Russell White 20th in Stockholm

ITU Stockholm 2017 Russell White Bike1

Russell White continued has his steady climb through the World Triathlon Series rankings with another top class performance, this time at WTS Stockholm.

Ireland's highest ranked athlete finished 20th in the eighth round of triathlon's highest level draft legal competition - his best WTS result of 2017.

It follows his 24th place finish at WTS Montreal, 32nd at WTS Edmonton and 39th at WTS Hamburg.

ITU Stockholm 2017 Rusell White Bike2

How the Race Unfolded

White started the race with number 28 of the 56 athletes on the start line. They faced extremely choppy waters during the 1,500m which saw Richard Varga, Johnny Brownlee and Aaron Royle lead out of the water in 17mins 52secs.

White came out in 18mins 29secs and found himself in the second bike chase pack on the very technical 40km city centre course. Taking turns with Mario Mola adn Kirsten Blumenfeld, White showed great confidence to drive his pack of more than 15 athletes on until they caught the 1st chase pack following 10km.

Out front Johnny Brownlee and five others were turning up the heat and pulling clear to hit T2 with an almost 1minute lead .

On the final lap, White attacked his group and came in to T2 11 seconds ahead, going out on to the run in 7th place. With so many top world class runners behind him, White's decision to give himself a head start paid off, as he covered the 10km in 32mins 52secs and lost the minimum of places on the cobbled and hilly run course.

Brownlee Wins

As Johnny Brownlee pulled away to win by 18secs over Kirstian Blumenfeld, White was involved in a tight battle and ended up sprinting for position at the line where he finished in 20th place - 2mins 48secs down on the winner.

Speaking afterwards, White said he was happy with his performance and was looking forward already to racing again:

"It was a tough swim, very choppy. I decided to go left and get a bit of space but it didn't pay off. On the bike I chased hard all day..but I was nearly safer at the front."

White: "Committed"

White also explained his reasoning to break clear on the bike: "On the last lap the opportunity presented itself (to make a break) and everybody just backed off the pace and I found myself at the front with a bit of a gap and just went for it. When I committed I didn't want to look stupid and get brought back so I just had to keep the pressure on. I got a clean transition and an easier start to the run but it was a world of pain on that first lap trying to find my run legs."

White races next at the World Championships in Rotterdam in a fortnight's time and until then returns to altitude training in Font Romeau. 

"I still think I need to work on a bit of sharpness so I might have to do some key sessions, that's the one thing I was lacking today, the aerobic system was quite good after three weeks at altitude so I just need a bit is zip and hopefully I'll be all set for Rotterdam." 

Full Results from WTS Stockholm