Jacob Birtwhistle wins first-ever WTS in Leeds

Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle held off the strongest men’s field in recent history today to take his first World Triathlon Series win in his long career. While proving a difficult day for local heroes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, the Leeds course delivered up further podium places for the USA’s Matthew McElroy with silver and multiple world champ Javier Gomez with bronze. 


While the Yorkshire weather was on the chilly side for the fourth round of the World Triathlon Series, the men’s Leeds’ event was always set to be a scorcher. For the first time since the Edmonton Worlds in 2014, the super seven – Alistair Brownlee, Jonny Brownlee, Vincent Luis, Henri Schoeman, Richard Murray, Javier Gomez and Mario Mola – were on the same start line. Gomez and Alistair, while having met on the 70.3 circuit in recent years, hadn’t raced an ITU event together since Leeds 2016. 

Commonwealth champ Schoeman made light work of the 1.5km swim to hit T1 first. But he was far from alone, with series leader Luis, both Brownlees and Gomez in his wake within a huge group of 20-plus athletes.