SUNDAY, AUGUST 22, 2021
Recently crowned Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt confirmed his place atop the men’s triathlon world with a historic win at the World Triathlon Championship Finals in Edmonton, Canada. With his win at the finals, the 27-year-old Norwegian became the first man to win Olympic gold and the world title in the same year.
Blummenfelt entered the final race of the series placed second overall behind British rival Alex Yee. The World Triathlon Championship overall rankings this year were determined by adding up the three best scores from events in Yokohama, Japan; Leeds, England; Montreal, Canada; the Tokyo Olympics; and the Championship Series Grand Final in Edmonton. With wins in Yokohama and at the Tokyo Games, Blummenfelt had to finish ahead of Yee in Edmonton to earn the title.
Following the 1.5km swim, Blummenfelt hit the 40km bike leg in a chase group behind a lead group of three including reigning world champion Vincent Luis of France, who had the fastest swim, along with Belgian Marten Van Riel and Hungarian Mark Devay.
From there, the Olympic champion went to work on his Propel Advanced SL Disc aero road bike, driving the chase group as it closed in on the leaders. Riding with a CADEX WheelSystem and wearing the Giant Pursuit helmet, Blummenfelt was able to put time on Yee.
By the time he hit the second transition into the 10km run, Blummenfelt was just 10 seconds back. “When I saw that Alex Yee was in the second pack I thought I’d just drive the train on and not let Marten get away,” he said after the win. “That was the focus, but Marten was so strong on the run as well and I didn’t think I’d take the win.”
Running in a lead group of seven, Blummenfelt made a surge on the last of three laps. That was enough to drop two from the group, and then with a second surge he was able to lose two more. Entering the final kilometer, it was down to Blummenfelt, Van Riel and Frenchman Leo Bergere. As they hit the blue carpet for the final sprint, the Norwegian turned on the jets, winning the dash to the line as Van Riel took silver and Bergere bronze.
“It has been a really good year I must say,” claimed the elated Blummenfelt at the finish. “Before this season I was calculating I was getting old and I had no titles. Now I’m Olympic Champion and World Champion!”