Yokohama was full of highs and lows for HUUB athletes. In the men’s race it seemed every athlete exiting the water at the front was wearing a HUUB wetsuit! However whether it be mechanical bad luck or just an off day the ideal race never materialised for our guys, c'est la vie, that's the brutality of racing. The season is a long one and many eyes will already be firmly focussed on Leeds WTS. On the other hand it was success after success in the paratriathlon races.
Duffy (BER) and Zaferes (USA) are two names we are very much used to seeing at the front of a race. These two had a small gap on the bike coming out of the water and typically they would have taken to the 40km bike course on their own, however in contrast to many of the past WTS events, the chasing group quickly formed and brought the two escapees back. In the end eleven athletes came together and despite Duffy trying to get away several times the group entered T2 all together. The two biggest names to miss the move was Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) and Charlotte McShane (AUS) who arrived just over one minute back from the front of the race. It was now time for Duffy to prove she was also one of the best runners on the circuit, a 33:26 run certainly demonstrated she isn't just a swim-biker! Zaferes finished in second, with a return to a WTS podium for Non Stanford in third. Gentle would only manage to work her way up to fourth.
It was back to normality for HUUB's Richard Varga (SVK) as he exited the water first, however he was followed by what seemed the whole field soon after and inevitably the gaps closed through T1 and onto the bike. Although the pace seemed to be persistent no one seemed to be dropped and unlike in Bermuda, no athletes made a move. HUUB's Gustav Iden (NOR) who was ranked third going into the race unfortunately was off the pace from the start and eventually DNF'd. It wasn't to be for his compatriot either, Blummenfelt (NOR) this time succumbed to a puncture. With over forty athletes going into T2, positioning was going to be very important for the outcome of the race. Mola (ESP) who seemed to be in prime position all race soon made his mark on the race and he never looked back. The Spaniard was full of running and didn't look to tire at all as he earned his 12th WTS victory. Second and third was between Fernando Alarza (ESP) and Jake Birthwhistle (AUS). In the end the young Australian prevailed as Alarza seemed to wilt over the final kilometer.
There was plenty to celebrate for the HUUB parathletes in Yokohama! George Peasgood (GBR) made a very impressive start to the year with a Gold medal in the PTS5 category. We previously saw George power to second place in a UCI World Cup wearing the new secret project suit. He used his supreme swim ability and clear strength on the bike to create an unassailable lead and hold off a field of extremely quick runners. Ryan Taylor (GBR) excited the water first in the PTS3 category, but was unable to hold on for victory and finished in second, still a great start to the year for the Loughborough based athlete. The mighty Joe Townsend (GBR) continued his fine start to the year. The Commonwealth champion finished third in an incredible field including non other than HUUB's Jetza Plat (NED) who dominated from start to finish.