden on what is becoming quite a season for Norway. A step in the right direction too for Jonathan Brownlee, but you still feel he is still a level (or two) away from his truly impressive best.

Onwards now to the Gold Coast ITU Grand Final in September.

Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup – Sunday 18th August 2018
1.5km / 40km / 10km

1st – Gustav Iden (NOR) – 1:49:48
2nd – Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) – 1:50:19
3rd – Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) – 1:50:24
4th – Bence Bicsak (HUN) – 1:50:48
5th – Jorik Van Egdom (NED) – 1:51:06
6th – Jason West (USA) – 1:51:19
7th – Leo Bergere (FRA) – 1:51:33
8th – Casper Stornes (NOR) – 1:51:38
9th – Hayden Wilde (NZL) – 1:51:42
10th – Erwin Vanderplancke (NED) – 1:51:49

31st – Sam Dickinson (GBR) – 1:56:17