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Blummenfelt powers to WTCS Yokohama win

Norwegian sets the stage for Olympics with impressive win in Yokohama

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt signalled he’s going to be one of the men to watch at the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo, pulling clear over the last two km of the run to take WTCS Yokohama in impressive style.

There were no Canadian men in the race today.

Big group on the bike

Vincent Luis (FRA) led the men out of the water with his training partner Marten Van Riel (BEL) a couple of seconds back with Pierre Le Corre (FRA), Jonas Schomberg (GER) and Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) not far behind.

Initially a group of over 22 managed to get themselves clear, but by the halfway point of the ride the lead group had ballooned to 42 as the second group joined the first, which set the race up to become a 10 km road race.

Schomberg blasted out of T2 to lead the men onto the run course with Jelle Geens (BEL), Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and Alex Yee (GBR) staying close. Those four set up a lead group of four through the first loop of the run, with a huge chase pack that included Luis, Brownlee, Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Gustav Iden (NOR) all about 12 seconds behind.

Pushing through the run

Through the second lap it was Geens who started to really apply the pressure, which dropped Schomberg from the group and put the group of three 12 seconds up on the chase group, which was now being led by American Morgan Pearson, who was gunning off a top-eight performance that would nail him a spot on the Olympic team.

Geens kept the pressure on, with Blummenfelt staying right behind as the two pulled away from Yee. Pearson was putting together the run of his life as he gained time on Yee and passed the Brit just before the end of the third of four laps.

Blummenfelt really started to push with about 2 km of running to go and kept pushing to the line. That pulled them clear of the rest of the men, making it a two-man race. Then with just under 1,500 m of running to go, Blummenfelt really put out a huge effort to pull clear of the Belgian to nail the win in 1:42:55. Geens hung on for the silver (1:43:05), with Pearson (1:43:12) nailing himself a Tokyo spot with the bronze. Yee took fourth (1:43:17) and Schoeman getting fifth (1:43:26).

You can find full results from today’s races here.