Spain once again stood on the top spot of the podium with Uxio Abuin Ares claiming his first ITU World Cup victory in Tongyeong in a four-way sprint.
Ares was in the race all day, 11 seconds down after the swim he remained vigilant, tucked into the front group on the bike and then set about his work on the run.
The final metres came down to a ‘final four’ on the blue carpet with Ares snatching the win and his first gold medal.
A capacity men’s field of 85 broke the glassy conditions of the Tongyeong Harbour in a one-lap swim. Young Australian Matthew Roberts was the first to emerge from the 750m swim with Maximillian Schwetz (GER), William Huffman (USA). Trailing them by a few seconds was the familiar site of Andrey Bryukhankov (RUS) racing without his brother this time but compatriot Vladimir Turbayevskiy (RUS) by his side. The swim did little to break up the field and subsequently a long line of athletes emerged in quick succession.
Heading out on the first of three laps on the bike a group of 27 formed at the front of the race with a 24 second lead from the chasers that contained 2016 Olympian’s Rostislav Pevtsov (AZE), Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) and Portugal’s Joao Silva all missing the front pack.
As they rolled through the transition at the end of lap one it was Ryousuke Maeda (JPN) and American pair Gregory Billington and William Huffman that led the charge. Over the next two laps with multiple lead changes but no opportunity for a break away the group remained intact and prepared for a flat out 5km run.
The pace after the first 2.5km put the hurt on and we were left with just 10 men. As they came through transition for the last time, Simon De Cuyper (BEL) led followed by a trio of American’s, Kevin McDowell, Matt Mcelroy and Gregroy Billington.
As the pace heated up there remained just four in contention in the closing stages. Ares earlier patience paid dividends in the end with the fresher legs delivering him his first World Cup win in a four-way sprint on the blue carpet from Mcelroy and Turbayevskiy who backed up his win last weekend at the Alanya ETU Final Triathlon European Cup.
1. Uxio Abuin Ares ESP ES 00:53:39
2. Matthew Mcelroy USA US 00:53:40
3. Vladimir Turbaevskiy RUS RU 00:53:40
4. Rostislav Pevtsov AZE AZ 00:53:40
5. Simon De Cuyper BEL BE 00:53:43
6. Kevin Mcdowell USA US 00:53:46
7. Felix Duchampt FRA FR 00:53:49
8. Drew Box AUS AU 00:53:51
9. Eli Hemming USA US 00:53:52
10. Gregory Billington USA US 00:53:53