In a race that initially started a bit dull and in which little actually happened, Takumi Hojo eventually provided a bit of spectacle. During the run of the Europe Triathlon Cup Quarteira he made the difference by impressive performance and therefore he eventually won the race with supremacy.
But of course, first the swim. Despite trying hard to swim away in the rough Portuguese waters and Márk Dévay doing everything he could to create a gap, the Hungarian did not manage to avoid a large group of men coming out of the water right behind him. That happened after 18:10 minutes, when Dévay did become the first man to run towards T2. In T2, no crazy things happened and so almost immediately a huge lead group formed on the bike.
In the first kilometers on the bike, the group was quite often looking back to see where the chasers were – especially Japanese Takumi Hojo was regularly looking over his shoulders – but at the same time, the fourteen leading men realized that they had to keep the pace as high as possible to increase their chances of a final breakout. The second group was just under half a minute behind after a few kilometers of biking.
In the end, the leading group stayed ahead of the chasing group, but actually quite little happened during the bike. Until the final kilometers at least, when British Connor Bentley suddenly attacked and managed to escape from the leading group. He managed to create a gap of up to twenty seconds, but when he entered T2, there was only five seconds left and so he seemed to have wasted unnecessary energy.
During the run, several men changed positions a number of times, different groups formed and but soon it was the two highest ranked athletes – Japanese Hojo and American Seth Rider – who ran off together with Japanese Kenji Nener. The three of them ran at such a high pace that no one could follow them. Exactly halfway, so after five kilometer out on the run course, Hojo accelerated once more and left Rider and Nener behind. While they remained engaged in an exciting duel for the silver and bronze medal, Hojo’s lead was expanding very fast from that point in the race.
Hojo did win the race after.1:46:20. Rider decided the battle for second in his favour, by finishing after 1:46:30. Nener couldn’t keep up the pace in the last kilometers and lost his podium finish. It was British Daniel Dixon with an impressive run, claiming third.