10 Aug 2018

Frenchman Pierre Le Corre takes first European triathlon crown

The French triathlete finished before Fernando Alarza, who took silver after an extraordinary comeback.

France's Pierre Le Corre secured his first-ever European triathlon gold at Strathclyde Country Park on Friday.

The French triathlete won in 1 hour 47 minutes 17 seconds over Fernando Alarza (ESP), who grabbed silver after an extraordinary comeback to finish the race just 11 seconds behind.

Belgian Marten Van Riel earned bronze in 1:47:40.

To nobody's surprise, it was Slovakia's Richard Varga who dominated the 1500km swim leg, followed by Jorgen Gundersen (NOR) and Germany's Linus Stimmel.

The reigning European sprint Champion was first to mount his bike for the 40km cycle section, leading a group of eight including double Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee (GBR), world number seven Le Corre (FRA) and Van Riel.

World number six Alarza was in the second chasing bunch but, with a margin of a minute, he was still confident of catching his rivals.

The leading pack was compact until they entered the second transition of the course. The race started taking shape on the first lap, with Le Corre, Brownlee and Van Riel breaking away and Varga out of contention due to cramps.

Alarza kept a cool head and produced a monstrous performance on the run. On the first lap he attacked and overtook the second group of chasers.

In the front group, Le Corre and Van Riel increased the pace with Brownlee struggling to keep his position.

Alarza pushed harder and managed to pass the British star. He still had petrol in his engine to catch Van Riel who lost contact with the Frenchman on the final lap.

Le Corre maintained the lead until he crossed the finish line for gold, with the Spaniard able to enjoy the last 200m knowing the silver was secure.