OUR 2018 HIGHLIGHTS

Alistair Brownlee

January saw little racing, however, HUUB found two of the worlds best triathletes to join their ranks. Kristian Bummenfelt (NOR) joined the likes of Alistair and Jonny Brownlee (GBR), and Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) added to HUUB's impressive line up of British female talent, including Helen Jenkins and Sophie Coldwell.

In February, Alistair Brownlee absolutely dominated Dubai 70.3, the first race in the illustrious triple crown series. He led out of the water, powered away on the bike and backed it up with a blistering run. The only thing he wasn’t quickest at was the transitions, but being as he had a 6.35-minute advantage over second place, I think we can let him off!

Jess Learmonth

In March, the World Triathlon Series (WTS) kicked off in Abu Dhabi, and we witnessed possibly the best individual performance of the year when HUUB’s Henri Schoeman (RSA) led from start to finish to take the victory.

Jess Learmonth (GBR), ITU’s breakout star of 2017 also joined the HUUB family. Known for her impressive swimming, Jess had turned heads the previous year as she began notching up WTS podiums. Jess is always seen at the forefront of racing and little can stop her when she teams up with Bermudan Flora Duffy. Jess marked this occasion with a second place at Abu Dhabi making it a double podium success for HUUB in the first race of the year!

The main attraction in April was the Commonwealth Games where many of HUUB’s athletes were present. Last years race saw the distance change from Olympic to Sprint. Schoeman clearly in the best shape of his life pulled off another incredible victory, holding off Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) with Marc Austin (SCO) in third. There was also a similar result for Jess Learmonth after a promising start to the year at Abu Dhabi. Jess and Flora Duffy piled on the pressure through the swim and bike and made it a two horse race as the rest of the field fought for the final podium spot. Flora claimed victory but it was still an incredible performance for Jess who is a relative newcomer to the sport. The Gold Coast also saw victory for Joe Townsend (GBR) and Jade Jones-Hall (GBR) in the PTWC category.

Tom Bishop

May saw plenty of racing with numerous podiums for HUUB athletes. Early in the month, we saw a record-breaking performance from the Norwegian trio of Gustav Iden, Kristian Blummenfelt and Casper Stornes who completed a first-ever national clean-sweep of a men’s WTS podium.

At Marbella 70.3 HUUB’s David McNamme (GBR) was involved in an equally exciting race. David eventually claimed victory by a few hundredths of a second, a small gap over a four-hour race! David was also in also in action a few weeks later at Barcelona 70.3 where he finished second to multiple World Champion Javier Gomez (ESP).

Yokohama WTS also encompassed a WPTS event, here we saw George Peasgood (GBR) claim his first ever victory in the PTS5 category, and Jetze Plat (NED) claiming gold in the PTWC category with fellow HUUB athlete Joe Townsend in third.

June is the height of the triathlon season and we saw plenty of action, possibly highlighted by a friend of HUUB’s, Ross Edgley, who was attempting to do a ‘small’ swim around the whole of the UK, a feat beyond most peoples imagination! For the next few months Ross Edgely's exploits gripped a nation.

The WTS headed to the UK with the Nottingham relays first up, where we saw HUUB’s Jonathan Brownlee and Tom Bishop help GBR to second place. The following weekend the worlds best triathletes headed to Leeds where we saw Georgia Taylor-Brown claim her first ever WTS podium, the start to an incredible year for the young athlete. The same weekend Elliot Smales (GBR) earned his first-ever Ironman 70.3 victory on home soil at Staffordshire 70.3 - another young athlete on the rise!

Georgia Taylor-Brown

July started off with a medal haul at the WPTS event in Northern Italy. George Peasgood carried on a stellar year with his second victory of the season. Jetze Plat won yet again with Joe Townsend carrying on his podium streak in third.

The WTS headed to Hamburg and Jonathan Brownlee delivered a result more indicative of his ability with a fourth-place finish. The double Olympic medalist had admitted a tough start to the 2018 season, falling short of his extremely high expectations and past results.

The end of the month saw the WTS head to Canada for the first of two races. Georgia Taylor-Brown stunned again with another impressive display finishing 3rd in Edmonton. It was another return to the podium for HUUB athlete Kristian Blummenfelt who was only passed into second place by Mario Mola (ESP) with 500m to go.

