2016 WTS opens with win for Mario Mola

While the mood was jubilant at the 2016 World Triathlon Series opener in Abu Dhabi, thoughts first turned to late triathlete and coach Laurent Vidal, who sadly passed away at the end of 2015. Athletes honoured the Frenchman by wearing his initials on their tri-suits and placing a flower at the No.1 bike position in transition, which, along with the No.1 race number, had been left open as a mark of respect.

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With both Brownlees and reigning champion Javier Gomez choosing to sit the first event out, hopes were pinned on training partners Richard Murray (Commonwealth bronze medallist) and Mario Mola, runner-up in last year’s world series.

From Team GB, Tom Bishop and Adam Bowden were flying the flag, both keen to impress the Olympic selectors for that final pilot position alongside the Brownlee brothers.