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Brownlees, Stimpson dominate at Blenheim [Updated]
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Saturday 9th June 2012


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Updated with men's finish line video

Normal service resumed, the panic - fingers crossed - is over. Alistair Brownlee is fit, fast and ready for the Olympics. While Jodie Stimpson won't be joining him in London, she can take a little consolation in her new title of Queen of Blenheim.

Men

Today's eighth running of the GE Blenheim Triathlon was the return to racing after the Brownlee achilles injury which has had plenty of concern and questions raised around the triathlon world. It's probably also had more than a few other athletes around the world thinking that perhaps their 7th August finishing position could well be one place higher... Think again.

Now, before we get carried away, in the context of elite global triathlon hierarchy (World Triathlon Series / World Cup / Continental Cup / French GP & Bundesliga), the Blenheim elite race with its primarily domestic opposition may be more Vauxhall Conference than Premier League in status - but certainly not setting, which is stunning - but it offered a perfect return to race action. With the high-flying Jonny Brownlee racing too, it should have provided an opportunity for a brotherly domination from gun-to-tape, making it look easy in the process if a solid degree of health and fitness had been gained by Ali. It was that, and possibly more. Script nicely followed.

For those not familiar with the Blenheim layout, the 750m swim is followed immediately by a long, uphill run into T1, exactly the sort of thing which might show up any weakness to the lower leg. So, Alistair leading comfortably into T1 with Jonny not far behind answered a few questions there!

Game over from that point on and the brothers just rode away, putting more and more time into the chasers, before gliding through the 5.4k run. This was never going to be a 'race', and - exactly as I had predicted in my role as race commentator on the course - there was no incentive or reason for the pair to race down the finish straight. Jonny took one side, Alistair the other and the crowds all got a high-five from the boys before they crossed the together, a la Parc Bryn Bach (2010) and Madrid (2011). Well over two minutes inside the course record and making it look like a stroll in the park. Kitzbühel, with both Brownlees and Javier Gomez racing will be the real gauge of pre-Olympic fitness. Welcome back Alistair.

Ladies

Jodie Stimpson loves the Blenheim Triathlon. Winner in 2009 and 2010 she had to skip last year's edition as it clashed with the ITU WCS Madrid event. Back this year, she was never going to be anything other than first here.

The Elite ladies race alongside the Junior Elite at Blenheim and it was the younger athletes who provided much of the competition, filling four of the top six finishing spots.

A group of four athletes (Stimpson, Holly Lawrence, Sky Draper and Sophie Coldwell) quickly formed a breakaway group on the bike, working well together and ensuring that the chase pack were certainly out of sight. Stimpson was never troubled on the run, crossing the bridge by T2 in the lead and was never headed. Sophie Coldwell took second here in the Youth SuperSprint last season but has clearly moved on a level since then to take second overall and with it the British Junior Triathlon title with Holly Lawrence third. Sky Draper and Sophia Saller completed the Junior podium (fourth and fifth overall respectively).

Overall Results

Pos Men Women
1st Alistair Brownlee 57:16 Jodie Stimpson 1:06:12
1st Jonathan Brownlee 57:16 Sophie Coldwell 1:07:16
3rd Mark Buckingham 59:26 Holly Lawrence 1:07:39
4th Adam Bowden 59:32 Sky Draper 1:08:34
5th Ritchie Nicholls 59:51 Sophia Saller 1:10:06

Junior Results

Pos Men Women
1st Marc Austin 1:00:43 Sophie Coldwell 1:07:16
2nd Con Doherty 1:00:46 Sky Draper 1:08:34
3rd Alex Matchett 1:01:04 Sophia Saller 1:10:06

Youth Results

Pos Men Women
1st Miles Burton 41:28 Megan McDonald 45:39
2nd Greg Chambers 42:09 Bronwen Owen 45:45
3rd Gavin Alexander 42:22 Sian Rainsley 46:51

The GE Blenheim Triathlon will be shown on Channel 4 on the 24th June.

FULL GE BLENHEIM TRIATHLON 2012 COVERAGE


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