Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain won the Madrid leg of the ITU’s Dextro Energy World Championship Series for the third consecutive year, but he wouldn’t cross the line before embracing his younger brother Jonathan, who finished second.
It was the first time both Brownlees have both podiumed at a World Championship Series event.
Spain’s Javier Gomez, the reigning ITU short-course world champion, finished third.
“The Brownlees were just on a different level on the run, so I couldn’t do too much,” Gomez said to an ITU reporter. “I tried on the first lap—I tried to follow them but I know that was not my pace. I was waiting to see if they would slow down, but they didn’t. They went faster and they smashed me.”
The Brownlees went 1-2 by racing in typical Brownlee fashion: They were instrumental in a break on the bike that went into T2 almost two minutes ahead of the main chase pack.
The break included Gomez, James Elvery, Frederic Belaubre, Dmitry Polyansky, Alexander Brukhankov and Aurélien Raphael.
The Brownlees, along with Gomez, did most of the work on the break. Despite this, the Brownlees had the two fastest 10K splits of the day. Gomez finished with the sixth-fastest split.
Out of T2, Jonathan and Alistair quickly developed a gap over Gomez, and Alistair began to pull away from his brother during the bell lap.
As Alistair approached the finish line, however, he began to slow down—he was waiting for his brother. The two embraced before crossing the line, with Jonathan ensuring that Alistair crossed first by lightly tapping him on the shoulder to push him forward.
“It was really good. We train hard together, and it’s a bit strange because we’ve done it in small races but never in a world series, so it’s a bit of a strange feeling but really nice that he waited for me — it was really a special moment,” Jonathan said to an ITU reporter.
The two brothers have often said that they are friends over everything else. They live and train together in a village outside Leeds, England.
To view a photo gallery of the Brownlees, click here.
To read a sneak peek of an Inside Triathlon magazine profile of the Brownlees, click here.