Britain’s Connor Bentley Seals U23 Title

25 November, 2022

Britain’s Connor Bentley Seals U23 Title

Britain’s Connor Bentley capped a remarkable end to his year with an outstanding U23 World title in Abu Dhabi on Friday morning. Having led with a small group for much of the bike, a huge pack merged over the final laps, and once a ragged opening loop, it was Bentley who somehow found another level to pull clear for the last time and soar to the gold.

Having kept right on his shoulder for the whole race, teammate Hamish Reilly couldn’t quite hang on down the final straight, with Hungary’s Gergely Kiss with the late surge to take silver.

Men’s U23 Race Recap:

Day two of the World Triathlon Championship Finals 2022 continued with 62 men lining up on the edge of stunning Yas Bay. Unlike the women’s race earlier in the morning, the swim stayed together up front, so by the halfway point there was only ten seconds separating the first 20 athletes. Hungary’s Gergely Kiss was out at the turn just ahead of Jamie Riddle (RSA), Alessio Crociani (ITA) and Max Stapley, racing under the ITU flag as he continued the process of switching from representing Australia to GB.

Crociani had moved his way to the front by the time the pack emerged up the ramp at the end of the 1.5km swim, but it was in fact Connor Bentley (GBR) who was fastest in transition and out on his bike first. He and Riddle were straight on the gas and quickly put some useful daylight between themselves and the growing pack behind.

By the end of lap two the break was over, and the leaders hoovered up into a 22-deep lead group with Riddle still taking to the front at every opportunity and relishing the challenge of the stunning Yas Island course.

At the halfway point of the bike it was Gergo Dobi of Hungary out front of the 22, while Britain’s Daniel Dixon  hollered down his fellow chasers to organise them and slowly they closed down the margin until the groups finally merged into a 38-strong pack with two laps to go.

That was how things stayed for the remainder of the bike. The congestion heading through the final turn caused issues further back but there were no such problems for Bentley, Riddle, Strada, Paul Georgenthum and Kyotaro Yoshikawa as they all poured out of transition and onto the run.

Stapley moved his way to the front of six with a slender lead at the end of the first lap. The scramble for water slowed things down meaning eleven came past the grandstand together - Dylan McCullough just off them and Riddle 18 seconds from the front.

Hamish Reilly joined compatriot Bentley with Stapley and McCullough and Georgenthum was just off the back of USA’s John Reed. But it was the two Brits who looked to carve out a small advantage towards the end of the second lap.

As they opened up their lead Eric Diener and Kiss were able to stay in touch, but it was Bentley who then found an entirely new level to his run, kicking smoothly away down the final kilometre to soak up the moment as he crossed the finish.

Behind him, it was Kiss who took silver ahead of Reilly, Diener crossed in at fourth, Swiss Maxim Fluri in fifth and Stapley, Georgenthum, Morgan, Reed and Itamar Eshed rounded out the top ten.

Organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council and World Triathlon, the competition strengthens Abu Dhabi’s position as a global sporting destination. Located within 8 hours’ flying time for two-thirds of the world’s population, the emirate is perfectly situated to welcome athletes, media, federations, and spectators alike to the pinnacle of the sport.

For the full result list please click here: