‘Smooth Killer’ Alex Yee nailed it at Olympic Test Event Paris

Alex Yee wins Olympic Test Event Paris (Picture: Triathlon Today)

The supremacy with which Briton Alex Yee has just won the Olympic Test Event in Paris is actually unprecedented. Where everyone had counted on wonderful battles between favorites – including, of course, Kristian Blummenfelt – Yee ran away in the first few kilometers of the run, and it was so fast that no one could even stay close.

The swim actually went fast from the start, initially led by Hungarian Márk Dévay. During the Australian Exit, he was therefore the first athlete to set foot on land, but in the second and final swim lap in the Seine it was Vincent Luis who passed him and took over the lead. After 18:12 minutes, the Frenchman was the first to go to his bike, immediately followed by Dévay and lots of other men. Notable was the considerable gap of a number of favorites: Jelle Geens, for example, came out of the water 57 seconds behind, Kristian Blummenfelt 1:04 minute behind and Hayden Wilde 1:07 minute behind.

On the bike, the first of seven bike laps through the streets of Paris was used to form several groups; the first three groups on the bike, for example, quickly came together, creating a large leading group of 27 athletes. Biggest favorites in that breakaway were – at least on paper – Alex Yee, Léo Bergere, Vincent Luis, Pierre le Corre and Jonas Schomburg, and therefore these men were keen to ride as hard as possible to stay ahead. A large chasing group followed over half a minute behind and that group included Wilde and Blummenfelt among others.

No matter how hard the leading group tried, the chasing group still managed to catch up halfway through the bike leg, leaving the peloton with over 55 athletes and basically all the favorites back together. Israeli Shachar Sagiv did try to get away from the peloton on his own, succeeded in doing so and grabbed a lead of a few seconds, but not much later he was caught up again by the peloton. In the end, then, the complete group rode together to T2.

In the first of four running laps, a lot happened immediately: as is often the case, it was Schomburg who ran first out of T2, completely tearing the field apart. First victim was Hayden Wilde: the Kiwi – and one of the favorites for victory – suffered a running injury (probably his hip, ed.) and ended up on the ground and then walking. Meanwhile, American Morgan Pearson somewhat surprisingly took over the lead in the race, but Briton Alex Yee did not like that so much and so he was the third athlete to take over. Blummenfelt and Pearson still tried to catch on, but Yee was going so fast that it was impossible to keep up with him and within a kilometer Yee grabbed a lead of ten, maybe even fifteen seconds.

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Bad luck for injured Hayden Wilde (Picture: Triathlon Today)

From then on there was only one man who made the show: even though behind Yee there was still a battle for the remaining medals until the last meters, the Briton was so supreme that everyone was watching him. During the run, he only saw his lead grow, eventually winning in a time of 1:41:02. After an exciting sprint finish it was Vasco Vilaca claiming second place in 1:41:15 and Dorian Coninx finished third in 1:41:15.