World Triathlon Series: Alistair Brownlee shows endurance steel to edge Jonny once again in Leeds

Alistair Brownlee raises his arms as he takes the tape in Leeds (Photo: PA)
Alistair Brownlee raises his arms as he takes the tape in Leeds (Photo: PA)
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Alistair Brownlee showed his step up to Ironman has had no ill-effect as he beat brother Jonny once again to defend the Leeds event of the World Triathlon Series.

In front of a vociferous home crowd, Alistair stormed clear in the final 4km to make a winning return to Olympic distance races.

The brothers shared the lead throughout the cycling and running legs before Alistair surged ahead (Photo: PA)

The brothers shared the lead throughout the cycling and running legs before Alistair surged ahead (Photo: PA)

The brothers had amounted a winning advantage during the bike stretch from Roundhay Park into the city centre as the rest of the field were left fighting for bronze.

As they moved onto the run, the Leeds pair had a 73-second lead and Alistair went ahead to win by eight seconds in one hour 46 minutes 51 seconds.

Spain's Fernando Alarza denied Britain a one-two-three as he took the final place on the podium 25 seconds back, with Adam Bowden and Leeds-based triathlete Thomas Bishop in fourth and fifth respectively.

As has been the case so often before, the Brownlees hit front rank at the end of the 1,500m swim in Roundhay Park and never ceased to the chasing pack.

Pierre Le Corre and Aurelien Raphael carried the pace alongside the brothers up the hill towards Headingley.

But as the helmets of the chasers started appearing in the backdrop, the French pair were dropped by a typically fierce Brownlee attack.

From there, the numbers just kept on increasing.

A 10-second gap was forged as the brothers hit the packed streets of Leeds city centre and that became 38 by the third 4km lap.

By the end of the fifth circuit, the chasing pack had all but waved the white flag, swinging round the corner at a leisurely pace as the brothers continued to press the accelerator in front.

Like clockwork in symmetry, the Brownlees went onto in the run with a 73-second advantage – separated, as expected, by just a metre.

Jonny looked most comfortable in the first lap of the run but Alistair kicked on shortly after the halfway point and was never headed by his younger brother, who was possibly feeling the effects of a lack of races in 2017.

Alarza, Bowden and Bishop had been in a fierce battle for third but the Spaniard showed his experience to pull ahead on the second lap.

However, it was the first time a nation had four of the first five finishers in the history of the World Series.