Justus Nieschlag shows his triathlon Esport world title credentials in London
On Saturday afternoon in a raucous London Aquatic Centre, Germany’s Justus Nieschlag quietly tightened his grip over not just a second Arena Games Triathlon gauntlet, but quite possibly the first ever world title in this remarkable, hi-tech hybrid format.
There were plenty of talking points pre-race, including local hero Alex Yee looking to bounce back from disappointment in Munich, the star of that show Aurelien Raphael not reaching the final and the breakout name from a fortnight ago Max Stapley looking to deliver a second successive medal.
It was the Australian who took the race by the throat in the first of three stages, powering through the 200m pool swim to emerge first but only just ahead of Nicolo Strada of Italy and Japan’s Takumi Hojo.
Yee and Nieschlag were both five seconds back at that early stage, fighting their way back into contention as Strada seized the moment and pulled clear from Stapley to get out front with some daylight behind and with drafting turned off on Zwift, it was a TT effort to the dismount.
Yee, Stapley, Hojo and Nieschlag were shoulder-to-shoulder through the tight transition and onto the treadmills, the Brit soon hitting the pace to overhaul the Italian, establish himself out front and send the crowd wild.
It was just three seconds he stayed ahead of Nieschlag, however, Strada and Stapley both 11 seconds back but disaster for the Australian right at the horn of the reversed second stage as he went too early on the treadmill and bagged a five second penalty.
Disaster, too, for Yee, because he was visibly tiring as the German was absolutely flying and put four seconds into the Brit, Maxime Hueber-moosbrugger of France going well too with Strada staying in contention on the bike.
The German had given everything in the pool to give himself a healthy lead but it looked to have taken a toll as he stumbled back to the next start. How much that was for show was debatable though as he quickly gathered himself for the final round of action.
Nieschlag took a 16-seconds advantage into that final stage and as he dived in, Yee gritted his teeth to give chase, Nicolo Strada a surely unassailable 37 seconds off the front, Stapley 45 seconds off the German already starting his second length.
Yee was slick in transition trying to claw back what had grown to a 25second deficit but it was Strada looking good, leaving the Brit to focus on the silver. Hueber Moosbrugger couldn’t close in on the medals, and it was Strada hanging tough ahead of him in third.
There was simply no stopping Justus Nieschlag from water to Zwift bike to treadmill run, he found his pace quickly and hit the watts, eventually taking the win to set up a huge Singapore throwdown for the first Esport triathlon world title in two weeks’ time. Alex Yee taking the silver, Strada the bronze.
The full results can be found here .
07:32 - 23 Apr, 2022
05:01 - 20 Apr, 2022