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Alistair Brownlee wins in Stockholm
Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee won his 15th World Triathlon Series race after victory in Stockholm today to go to the head of the world rankings with only the London event remaining.
The 25-year-old from Bramhope was part of a small group that broke away on the bike, and Brownlee himself escaped from the leaders in the final stages to build a 20-second lead at the start of the run.
Younger brother Jonathan, also of Bingley Harriers, and Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez set out in pursuit and they initially made some inroads into Alistair’s lead.
However, the elder Brownlee was never in danger of losing his lead and crossed the line first in 1hr 43min 13sec ahead of Gomez and Jonathan in third.
He said: “I did all I could to win. 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.”
Victory put him at the top of the rankings for the first time in 2013, with Jonathan Brownlee second and Gomez third.
However, they are so close it means the 2013 ITU World Championship will be decided in the Grand Final race in London between September 11-15.
Alistair added: “It’s fantastic to be returning to London. Obviously it’s a course that is very fond to me now and, to be honest, this year I never in a million years thought I’d 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.”
Meanwhile, Great Britain’s Non Stanford put a recent broken arm behind her to take second place in the women's race yesterday.
The 24-year-old Welsh athlete finished 49 seconds behind Gwen Jorgensen of the United States, who took her third win of the year, while Germany’s Anne Haug came home third, ahead of the British pair of Vicky Holland and Jodie Stimpson.
The 1-2-3 yesterday has left the slender margin of 13 points between Jorgensen, Haug and Stanford at the top of the standings, meaning the title will be up for grabs in Hyde Park.
Stanford broke her arm and suffered heavy bruising in a nasty fall from her bike when competing in Hamburg last month.
She was particularly hindered in the swimming leg in Stockholm, after which she trailed the leading pack by a minute, but made up ground on the bike and in the run to earn a podium place.
Stanford said: “I was really not sure how my swim was going, I haven’t really been swimming well these last two weeks at all because I’ve been swimming single arm for so long.
“I had to ride for my life and there were four or five of us working really hard so I was relieved when we caught that group and I’m absolutely delighted. It’s all about timing for London and fingers crossed it goes even better.”
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