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Alistair Brownlee wins fourth European Triathlon Championship

After Alistair Brownlee’s (GBR) win at the ITU World Cup event in Cagliari, Itay, the two-time Olympic gold medallist looks poised to prove his form at WTS Leeds on June 8-9. In his build-up to Leeds, Brownlee displayed another dominant performance in the Netherlands to claim his fourth European title.

Related: Alistair Brownlee takes a short course win in a sprint finish

Brownlee began the day coming out of the water in the front pack with Igor Polyanskiy (RUS),  Márk Dévay(HUN), Antonio Serrat Seoane (ESP) and Martin Van Riel (BEL). The five leaders drove the pace early on and were able to form a breakaway of ten.

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As the riders entered T2, the group had a 40-second advantage on their pursuers. Heading out onto the run, Brownlee surged ahead of Van Riel, Serrat and Maximillian Schwetz (GER). By the end of the first lap, the Brit had a 14-second advantage. Behind the leader, Joao Pereira was making his move and quickly closing on a podium finish. But no one could catch Brownlee as he crossed the finish line to claim his fourth European title, after his last victory in Kitzbühel in 2014. Pereira finished the day with the fastest 10k split and a silver medal. Jelle Geens did just enough to hold off Rostislav Pevtsov (AZE) for bronze.

In the women’s race, the event was going to be wide open with last year’s podium finishers not present – Nicola Spirig (SUI), Jessica Learmonth (GBR) and Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA). In the end, it was Great Britain’s Beth Potter who took the European title.

With no significant gaps appearing as the athletes came out of the water, a strong peloton of 18 athletes started to work hard to stay away from any chasing athletes. Because of Potter’s superb swim and well-placed bike, the former 10,000m track runner and Rio 2016 Olympian was a favourite for the win heading off of the bike.

Related: Why a runner should try triathlons

Sure enough, Potter quickly established a lead, with Sandra Dodet (FRA) and Claire Michel (BEL) chasing. On the 10K course, there was no catching Potter. She ended up taking the win by nearly a minute. Behind her, Dodet fought to keep Potter in her sight, and it was enough to hold off Michel. The Belgium athlete ended up finishing third.