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British triathlon star Hugo Milner storms to INCREDIBLE breakthrough win in Japan

An incredible victory for the British ace

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British triathlon star Hugo Milner notched an incredible breakthrough victory with a lung-bursting surge to gold at World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Milner – who has only been competing in the sport for two years – started the closing 10km run more than a minute behind, but then produced something quite sensational to run down New Zealand’s Dylan McCullough and Germany’s Lasse Nygaard Priester for an epic win.

There was agony meanwhile for Portugal’s Ricardo Batista, who took a wrong turn in the dying strides to drop from second all the way down to fifth.

Swim – McCullough exits first

Eventual runner-up McCullough was first out of the water in Japan, literally a whisker ahead of Hungary’s Mark Devay. Local favourite Kenji Nener and Germany’s Jonas Schomburg were close behind with the field closely bunched heading into T1. At this stage Milner was some 42 seconds off the pace, with little sign of what was to come.

Other notables were Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk at +00:13, Britain’s Max Stapley at +00:15 and Norway’s Casper Stornes at +00:19.

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Bike – Tight at the front, Milner has much to do

The early stages of the bike saw the battle for supremacy settle down into two groups which both numbered double figures. By the halfway stage – through 4 laps of 8 – the lead group of 16 was headed by Australian Brandon Copeland and also included McCullough, Schomburg, Stapley, Nener, Stornes and Batista. Mislawchuk and Italy’s Gianluca Pozzatti came next, a further 31 seconds back.

As they took the bell on the bike leg that front pack of 16 was still intact while the chase group – including Mislawchuck – was 45 seconds back.

Greece’s Panagiotis Bitados and Australia’s Copeland led the field into T2 with the lead group tightly bunched. It was Copeland who was first out onto the run with a nice early gap to Schomburg and the rest.

At this stage Milner was down in 36th position, with 1:11 to make up on the field ahead of him. The eventual bronze medal finisher Nygaard Priester was even further away at +1:14. What transpired next would be the unlikeliest of scenarios.

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Run – Hugo’s epic dash to victory

Copeland’s early lead on Lap 1 soon disappeared, and as the field went through transition for the first time we had a group of seven at the head of affairs. Schomburg, Nener and Batista were all prominent in that pack along with Stapley and McCullough. Milner had now started on that epic run to glory, up to 23rd position with the gap down to 52 seconds.

We still had a lead group of seven as the field reached halfway on the run, with Schomburg, Batista, Nener, Stapley, Devay, McCullough and Copeland all still tightly bunched. But it was a little further back that the key events were really unfolding. Milner, Nygaard Priester and Mislawchuck were all charging in positions 13-15, and now they were less than 30 seconds off the lead.

With 5km remaining McCullough made his move in a bid to forge a path to victory, while Nener and Batista tried to go with him. The rest of that lead group were quickly struggling to go the increased pace.

The penultimate run lap saw Milner really become a player for the win, and he took the bell in third, some 15 seconds behind the leader McCullough and just 6 seconds behind second-place man Batista. We had 2.5km to go, with a thrilling finish in prospect.

Into the final run lap and Milner passed Batista for second – the question now was whether he had the legs remaining to reel in McCullough after what had already been a Herculean effort.

The answer was emphatically affirmative, as the British surprise package – 52nd in Tongyeong a week ago – claimed the lead in the closing stages to clinch a sensational victory. He had clocked 29:33 for that closing 10km run.

Batista also passed McCullough in the dying stages and had appeared set to challenge Milner for the win, but there would be agony for the Portuguese as he took a wrong turn with just 50m remaining, dropping him all the way down to fifth. McCullough instead claimed second, with a rapid run from Nygaard Priester enough to give him the final podium slot.

Hugo Milner World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki 2023
British triathlete Hugo Milner wins World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki in Japan in October 2023 (Photo Credit: World Triathlon).

World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki Results

Saturday October 28, 2023

Elite Men

  • 1. Hugo Milner (GBR) – 1:47:46
  • 2. Dylan McCullough (NZL) – 1:47:50
  • 3. Lasse Nygaard Priester (GER) – 1:47:59
  • 4. Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) – 1:48:03
  • 5. Ricardo Batista (POR) – 1:48:04
Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.
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