Wednesday, 07 Dec, 2022

WTCS Bermuda: Unleashed Vincent Luis beats Norwegian favourites and all other athletes

Vincent Luis is the man on fire at WTCS Bermuda (Picture: Triathlon Today)

It wasn’t Kristian Blummenfelt, it wasn’t Gustav Iden and it wasn’t Alex Yee; these three men were considered the biggest favorites for victory at the WTCS Bermuda. All three were no match for an unleashed Vincent Luis, who had a great race and seems to have finally regained his form.

The swim went as it always does at WTCS races: there was one leader – in this race it was Frenchman Vincent Luis who excited the water after 19:01 minutes – and behind him all the men followed one by one, pushing at hard as possible to stay close to the race leader. Some first differences were already being made and notable was the disappointing swim by Richard Murray (49th at 55 seconds) and Mario Mola (52nd at 1:02 minute)

On the bike, a breakaway of eight men quickly formed: Jonas Schomburg, Vasco Vilaca, Vincent Luis, Márk Dévay, Jumpei Furaya, Csongor Lehmann, Kyotaro Yoshikawa and Simon Westermann. Behind them, a huge peloton formed with basically all of the favorites – except Mario Mola, who fell tremendously behind – and that group was riding just over half a minute behind.

A somewhat boring bike unfolded, because at the halfway point almost nothing had changed. Lehmann had lost connection with the leading group and the big chasing group lost about ten seconds over the first 20 kilometers, but they were still well within a minute of each other. Little changed in the second half of the bike either; when the athletes in the lead group hung their bikes back in T2 after 1:17:40 race time to begin the final ten kilometers of running, it was 43 seconds of waiting for the large chasing group to do the same.

As often happens, it was Schomburg who ran out of T2 first – the German is particularly good at his transitions – but he did not grab a really big lead over his six competitors. Actually, it was more interesting to see what happened behind them, as the fastest runners from the second group began to run to the front during the first 2.5 kilometers already. Somewhat remarkably, these fastest runners were not Alex Yee, Blummenfelt and Iden, but rather Antonio Serrat Serrat Seoane, Adrien Briffod and Jelle Geens. At this point they were only twenty seconds behind the leader – at which point Luis was just passing Schomburg and thus taking over the lead – and so everything seemed to going to change from this point on.

One thing was certain; Vincent Luis had regained the form he was looking for for quite a long time and grabbed a nice lead. Halfway through the run he was seventeen seconds ahead of his first pursuers: Serrat Seoane, Geens, Schomburg and Vilaca. Yee, Blummenfelt and Iden seemed incapable of going on to claim victory, as they were still following at 40 seconds, together with a big group of athletes.

From then on, Luis kept running at an unprecedented pace, and even though Serrat Seoane was still close; the Frenchman managed to secure the victory. Frenzied with joy, he crossed the finish line in a time of 1:49:37. Serrat Seoane followed 9 seconds later. The bronze was for Spaniard Roberto Sanchez Mantecon, who finished 18 seconds later. Behind them, Jelle Geens, Alex Yee and Kristian Blummenfelt finished fourth, fifth and sixth. 

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