In August, Jess Learmonth attempted to defend her European Title from 2017. Unfortunately, 2012’s Olympic Champion Nicola Spirig (SUI) got the better of her on the day. The men's race saw a return to racing for Alistair Brownlee after some time out with injury, and despite a self-proclaimed lack of run fitness, he finished in fouth place.

Montreal was the location of the second WTS event held in Canada for 2018. Georgia Taylor-Brown carried on her impressive display with a third podium finish of the year. It was a similar story for Kristian Blummenfelt as he was the driving seat for much of the race, it took another astonishing run display from Mario Mola to prevent the Norwegian claiming victory.

August also hosted one of the most eagerly anticipated showdowns for years... Brownlee vs Gomez vs Frodeno at the 70.3 World Championships. In the end, Jan Frodeno (GER) prevailed with Brownlee second and Gomez third, but it has only whet the appetite for fans who will hope to see similar battles in coming years. In other 70.3 news, Elliot Smales claimed his second victory of the year in Dublin.

Jonny Brownlee

September usually signals the closing of the triathlon season with the culmination of the WTS. The World Triathlon Series Grand Final had it all... thrills, spills and controversial decisions. Georgia Taylor-Brown topped off a great season and finished the race in 8th, and this was good enough for her to claim 3rd place overall in the WTS for 2018 - a phenomenal result for the 24-year-old! The men’s race was equally captivating, we saw Alistair's first return to WTS racing since his last victory in Leeds 2017, however, he was controversially DSQ’d after a swim buoy infringement. Blummentfelt rounded out a solid season in 5th and Schoeman was back racing after being sidelined for a lot of the season, and finished in a fine 6th place.

September finished with a HUUB 1-2-3-4 at Beijing International Triathlon with Jonny Brownlee claiming victory, Blummenfelt 2nd, Schoeman 3rd, and Alistair Brownlee 4th. Also that weekend we saw Elliot Smales claim his 3rd 70.3 victory of the year at Weymouth 70.3, and Jack Burnell (GBR) claim the gold medal at the penultimate 10km Marathon Swim World Series in 2018 by the narrowest of margins in China.

October saw the launch of HUUB Wattbike, a Derby-based track cycling team who have been turning heads all over the world with their different, non-governing body approach to track cycling. In the triathlon world the Super League was taking over with its first stop in Jersey, here Schoeman found some of his early season form to claim 2nd overall with Blummenfelt in 3rd place. The next round headed to Malta, Vincent Luis (FRA) took the honours, with Schoeman again placing an impressive 2nd overall.

In October eyes all turn to the ‘Big Island’ and Kona! In a record-breaking day where numerous course records were smashed HUUB’s David McNamme once again finished in an incredible 3rd place, establishing himself as Britains number one male long-distance athlete. HUUB Wattbike also announced their arrival with a second place at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Canada.

Ross Edgley

November saw the final stage of the Super League in Mallorca, and yet again HUUB athletes claimed podiums with Schoeman in 2nd overall and Jonny Brownlee in 3rd.

Elsewhere after 157 days at sea and 2000 miles, Ross Edgley finally finished the 'Great British Swim' - around the whole of the UK, and in doing so smashed four world records! In July he became the first person to swim the entire South Coast. In August he surpassed the record for the longest ever staged sea swim and fastest Lands End to John O’Groats. And then on completion of the challenge, he became the first person to swim around Great Britain without setting foot on land.

In December it was Kristian Blummenfelt's turn to break world records as the same Norwegian trio that made history in Bermuda claimed another podium sweep at Barhain 70.3. Blummenfelt completed the half distance race in 3:29:04. In fact, both Iden and Stornes also beat the previous mark set by Michael Raelert in 2009 (3:34:04). It wasn’t just the Norwegian breaking records, HUUB Wattbike's John Archibald set a sea level WR for the IP (4km) in 04:10.17. It wasn’t the only success for HUUB Wattbike as the team won the Team Pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in London earlier in the month, beating several fully funded NGB teams including Great Britain.

To finish off the year nicely three-time GB Olympian and HUUB athlete Helen Jenkins has been awarded an MBE in the 2019 New Years Honours list for services to Triathlon. She has achieved more ITU World Triathlon podium finishes than any other British women, making her the highest achieving British female triathlete in history.

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