RECAPPING 2016

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front Page -

IN A YEAR when we saw two of the most in­cred­i­ble po­lit­i­cal sur­prises in his­tory (Brexit and Trump qual­ify, don’t they?), 2016 was a mixed bag on the ex­pected/sur­prise front in triathlon. For the most part the peo­ple we ex­pected to win the big events did, but there were more than a few shock­ers, too. In hon­our of the in­abil­ity of poll­sters to call elec­tions in Bri­tain and the U. S. in 2016, I present a list of triathlon re­sults we to­tally saw com­ing and the ones we didn’t.

EX­PECTED Alis­tair Brown­lee takes gold in Rio. Jonathan Brown­lee takes silver. SUR­PRISE Javier Gomez breaks his el­bow in a freak bike ac­ci­dent and has to skip the Olympics.

Gwen Jor­gensen takes Olympic gold.

Ni­cola Spirig’s close fought silver – in April she was still deal­ing with a bro­ken hand. Flora Duffy wins the ITU Grand Fi­nal and, along with that, the ITU World Cham­pi­onship. Sure, Gwen was gun­ning af­ter Rio, but I defy any­one to have called Flora’s big win and her hold­ing off pos­si­bly the great­est women’s run­ner in triathlon his­tory.

Jan Fro­deno sets a new world record in Roth.

No sur­prises here. The guy is the to­tal pack­age and any­one who has watched him work his way into long dis­tance rac­ing knew that was com­ing. 7:35:39? Yep. He’s that good. Yeah, no surpise there, ei­ther. And any­one who watched Se­bas­tian Kienle rac­ing all year knew he was go­ing to push Fro­deno to his lim­its, too. The Ger­man podium sweep? If Pa­trick Lange hadn’t been able to run his way up there, who knows if Andi Boecherer would have found an­other gear and fin­ished a few sec­onds ahead of Ben Hoff­man in­stead of a few be­hind. Daniela Ryf fin­ishes fourth. This should and shouldn’t have been a sur­prise. She hadn’t lost a race in two years, but she was com­ing off two full-dis­tance races in a week just a month be­fore. Even Daniela can’t get over that. She an­ni­hi­lates the field and the course record, fin­ish­ing 22 min­utes ahead of Mirinda Car­frae. We knew she was good, but that good? OK, this one has to go down as a to­tal shocker. In one of the most bizarre races ever, Henri Schoe­man takes the Grand Fi­nal in Cozumel. Jonathan Brown­lee was in to­tal con­trol of the race. Alis­tair Brown­lee was run­ning along next to Schoe­man, mark­ing ev­ery move, seem­ingly try­ing to con­trol the race so that his brother could win and Mario Mola wouldn’t fin­ish high enough to take the world ti­tle. Jonathan keels over with a few hun­dred me­tres to go. Alis­tair lit­er­ally picks him up and car­ries him across the line, push­ing him across in sec­ond. Richard Mur­ray runs in fourth, then stops at the fin­ish line to wait for Mario Mola to give him his spot if it would net the Spa­niard the world ti­tle. Then Mur­ray finds out he

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