Thursday, 01 Dec, 2022

Unleashed Jelle Geens sprints to WTCS Abu Dhabi victory

Jelle Geens claimed victory at WTCS Abu Dhabi. (Picture: Triathlon Today)

In a sweltering Abu Dhabi, Jelle Geens (BEL) took a great victory at the WTCS. He made the difference in the final kilometers, when he accelerated and clearly showed that he had the strongest legs.

The swim was led by Vincent Luis, who came out of the water after 8:44. The Frenchman showed immediately what his intentions were, although it was still the question how he would be on the bike and during the run. The big question was whether he would be injury free and race fit. As always on the Sprint Distance, all the athletes came out of the water in a long line behind Luis. Luis had Mark Devay on his feet and together they had a four second gap on the rest of the field.

The minimal lead that Luis and Devay had during the swim was enough for the two of them to make a difference on the bike. At times it provided beautiful images, because on the F1 circuit you could regularly see the larger groups that formed behind the two leaders doing everything they could to close the gap. In the kilometers that followed, more and more men from the back joined in and so a front group of seventeen athletes formed.

In the first kilometers of the run, the leading group fell apart quite quickly, mainly due to a devastating pace of first Luis and then Hayden Wilde. Not much later, Jelle Geens also started to pick up the pace, forcing a few more men to drop out and so the run developed into an interesting battle. At the halfway point there were still five men running together, with Wilde, Luis and Geens looking the strongest.

In the final kilometers it was Wilde who had to let go of the leading group of five first, and next to Luis and Geens, Bence Bicsak and Antonio Serrat Seoane remained. Side by side, the four men made it pretty exciting. It became even more exciting when Geens accelerated with about a kilometer to go and immediately made a gap. A nice, long sprint followed and after 52:21 minutes he won the race. Five seconds later Luis took the silver and eight seconds later Bicsak took the bronze.

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